So, my wife and I head up to the Grand Canyon this past weekend for some leisurely (cold) camping (average low temps on the rim this time of year are mid-20s). As we’re walking through the campground at night, our dog goes up to one of the two young men setting up their tent. Not 2 minutes into our small talk and we learn that one guy just received his commission in the Army as a Second Lieutenant and the other is a Captain in the Nepalese Army.
After asking if they’re making a career out of the military, the Second Lieutenant says he wants to go into Christian ministry and go on to seminary for missions work (his choices were both excellent, Trinity or Gordon-Conwell). Hum….a Nepalese and mission-minded Christian sharing a tent together? That could make for some good discussions!
Since I’m putting this alignment together in my head, I took the opportunity to ask the Nepalese if he was Hindu. His answer was “Yes” and the Christian said “Yea! We were talking about that on the way up here.” The four of us went on to discuss Advaita Vedanta Hinduism and monism, comparing those with the Christian worldview. The Nepalese was delighted to learn that we knew so much about his faith and that his tent mate was so eager to know more. It was a great conversation.
Since they were still setting up and it was dark, my wife and I decided to cut it short and move on so they could get a good night’s rest for their decent and ascent in/out of the Canyon at daylight the next day. We never saw them again and I’m sure they made it in/out of the Canyon just fine. After all, they were military, young, and smart (average age of those rescued out of the Canyon is 18-45 years; but those folks are likely not smart). I trust our discussion was good fodder for the Christian to have opportunity to share the grace of the Gospel as they hiked the Canyon on the next day.
Why am I blogging about this? Simple. Always be prepared to discuss religious worldviews because the Gospel must be heard and one of the most effective ways to earn the right to share it is to know alternative belief systems! We live in a highly pluralistic culture and society and we must be prepared to have worldview discussions. I cannot think of a better book to prepare the Church for these kinds of discussions than James Sire’s The Universe Next Door. Buy it, read it, and prepare yourself. You never know when you’ll have opportunity to discuss a “universe next door.”
See also Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. For being prepared to defend the truth claims of Christianity and answer objections, Doug Groothuis’ newest offering is a must read to ground you in the apologetic enterprise.
The above is a repost from 2 years ago.