Seeker Sensitive

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Bondman, Jan 7, 2007.

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  1. Bondman

    Bondman Puritan Board Freshman

    Had to lure you to the thread with this most hated term, but it just might be appropiate.

    I have a friend who says he is seeking. He has no idea where to begin. Without a particular objection or question, I have little to say.

    Actually, all I thought to do was to quote two pieces of scripture:

    God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.


    Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

    What would you say to a person who says that he is seeking, does not know how to go about seeking, and does not know where to start?

    Do you recommend an apologetic work of some kind, prayer (hard when the person doesn't actually believe and has no mediator through which to address God), actually seeking out a pastor, what?
  2. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    I would begin by asking, 'What are you seeking?' If he replies, 'God'. I would then ask, "Why?". Go from there. Hopefully he will answer that he has a problem: "I am unacceptable to God because of my sin. I need to find out what I can do about this."
  3. Bandguy

    Bandguy Puritan Board Sophomore

    First, I would say that I have no problem, per say,with the person saying they are seeking. I believe this is actually possible because of the grace of God working in their lives to regenerate their evil souls and to draw them to God.

    That being said, I would probably ask them what they were seeking, why they were seeking it, and where they are seeking. These would be questions to ask them to bring them to the Gospel. I would then present the Gospel to them and allow God to draw them to himself through his Word.
  4. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Matthew - who knows what this friend of yours is seeking? Many people reach waypoints in their life where they are seeking answers. If simply seeking was a guaranteed precursor to repentance and faith in Christ that would be great. The reality is that seeking is not akin to faith. As long as your friend allows I would preach Christ to Him. I would implore him to sit under the teaching of God's word at your church. I am not saying reading a good apologetic work is worthless, but I since it is the gospel that contains the words of life, that is what I would proclaim to Him. Books, CD's and DVD's are wonderful tools but they can actually take a persons attention off the gospel. Make the gospel the central focus of your discussion with your friend as long as he is willing to listen.
  5. Bandguy

    Bandguy Puritan Board Sophomore

    Whoa. I promise I did not mean to copy your answer. I really was typing at the same time you were. The ego side of me would like to blame this on great minds thinking alike, but perhaps it was just providence...let's just leave it at that.:rofl:

    Sola Deo Gloria
  6. Average Joey

    Average Joey Puritan Board Junior

    Always a good one:

    Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

    Really stress diligence in seeking with all his heart.

    Tell him to fall on his face before the Lord with a heart that is broken.To Pray without ceasing for his eyes to see.Stress scripture always.

    I am sure you`ll get better answers then mine.Just my :2cents:

  7. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

  8. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    :ditto: Absolutely Scott! Great answer.
  9. Bondman

    Bondman Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you brothers. All helpful responses.

    Allow me to clarify, he is actually seeking whether or not Christianity is true. He has recently been looking through some old Josh McDowell stuff as well as Lewis' Mere Christianity.

    I have been and will continue to speak God's truth to him. I think he may find that worthless since he has yet to trust that the Bible is actually God's truth. But that doesn't matter, does it?
  10. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Matthew - no, it doesn't. That is why my counsel was to declare to him the gospel. I've run into "seekers" before who were questioning the very fabric of the universe, but they would not even consider the God of the bible. The temptation is to play their game and hope that the discussion will turn to the gospel. Rather than take that approach keep your conversation focused on the gospel. Consider how Jesus peeled through the "excuse" layers of the rich young ruler and laid his heart bare. May the Lord grant you wisdom in your conversations and may He call your friend to true repentance and faith.
  11. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor


    Do avoid the side-issues, addressing them later. Always focus upon the Gospel now. Promise to bring the other issues back up at a later point, and do that when the season is right, but make sure you emphasize what is truly necessary.

    Mere Christianity and McDowell stuff are unlikely to produce a conversion as near as I can tell of it, especially not the former. Lewis's bad theological ecumenism and speculations have done extraordinary damage to the modern churches because his works are so widely propagated, but are not linked to the Scriptures well at all (if at all).

    R.C. Sproul's Holiness of God is a good "starter" book. Some of Piper's stuff is good in the right context. I have heard excellent things about Michael Horton's Putting the Amazing Back into Grace as well, though that is yet to come in my readings. Indeed, even a copy of the Shorter Catechism or the Heidelberg Catechism with Scripture proofs would make excellent reading on this point. If you subscribe to the White Horse Inn podcast, some of the podcasts on Jesus and his work in the world (the 3 December ones on that issue, for instance) can also be most beneficial, because the show describes the ministry and Work of Christ very succinctly.

    Coming out of a mainline evangelical background, these books I've recommended would have been considered meaty works, when in fact they are basic in a good way. One of the biggest temptations in our modern era is to dumb things down to those we are trying to reach, and I'd encourage you to avoid that as much as possible. Also, patience and gentle persistence really do matter when dealing with a confused and "seeking" (proper sense) non-believer.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  12. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore


    I really couldn’t add much to what I’ve transcribed below from this Christmas’s show on KFUO with Dr. Norman Nagel. There are preachers then there are preachers, and this man really is gifted in giving the Gospel. I think the general principle he outlines may be helpful. Heck this could be tract. Because they are asking the very question you are seeing and many of us run into. Are there really seekers, what to do. I hope you find it as helpful as I did, it really answers the problem of us “seeking God” and its connection to idolatry in a very plain way. I transcribed it hopefully there are no major mistakes. This is powerful Gospel here, it refreshes me just rehearing it. Blessings In Christ Alone, Larry

    Rev. Todd Wilkins: If God is God as people think about him, then he’s going to be everywhere all the time. That’s how people normally think. But is the omnipresence of God necessarily good news for us?

