09 May 2013

"Born in Araby" dodge (NEXT! #33)

by Dan Phillips

Challenge: What if you were born in Saudi Arabia? Then you know you'd be a Muslim!

Response: What if you were born an idiot? Then you'd waste your days asking hypothetical questions with no evidentiary val... oh.


(Proverbs 21:22)

Dan Phillips's signature

33 comments:

DJP said...

Yes, yes, I know, this one's not nice, nuanced, dainty, and certainly not the only way to respond.

But its also useful.

And more to the point, I don't want Sye ten Bruggencate to think I've gone soft.

(I actually just used a version of this in Twitter.)

Jared Queue said...

How about: I probably would. And I'd still be worthy of hell.

Or: So, to be clear, man has no will of his own, but is actually subservient to geography? Who knew??

Or: Yes, Saudi Arabia does need the gospel.

Or: Why are you geographically profiling the Saudis? Seems bigoted of you.

Just thinking out loud.

DJP said...

Oh, those are all good!

Alex Philip said...

If you weren't born in pluralistic/ relativistic North America, you wouldn't be asking that hypothetical question.

DJP said...

Dang, also very good.

Rob said...

So you don't think that indirectly implying that the questioner is an idiot could potentially be a barrier to sharing the gospel? Couldn't think type of answer leave the secular questioner walking away thinking that you don't really want to give an answer, but just a condescending face slap?

DJP said...

If you were to click on the links in the post, and the link on the word Next!, and read my first comment, what purpose do you think I might see in this response, Rob?

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

I've had a guy pull this one on me and, not being quick-witted or really knowing how to answer, I assumed value to his question and came back with, "Okay, say I had been. What of those that are born into that religion and abandon it for the Gospel at the cost of their lives and families?" He turned it around to an American abandoning Christianity for Atheism, so it wasn't very fruitful after that..

Keith said...

How about:
"True, because if I was anything else I'd be dead by now."

Michael Coughlin said...

Ok, this hit a nerve a long time ago with me. I humbly quote myself:

"if you are really so concerned with remote tribal villagers perishing, PUT AWAY YOUR VIDEO GAMES, CANCEL YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT, SELL ALL YOUR BELONGINGS, LEARN THEIR LANGUAGE, GO TO THEM AND TELL THEM ABOUT CHRIST. Stop using these people as an arguing tool for you to cast doubt in the minds of people, concerning the God of the Bible’s integrity and Goodness, and start doing something that shows you actually care for their well-being."

From This Post

Mark said...

Or: "You're right...if it were up to us. Let me tell you a story about two brothers—twins even!—named Jacob and Esau. Now you see, they had identical cultural conditions..."

Romans 9

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

Challenge: What if you were born in Saudi Arabia? Then you know you'd be a Muslim!

Response: What does that have to do with our conversation? I wasn't, I'm not, and we're talking about you repenting and believing upon Jesus, which is what every man has to do to be saved, even your hypothetical Muslim me.

DJP said...

Mark, another terrific response.

Kerry James Allen said...

Mental note: Don't hit Michael's nerve!

Or how about this that I've used a hundred times, which isn't as blunt as some: "That's a good question. If you will remind me after I am finished sharing this Gospel message with you, I'll be glad to try to answer it." Why answer it right then anyway? That isn't really their problem, it's just a satanic insinuation and deflection from the real problem which you need to get to.

They almost never remember to bring it up again (you aren't lying, you said, "If you remind me"), and it usually clears the way inoffensively for a Gospel witness.

trogdor said...

The issue isn't where someone's born, but how - as a son of Adam, rebelling against God. The only thing geography might affect is the particular form our sin will take. And there is but one name under heaven whereby we must be saved.

Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

Response: I probably would be a Muslim. But what does that tell you about the merits of Islam?

Robert said...

Response: What if you were a Gentile back around the time of Christ's death? God somehow managed to bring salvation to the Gentiles around the world through the preaching of the Gospel. And most of them were polytheists.

rfb said...

I enjoy Mr. Coughlin's use of the word "tell" rather than "share".

The declaration of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords is a a declaration that the old order is finished, and that there is a new sheriff in town, forever.

Humans do not get to define anything, and particularly not the premise of good and evil. Only the Author has authority; without His definitions we have nothing except consensus. Consensus is like the flies inhabiting the waste in my pasture. They all agree and enjoy the flavor, but their opinion does not change the taste.

Michael Coughlin said...

Kerry - feel free to hit one of my nerves. It seems when you do that it usually needed to be hit!

As far as context for my quote - it was in reference to a group of professed Christian high schoolers who I substitute taught for a week arguing with me about the need for people to know Christ to go to Heaven. I am not normally an ALLCAPS guy.

If you want to read the story, it is linked to. I also use the word impact as a verb in a participle form as a bonus. That post was written before I was a pyro reader.

Sir Aaron said...

Challenge"What if you were born in Saudi Arabia? Then you know you'd be a Muslim!

Response: Yeah, and your point is...?

Kerry James Allen said...

Just kidding, Michael. I always enjoy your input.

Michael Coughlin said...

I know, I just didn't want to offend anybody.

Then Frank would be unemployed.

DJP said...

"I also use the word impact as a verb in a participle form as a bonus. That post was written before I was a pyro reader."

I am having an impact! Life does have purpose!

Michael Coughlin said...

:)

DJP said...

BTW: one-star haters hate NEXT! posts more than any other kind of post.

Jim Pemberton said...

I wonder at the increasing number of Christians in Saudi Arabia with an argument like this.

James Joyce said...

Challenge: What if you were born in Saudi Arabia? Then you know you'd be a Muslim!

Response: I probably would be a Muslim. And Jesus would still be God.

semijohn said...

If I take "idiot" out, and stick with the "asking questions" part, I'd find it more usable. Yes, there's Proverbs 1, but I'd also be thinking about Matt. 5:22.

Bridget Platt said...

Challenge: What if you were born in Saudi Arabia? Then you know you'd be a Muslim!

Response: Yes, but thankfully God can save people out of any false religion.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Yes, and according to the Bible you'd also be aware that you were following a false god, so that everyone is without excuse for not repenting and following the living God.

one busy mom said...

I love the "next!" posts!!

I've been "asked" some version of this several times.

Funny thing...once I grab a Bible to start answering their question everything changes. Their eyes glaze over and they cry foul. Insisting it was just a hypothetical question to make a point, not something they want an answer to.....and certainly not an answer from the Bible.... (Surprise, surprise!!)

DJP said...

Exactly. Most of these are not serious, thought-out objections. They are just... well, see title.

And so you've caught out the intent of these posts. Eyes glaze over at fuller answers. These may — may! — catch attention, shake the sleepwalker, and re-frame the discussion.

At least that's the intent.