I have a question. Ever since I felt in my heart I was ready to share Jesus, there have been a couple of times I have gotten to evangelize to others in the most unsuspected way. Most I encounter have been in recovery, and or someone close to them has struggled.
There was one in particular, a woman, whom I met while at a bank, that had been sharing with me about her position and asked about my schooling here at the ministry school...so I asked her what she believed....she told me she believed in God and that she was a Christian....but that she didn't believe that Jesus was the Son of God....and she was spiritual but she had picked up the Koran and was reading it....I asked her what made her turned off towards Christianity and why this book and if she read the gospels....I told her how she could find out about Jesus in the Gospels if she was questioning Him. She told me she felt that as Christians there were too many restrictions and rules to be holy and righteous, that she liked how the Koran allowed her to explore her spirituality deeper and that she liked the fact nothing had been added or taken out. I didn't really know what to say to all of that and it was getting really drawn out so I gave her my testimony.
She then opened up to me about her life and how her grandfather had been an alcoholic and that her child's father struggled with Heroin addiction. I encouraged her to hold up the word of God while she was holding up the Koran, I really could tell there may have been some resentment towards church and The Christian faith since she had gone to church when she was younger....I pointed out that if she knew the gospels she would have a clearer understanding of Jesus and that we didn't have to live under law, that that's what Jesus came to die for and then resurrected again so that we may die to our sin under the law. I said that we were all under the law until we believed because we're all sinners, even after I come to belief, I am no better and that God is for us all, because she emphasized that, He desires unity so I wasn't there to dispute her but to encourage her not to completely give up on knowing the truth of Jesus. The process of thinking through her beliefs was just painful, I want to further encourage her and bring her to the Lord, how might I go about doing that?
I think a lot of people who read your post can identify with exactly the struggle you have so clearly articulated. Those who turn away from Jesus' claims to divinity—like the women you mention—are struggling with the very heart and center of the Christian faith. Therefore, in cases such as this, the most powerful thing we can do is to offer penetrating questions directed at the very foundation of their doubts. A good place to begin might be to address the central problem: "If Jesus did not claim to be the Son of God, as the New Testament clearly teaches that he did, then why was he crucified?" Even leading Muslim apologist, Dr. Shabir Ally, admits that Jesus was nailed to a cross. He only avoids admitting his resurrection by claiming he was revived in the cool air of the darkened tomb that Friday eve.
The real challenge here is then to try to come up with some other reason for his execution. Well, it's fascinating to note that to date, no skeptic or atheist Bible scholar has successfully offered any alternative position to Jesus' personal claims to divinity as the cause of his death. In other words, the broader guild of critical scholars agree with the standard, evangelical position here—Jesus claimed he was God and became a martyr to his own testimony. And yet, this is not at all the most tantalizing point. The most tantalizing point at issue is that Jesus claimed his resurrection would prove that his claims were true. In other words, he would rise from the dead—bodily—and this would establish his claims.
Now from the sound of your friend's objections, I doubt that she has ever truly examined the evidence for Jesus' resurrection. In fact, the evidence is so strong that leading atheist Bible scholar, Bart Ehrmen, simply refuses to take an alternative position for the simple reason that none of them work. So what I would recommend you do is to acquaint your friend with the evidence for Jesus' resurrection and then ask her: If Jesus was not God's son, then why did God raise him from the dead as a confirmation to his radical self-claims? Hope that helps! And thanks for your question!
Ben Fischer <><