This series of posts will give you immediate direction for apologetic conversations.
Remember that “apologetics” is the discipline of defending a position, in this case Christianity.
First issue: Religious Pluralism
Objection to Christianity: Christianity has no monopoly on the truth. Other religions are just as valid.
1. Affirm what I can. What’s true in Islam? Mormonism? Judaism? Answer: belief in God, good morals.
Buddhism, Hinduism? Spirituality. Contemplation.
These are elements that share common ground with Christianity, at least in a general way, and enable me to “affirm what I can.”
2. Go directly to contradictions: The Christian notion of the Trinity, for example, contradicts the monotheism (belief in one unitary God) of Jews and Muslims, the impersonal universe of Buddhists and the polytheism (many gods) of Hindus.
So if the religions contradict, they can’t all be true. In fact, the one view that logically can’t be true is that they’re all true.
3. Image: Religions are like books. Their various “covers” may be similar — mentioning God, faith, love, etc. But if you open the books and read the contents inside, you’ll find they tell radically different stories about reality. See chapter 9 of my Faith is Like Skydiving to see this idea further developed.
So if they can’t all be true, which religion is true? Now we’re into the spade work of digging into the details of each religion and comparing them with each other.
From a Christian perspective the best place to begin is with the identity of Jesus. If he is who he claimed to be and did the things the Bible reports, he deserves our full devotion. If not . . . everything is up for grabs.
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Remember, the key to the argument is the many contradictions between religions. That’s where I always go (eventually).