G220 Radio – Contradict: They Can’t All Be True

I was just on a padcast show called G220 Radio.  The name comes from Galatians 2:20.  You should look that verse up, here. The show is hosted by Ricky Gantz.  He has followed the Contradict – They Can’t All Be True Facebook page for quite awhile.  He recently launched this podcast and he has a lot of great topics that I think anyone who likes this blog would be interested in hearing discussed.  The show before the Contradict episode was on Jehovah’s Witnesses and the show that will be aired next week is on interracial relationships and marriages – you know from the Bible.  I hope they address the insane idea that dark skinned people came from the descendents of Ham, because Ham was cursed to have children born to slavery.  If you want to see where people get that idea, go to Genesis 9.

For the G220 Radio episode I was on as the guest, I love that Ricky focused on Chapter 2 of Contradict – They Can’t All Be True.  Chapter 2 teaches the basic history, beliefs, and practices of the world’s five major religions via 20 key terms for each.  So 100 terms in total.  Ricky went through each of the five religions and asked me to speak on some of those terms for each religion.  I like that he did this because I took it upon myself to compare and contrast the teachings with what the Bible teaches us.  I also was able to give some good points for where the Gospel could be interjected into the teachings of other religions – in other words points at which adherents of these other religions would find the Gospel to be truly Good News for them!

Ricky also got to share some experiences he has had using Contradict in evangelism.

Give it a listen and share it far and wide.  G220 Radio: Contradict They Can’t All Be True!

G220

Overview of Contradict – They Can’t All Be True

table of contents2My first published book is entitled, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True.  In case you have been wondering what’s inside the book before taking the plunge to order your copy, I have provided a brief overview of the book in this blog post:


Ch. 1 – The State of Pluralism

America’s state of religious pluralism stems from Hindu influence that crept in via the transcendental movement and came full force in the 60s counter-culture movement. The New Age Movement has direct parallels to Hindu beliefs, both of which lead to forms of religious pluralism. I share that the heart behind the movement is love, but that truth and love is lost in pluralism.

Ch. 2 – The Multiple Religious Paths

Many believe religious pluralism is true because Americans are religiously ignorant. Many of us don’t even know Christianity. So I give a 20 word glossary for Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.   If you know these 20 terms for each, you will know the basic history, teachings, and practices of the world’s five major religions.

Ch. 3 – Enacting the Law of Non-Contradiction

I then take direct quotes from the authoritative texts of each of those 5 religions and other minor religions and cults and put them under various doctrinal topics such as who God is, who man is, what mankind’s ultimate problem is, what the solution is to that problem to show the contradictions.

Ch. 4 – Finding a Religious Litmus Test

I present the historiographical tests for evaluating claims of the past and that Christianity offers a historical claim to prove or disprove the Christian faith – the resurrection.

Ch. 5 – Testing the Testable

I apply those tests to the Gospels. I present it in a way that I haven’t seen done yet in another book – so I think I’m contributing something new to the vast works that are already out there.

Ch. 6 – The Ring of Truth

I share what I call the ring of truth. The ring of truth can be found in the Bible’s details, its one unified message, its accuracy in predicting future events, and its uniqueness amongst the world’s religions.  I close this chapter by quoting Peter from Acts 2 and Jesus from Mark 16, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.”

All of the book so far was in a non-Christian voice. I want anyone reading to not know where I am coming from – what I actually believe. I have not identified myself as Christian until the end of this chapter. It’s all fact based presentations. It turns me off reading most books of this nature because I don’t think my non-Christian friend would get past the first few pages in most cases the way they are written. The bias comes through too strongly in most of the books I have read making a case for the Christian faith.

Ch. 7 – Using Contradict to Share the Gospel

The Christian voice is out. This chapter focuses on sharing the Gospel using Contradict. It explains how I have used Contradict as a witnessing tool on college campuses and I explain the whole process if someone else wants to use it. I then give the 20 most asked questions after the initial conversational starter sharing that all religions can’t be true because they contradict each other, but that I believe Christianity is true and that Jesus is the son of God who died for the sins of all of mankind. Every question has several types of responses that should be utilized in the response. Validation responses show why it’s a good question and how you understand why it is being asked. Socratic method responses are questions that lead the person to the answer based on what they already know. Answer responses give multiple ways to respond to answer the question directly. Scripture responses show the verses that support the answer from God’s Word. Back the Gospel responses must always be used at the end of every answer. The Gospel saves, not our apologetics, so the answers must always be used to get back to the Gospel and often times the Gospel answers the question!

Ch. 8 – Join the Movement.

Why did I call Contradict a movement? The Holy Spirit moves each of us to action as he desires. There isn’t only one way, or method, to present the exclusive claims of Christ to be our only all-sufficient Savior. The Spirit might move some to share the Gospel exactly as I have using Contradict, but others might get other ideas on how to initiate the conversation. We might not all be led to success by the Spirit either. We might be led to persecution. Our role is simply to resign ourselves to will of God as the Spirit moves us to make disciples of all nations.

You can order my book here!