    Dr. Norman Nagel: Well the fact that God is every where leaves us in the position of having to hunt him down and find him. And if you are looking for something, you really wouldn’t know that you’ve found it unless you knew what you were looking for. That’s the problem with ‘hunting for God’. It’s not as if we know what God is like and then when we find him (and) we (then) say, “Ahhh, here he is”, that would be fulfilling what we expect God to be like. The distance between us and God is not something we cover, we don’t find God. The question is, “Is he interested in finding us?” And if he finds us then we are simply at the receiving end of the sort of God that he is. Other wise we are left with making up a god for ourselves and saying, “Well, could I find a god like that somewhere?” And a god that we make up for ourselves would be the sort of god that would best suite our need. But that would only be a god as big as we expected him to be or wanted him to be, or worst of all manage to control him. And if he didn’t fit our definition of god we then would say, “Oh, I’ll have nothing more to do with him, we will hunt for another god (to meet the definition we need).” And that’s the way with idols. With idols you have to change them one after another as they fail you. The only one that is there for you is the one who finds you and comes to where you are at and we’ve just been to Bethlehem, in a manger (celebrating Christmas)…no one would have EVER expected that’s where he would be for us to be our Saviour. And at New Years it’s the name of Jesus and His circumcision where He comes to be our Saviour, when first His blood is shed (circumcision) when He is on His way to Calvary (the circumcision/baptism of the Cross). Would anybody expect that the man hanging on the Cross (to be), “that is what God is like”? We don’t look at Jesus and say, “Look he qualifies”, we see Jesus, hang around with Him in the Gospels, and then we exclaim surprised, “So THAT is what God is like”, the one who loved us cared for us so much that he would come to be one of us. Born in Bethlehem carrying our sins to the Cross and answering for them, to bear our sins and be our Saviour - as it says in the liturgy.

    Rev. Todd Wilkins: So in a nutshell we don’t come up with a definition of God a then go looking (for him), we let God define who HE is and He is the one who finds us in His Son Jesus Christ. Well then, someone says, “how do I find Jesus? Where is He?”

    Dr. Norman Nagel: Well he is where He put Himself for us that’s the Good News we’ve just been rejoicing over so much at Christmas time and at New Years we rejoice that He was given His name the name of Jesus. For Jesus you recall the message to Joseph was, “You will call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.” That’s the Jesus we are looking for the one who saves us from our sins. If (you think to yourself) you don’t have any sins you don’t need any saviour of course and if you have no sins, then you have no need for him and you then can answer for your own sins and then you will try to find some other sort of a god. I was just reading in the wise heathen philosopher Cicero, many people who learn Latin read a bit of Cicero, and he said, “You know that god is being most like god when he is giving you orders and prohibitions.” And so when you’ve got a god like that you’ve got a god whose really doing it the way you would expect god to be. Then I was reading 1 Kings 8, you remember when Solomon dedicated the Temple and this was his prayer. He recognized that God is not some kind of God that we can box in and say get control of, “Will God indeed dwell on earth? Behold heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain Thee. How much less this house that I have built. Yet have regard to the prayer of Thy servant and his supplication O’ Lord my God, harkening to the cry and to the prayer that Thy servant prays before Thee this day. May Thy eyes ever be both night and day toward this house, the PLACE, for which Thou has said, ‘MY NAME SHALL BE THERE’, that Thou mayest harken to the prayer that Thy servant prays toward this place and harken Thou to this supplication of Thy servant and Thy people Israel when they pray toward this place YEA hear Thou in heaven in Thy dwelling place and when Thou hearest FORGIVE.” The best thing that God can do for you, the one that makes ALL the difference is a God who FORGIVES. Not the god who you know he is being god when he’s bossing you about and giving you commands and prohibitions, BUT the One Who forgives your sins. And that’s the One Whose name is Jesus. And when Solomon prayed the prayer of the Temple he acknowledged that the Temple was the place where the Lord (not Solomon or man) put His NAME. Where the LORD PUTS His name, THERE is where the Lord is for you. And you remember in the NT we are told that we are Temples of God. How come you are a Temple of God? Well, HE put his name on you with the water of Baptism His name went on you (God did so via the hands of the pastor). And that’s where He is at, where He puts His name. And when He puts His name on you where your life is going on is where He has put His name and from that name you can draw the resources of all that is in His name for you. Most of all, His name “Jesus”, for He will save His people from their sins.

    End Transcription
  13. Blue Tick

    Blue Tick Puritan Board Graduate

    Very Good.:amen:
  14. Blue Tick

    Blue Tick Puritan Board Graduate

    Very Good.:amen:
  15. No Longer A Libertine

    No Longer A Libertine Puritan Board Senior

    This is the mission of the Emergent Church is it not, to be "seeker" sensitive?

    And so pragmatism is employed ahead of scripture and the non-believer is what the church caters toward as opposed to the believer.

    These are the self made pillars of her neo-confession or anti-confession if you will:

    Highly creative approaches to worship and spiritual reflection. This can involve everything from the use of contemporary music and films through to liturgy or other more ancient customs. ...

    A flexible approach to theology whereby individual differences in belief and morality are accepted within reason.

    A more holistic approach to the role of the church in society. This can mean anything from greater emphasis on fellowship in the structure of the group to a higher degree of emphasis on social action, community building or Christian outreach.

    A desire to reanalyse the Bible against the context into which it was written.

    Undoubtedly well meaning but as that great theologian Randy Travis once said "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
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