To summarize and catch you up on this series so far (skip this section if you wish):
- A postmodern student thinks nobody has a monopoly on the truth.
- A modern student believes that through critical reason one can arrive at the truth.
- A modern student with a postmodern veneer: see below.
- A postmodern student with a modern veneer is the person who at first seems to believe in one ultimate truth, but really doesn’t. I’ll talk about how to reach this student next week.
Start reading here: The modern student with a postmodern veneer is the most common of the four profiles that I encounter on campus. This person is, so to speak, soft on the outside and firm on the inside.
Step one: Establish Trust.
You can’t skip this step and go right for case-making. First you gotta connect. Ask about their life and share a bit of yours. Show that you care, or you’ll never get past the surface.
Another way to say this is to start with the heart, then move to the head.
Step 2: Make your case.
Here’s where your apologetics and appeals to the mind kick in. Don’t forget to illustrate your case with concrete stories, images and diagrams. I use a lot of diagrams.
Step 3: Circle back.
Circle back to the heart. Be transparent, work on the relationship, provide cool experiences, build community.
So, in order to reach this most common of the four profiles, remember to create an environment of trust, community and shared experience.
Inside — I repeat, inside — this environment you make your case for faith in Christ.