Contradict Evangelism Table

table evangelismAs many of you know if you have followed my blog, the Contradict logo was birthed from evangelism at University of California Irvine.  From many trial and error attempts at initiating Christ-centered conversations on the campus, I found that the best method for my personality is to set-up a table and draw people in to talk with a catchy poster on a table.  My first attempt was a Led Zeppelin poster with a sign saying free bootleg CDs.  I actually had purchased some bootleg CDs and was raffling them off, but, to enter the raffle the person had to take my “Stairway to Heaven” Gospel tract that I had written.  They also got an invitation to a Bible study on UCI’s campus.  I got a few emails this way so I could keep in contact – spamming people, if you will, about events I was hosting on campus.  I never got anyone to show to those events – :(.

Then I met a lady that was a full-time missionary at University California Los Angeles.  She told me what worked best for her was hosting a “Blessing of the Brains” night every mid-term and finals week.  She said students were up late studying and that she would offer them coffee and the opportunity to have their brains blessed with prayer!  She would pray for them right then and there if they wanted, or just collect prayer requests in a prayer box.  I did that method twice!  Both times – very successful.

All of these attempts were when I was as an undergraduate student at Concordia University Irvine during the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 school years.  After a Masters degree and three years teaching in China, I was back in Orange County in the summer of 2009 and asked if I would kickstart evangelism for a congregation at UCI.  I wanted to set-up another table with a poster that would draw people in to talk and I wanted to also offer coffee.  Sort of a combination of the two best options I had done before.  I had many other attempts along the way that I won’t mention.  From UCLA pastor, Mark Jasa, I learned of a cool sign approach to evangelism. He set-up a table with a poster that read, “Religion is for the Weak.”  His approach was that people would see this and not know what he believed!  People usually think he is an atheist, and then get caught off guard and are intrigued to hear more when they find out he is actually a Christian.  He presents that everyone is going to die and religion offers a solution to the problem, yet there are really only two religions – Free and Not Free.  Christianity is the only Free religion – saved by grace through faith in Christ.  Then the discussion begins!

Adam Stetson also saw a presentation from Pastor Jasa on his “Religion is for the Weak” method of starting an evangelism conversation. Together we bought a table and went to UCI’s Freedom of Speech Area.  We started with small print-out pages that said “Religion is for the Weak” and other slogans we came up with. The only one I still remember is the one that I made up which was “Christianity is not a way of life.”  If someone asked what it meant I’d share, “Christianity is life given to you for free by the work of Jesus.  It’s not a list of rules you must obey to be saved.  Therefore it is not a way of life, it is life.”  We also had a big poster board that said, “Got Prayer?”  We did a lot of stuff like that.  It was a smorgasbord of little flyers taped to everything on the table.  People would get coffee and as they shook their sugar into their cup, they’d ask what the message meant on the sugar container.  It was quite comical.

One week, Adam said, he wanted to make a Contradict sign to counter Co-exist.  I thought it was great!  I found a few designs already made online and we started to use them on the table too.  It became my go to every time someone asked why were out there giving out free coffee.  Adam and the others with us began to always gravitate towards it too.  Eventually Adam had a Contradict poster made!  And then we ditched everything else and just used a Contradict poster exclusively, taped to the front of the table.  “Religion is for the Weak” didn’t work so great for me for some reason.  Before launching the site http://www.contradictmovement.org, I designed my own Contradict logo with my friend Danny Martinez.

I love the Contradict conversation starter.  It’s simple.  Someone asks what does this mean and I get to simply say, “It means that all religions contradict each other and they can’t all be true.  They could all be false, but they can’t all be true.  I personally believe Christianity is true, that Jesus is God and died for your sins and I am here to share that good news and answer any of your questions about what I believe from the Bible.”  I have presented the central truth-claim of Christianity, and now the ball is in that person’s court!  Often times, they might be shocked that I am Christian. For example, I once let an atheist talk a long time about his views on religion.  He thought I was an atheist too, so he was just laying it really thick against all religions and religious people, and when I told him what I believed he was stunned.  And his mouth was open, and he asked, “Wait, you’re a Christian?”  He thought by Contradict, I somehow meant they were all wrong!  No.  It means they can’t all be true, not that they’re all wrong – which is what many people first think the sign means.

Anyways, it’s a great conversation starter!  I encourage you to give it a try somewhere, at a park, a campus, a store front, a fair, a street corner with a lot of foot traffic.  There are handouts at http://www.contradictmovement.org that you can download and print for free.

If you are really into this idea, I encourage you to check out my book, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True.  It details the entire message I’d share with someone if they gave me 3-4 hours of their time.  And believe it or not, sometimes, people actually give that much time!  Many people I have talked to are very intrigued.  They are craving God (although they don’t know that’s what they’re missing and needing as they are lost in their sins) and few Christians have given them the straight up truth from Scripture.  And few Christians have sat there to listen to their questions and answer them.  A big portion of my book is to help equip you to know what questions are most often asked from the Contradict conversation starter.

Here’s a video for more info on how to get started. God bless you.

Please, let me know if you give this a try.  And you might find that something else besides Contradict works best for you.

Contradict #12 – Long and Short Versions

I found a bumper sticker that says, “Practice what he preached,” with an image of a person who I assume to be Jesus of Nazareth.  Below the imperative statement, many religious symbols are displayed.  Just what does this mean, and is it correct?

Here’s the long version of my reply to this sticker’s message:

Here’s the short reply to this sticker’s message:

Which video do think is better?

Get a Contradict Sticker!