Skeptics are responding to Jesus.
In her doctoral work at The University of Birmingham and on her Side B podcast, Jana has carefully listened to the stories of dozens of skeptics who decided to follow Jesus.
In this live event, hosted by Executive Director Carson Weitnauer, Dr. Harmon shares the surprising reasons why they’ve done so:
Do you have experience with skeptics starting to follow Jesus? What have you observed?
Another fantastic talk! Was so moved by how Jana Harmon combined both humility and wisdom as she shared from real life conversations with skeptics. I found myself nodding to her for all the reasons she gave about skeptics resisting Christianity. The concept of Disruptive witness, Disruptive crisis, Disruptive circumstances that she shared were helpful to take the pressure of ourselves when witnessing and to learn to rely on God.
No matter the logic, for unknown reasons I too have encountered resistance to discussions on faith from skeptics. Conversations tend to move forward only when each party is willing and humble to learn from one another. As Christians, we shouldnt get easily offended but need to take the first step toward patience and listening. Responding after taking time to understand the thoughts and feelings of those of a different worldview makes them feel valued. Something I have learnt the hard way though I was well intentioned. Pointing where I disagreed only eroded trust that I had worked for years to build. I have heard Francis Schaeffer used to say this about listening well -
"If I have only an hour with someone, I will spend the first 55 minutes asking questions and finding out what is troubling their heart and mind, and then in the last 5 minutes I will share something of the truth .”
Something to emulate!
Feelings of nervousness about questions that I haven’t considered before in a conversation reveal a need for more of a reliance on the Lord. I have learnt that I sometimes just need to let go and let God. God doesn’t intend for us to share beyond what we are able.
Just a few thoughts on the subject.