On strategy, despite your personal apologetic (in my case Christian Political Apologetic), as this case study points out, each situation or opportunity is different which reinforces the importance of the Truth provided by a common Christian worldview (message) and reinforcement of that Truth as represented by the attributes of the messenger.
As I referenced in the reply to Speaking the Truth Prompt, Ravi Zacharias identifies that a worldview has four elements: meaning, morality, and destiny. He further states that a worldview can be validated by applying three tests for truth: logical consistency, empirical adequacy, and experiential relevance. He reinforces that “When a worldview is submitted to these tests, the Christian message is utterly unique and meets the demand for truth.”
Like any good Father, Mikos loves his brother. He believes that the “crystal” offers some value in helping his brother heal. He also believes that “all roads lead to heaven.” Mikos also indicates that he is open to listening to other (Christian) views. Given Mikos’ Greek Orthodox background, might also be helpful to do a little research with the goals of starting with a foundation that could then be used to compare and contrast to Christianity.
Convincing Mikos that there is a living God and that belief and prayer would have more value than “a crystal” may help lead him to the Truth. I think you would need to be prepared to answer the question that assuming his brother was not a believer, where would he end up if he dies.
• Deuteronomy 4:31: “(For the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you.”
• Psalm 36:5: “Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”
1. Give an example of an apologetic dialogue with Mikos that involves at least one apologetic method and some distinct use of Scripture that would possibly speak to Mikos and his worldview.
Tanya Walker in her article, “But … What About other Religions” (McDowell, Apologetics, 273), addresses Mikos’ belief “that everyone gets to go to heaven and that God is like a welcoming Grandpa that would never refuse anyone’s request to come into His kingdom.” Walker identifies the opportunity to address three general themes: An Error of Logic, Concerns of Character, A question of Destination and the Uniqueness of Jesus Christ:
- Error of Logic – “All roads lead to God.” Belief caused by a lack of knowledge or logic.
- Concerns of Character: Credibility of the “messenger” importance of conveying the message in context of Truth, Content, and Manner. In this case, a prior relationship (friendship) and discussion indicate this criterion may not be an issue. Walker reinforces the importance of listening to the question and questioner and giving the individual the respect of our attention.
- Destination and Uniqueness of Jesus Christ. This is supported by historical facts and evidence. Strobel’s “The Case for Christ”, identifies numerous categories of proof. Evidence includes eyewitness, documentary, corroborating, rebuttal, scientific, psychological, circumstantial, and fingerprint. (Strobel, 14-16).
1.a. Distinct use of Scripture: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)
Regarding a specific “Dialogue,” I would draft a script (talking points) of different options that I could use depending on the direction of the conversation and the condition of the brother.
2. Give at least seven scriptures that would be helpful and understandable to Mikos in this situation.
The scriptures I provided would help support a theme that there is a one true Living God that loves him and offers comfort and support. The opportunity is converting Mikos to a belief in Christianity and also being prepared to provide comfort in the event his brother dies. Potential relevant scriptures:
1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; And do not lean on your own understanding.
2. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
3. John 14:6 (NIV) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
4. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18 NIV)
5. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 NIV)
6. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”. (Mathew 11:28 NIV)
7. “.. cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22 NIV)
8. “… casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” ( 1Peter 5:7 NIV)
9. “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.” (Psalm 56:3 NIV)
10. “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4, NIV)
11. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
3. Explain why apologetic methods are fortified by a biblical basis.
Apologetics methods reinforce the truth of the message and the credibility of the messenger. Methods offer a variety of strategies to make the case and advocate for belief in Biblical Faith. Douglas Groothus in his book “Christian Apologetics,” references how The Federalist Papers supported the case for the Constitution. (Groothus, 2011, 23)