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Episode 16 of Reconnect featured guest, Ken Chitwood, sharing an article he wrote entitled, “Building Bridges: Toward Constructing a Christian Foundation for Inter-Religious Relationships in the Shift from Religious Privilege to Spiritual Plurality”. The key points for inter-religious dialog that Ken suggests are: pay attention, find, and form, friendships, listen and learn, dine, dialog, and do together, discern, and witness to the worldview.
While I agree with many of Ken’s points to approaching inter-religious dialog, I have a different application of the term “building bridges”. I explain this approach in an article that I wrote for Reformation 21: “Embracing Religious Contradictions to Proclaim Christ Crucified: Tolerance and Coexistence”. Looking at Acts 17, I see how Paul knew the beliefs and culture of those he was sharing the Gospel of Jesus. He made the presentation of the Gospel from starting within their belief system with a point of contact that he could use to make a connection to the Biblical narrative of salvation. I was given the opportunity to share this approach to evangelism at Brookfield Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. This episode contains that sermon message.
The building bridges technique I am advocating for is also shared in Episode 34: “Storytelling Evangelism”.