Georgene Rice: Interview with author Lee Strobel

Below is a transcript from a Georgene Rice KPDO FM interview with Lee Strobel, a former atheist turned Christian and best-selling author. He is the co-author of the recent evangelical book, “Taking Every Day Risks to Talk to People about Jesus Christ”.

Georgene: I’m excited about this book that you’ve written because it takes the perspective of sharing one’s faith out of that fearful mode into the idea that this is an adventure that Christ has called us to.

Strobel: Exactly. I really think it’s a missing element in the lives of so many Christians who think that their Christian walk is kind of boring and plain vanilla. Could it be that they are missing this important element of what Christ told us to do?……..When we sort of live in anticipation that God will ambush us with these unexpected adventures where we can get into spiritual conversations—our whole Christian life comes alive.

Georgene: Some of us think, ‘I’m a simple follower of Christ. I’m not an apologist. I read the scriptures but I’m afraid someone is going to ask me something I don’t know.’ So what may sound like an adventure to some is a terrifying possibility to others.

Strobel: I know what you are saying. I get nervous every time I share my faith. I think we all do…but if we are ready and willing, God is always able. The key is you don’t have to be the bible answer man…It’s ok to say ‘That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer, but why don’t we look and find the answers together.’

Georgene: You raise such an important point. I think sometimes we are mistaken in our belief that God is dependent on our intellect to somehow succeed in sharing the gospel when in fact, we need to tell our story and be humble enough to admit ‘I don’t know the answer to that, but I know there is one’…We don’t have to have every answer for every question that comes up.

Strobel: Exactly. God is the great evangelist. The cool thing is we’re in it together. He’s going to lead us. He is going to guide us. He is going to give us the Word. He’s going to unfold these adventures for us so we can have confidence. We’re not alone in this. We have the God of the universe who is with us in this process.

Georgene: The book is basically a manual of 42 personal stories that encourage people to do evangelism. Our personal stories have a great deal to say to other people who are curious about Christianity…. and we elevate that story of our coming to faith in Christ in life before knowing him in ways I think perhaps we have underestimated.

Strobel: That is one of the most unanswerable arguments in favor of Christianity. Let me tell you my story: this is what my life was like; this is how I’ve found Christ; here’s how I gave my life to him; here’s how my life has been changed. We’ve all had that story. Sometimes we think it has to be a dramatic story. If I were only a former axe murderer or a former atheist. Well, the truth is most people can’t relate to that type of drama.

Georgene: Whatever our testimony happens to be is relevant and people can relate to that and God can use it.

Strobel: That’s exactly true. Especially because the people we encounter and get to know are people we have an advantage with; otherwise, they wouldn’t be our friends…We have an advantage in that we can have a relationship through which we can get to know each other. We can validate where they are spiritually. We can ask questions. We can care about them. We can demonstrate the love of Christ to them in practical ways. When we do that, we can have an impact that we never would have anticipated.

Georgene: You are best known for being, certainly a best selling author, but also an apologist…This is a book focused on evangelism…why focus on evangelism?

Strobel: Well because the bottom line is people think I’m an apologist, which is true I guess, but my real heart is for evangelism, and I only use apologetics to help reach people with the gospel. If they have a tough question that’s standing in their way between them and God, I want to help them find an answer to that question. But my heart is to see people come to Christ and see their lives transformed like he transformed my life.

Georgene: Given the culture that we are in—the 21st century—what differences have you seen in the way the gospel is effectively communicated now as opposed to previous generations.

Strobel: In the past people just needed to be reminded what they already knew to be true. They grew up going to church. These days so many people don’t have that background, so we’re sort of starting from scratch with a lot of folks. One thing I’ve noticed is that people tend to relate to stories. Jesus told parables. He told stories for a reason: because people relate to them

— Catch more of Georgene Rice KPDO FM

— Transcript edited for grammar, clarity.

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