Talking with LiberalsTalking with Liberals
–Fostering Helpful Evangelistic Conversations–
Paul J. Bucknell


Background | What do you say? | Love for God | Running on Empty | An Open Mind
This is the last of a five part series.

An Open Mind?

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." (Matthew 7:13, 14).

The liberal loves to think that they have an open mind. They say that there are many ways to heaven and are convinced, so it seems, that they are more compassionate than God The liberal with his supposed open-mindedness actually runs into a dead end.Himself. They disdain any reference to Jesus or others speaking about God’s judgment or hell. I am not so sure that one should approach the liberal by attacking their profession of an open mind, but at certain points when one can not be too personal, it might stir the liberal up a bit to get his mind going.

Mohler makes a great observation along this line.

'Virtually every form of theological liberalism arises from an attempt to rescue Christian theology from what is perceived to be an intellectual embarrassment — whether the virgin conception of Christ, the historicity of the miracles recorded in the Bible, or, in our immediate context, the inerrancy of Scripture and the Bible’s account of creation."

I am confident that liberals are, perhaps, more closed-minded than we! Be careful how you state this. They will vehemently deny this because being close-minded is a sin of life. They are not sinners. They are convinced that we, the evangelicals or right wingers, are the sinners because we are closed-minded.

Conservatives can be much more open-minded than liberals. This might sound preposterous, but on the whole it is true. Eternal life opens up to a wide life even though it has a narrow entrance.The liberals are bound to their assumptions. Growing conservatives, however, have an endless life of exploration.

We may admit that many conservatives who have not focused on Christ but other things have bound themselves to a set or cultural expressions or certain dogma. When this is done, they too will bind themselves.

The true conservative finds ultimate freedom in the deepening commitment to the great and awesome God through Christ. This becomes an ongoing journey that always goes through valleys of humility but also great fields of love. So we might be focused but this is not narrowness for this leads to an eternal path. All other roads end in destruction. No joy. No love. They only have their pride in their beliefs.

On the one hand, we have lived both lives. I once was not a Christian but now am. I have experienced both lives and beliefs while they only have lived one. On the other hand, we openly recognize that we use the scriptures to shape our approach to understanding and living in the world. It depends a bit on how one defines close-mindedness, but I see that we are very able to think about things quite broadly because we have begun to understand God’s viewpoint from the scriptures.
Whenever I talk with liberals, they are clearly not open to discussing two things:
    1. 1) The possibility of what they believe to be wrong or
    2. 2) The basis upon which they strongly believe these things.
They might discuss them, but what I mean is that they are not open to fair discussion. It seems to be ironic that what they profess so strongly is something that they so clearly transgress. They do not believe they are wrong. They are very prideful of their own beliefs. This is not the worse thing. After all, they are at least being consistent. But in fact, we can point out that the charge against what we conservatives believe is inconsistent with their so-called open mind.
So what are we trying to do? We are showing that their approach is inconsistently being applied to the beliefs of others (ours for example).
I am open to everything that I believe! - the LiberalWhy is it that they are so sure that God is not angry over our sin and will judge us? We have plenty of evidence around us that judgments on a smaller scale than suggested in the final judgment occur. It is not new or novel. But how can they be so sure that they are right?
They might get upset with you even daring that God is other than they suggest, but it might be a good way to tackle their pride. If they are at all in agreement of their closed-mindedness, one can venture on and discuss on what basis they can be so sure of their viewpoint. Now remember, they typically don’t believe miracles happen (there are various assortments of liberals). Can they be so sure that there is no such thing as a miracle? I have experienced true miracles in my life.  I or you can share what God is doing today. Share what you know but don’t speculate. How will they be able to explain it?
If they can see their closed mind, perhaps they will be able to see that their perspective is not necessarily right. They might soften just a bit from their hard dogmatic stance.
The real closed-minded person is the liberal who chains himself to his narrow assumptions.
Of course, we should not forget that this does not mean that they will easily accept our viewpoint. They need God to work in their hearts. Never give up. God saved Saul; He can save the most antagonistic people that we know because they, like we, are so desperately sinful without God’s touch of grace. But we need to pray. We need to seek the Lord on their behalf.
Go through the door that will most likely produce a genuine understanding. Go through the door of love. Live out Christ’s life and talk about it. His love shines far brighter than anything we see on earth. Maybe the words of a song will apply to their lives, “They will know that we are Christians by our love.”
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:7, 8).


Background | What do you say? | Love for God | Running on Empty | An Open Mind
This is the first of a five part series, "Talking with Liberals."

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Counterfeit Faith: A study of humanistic faith

Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell

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