Speaking to a Hostile Audience



We all have areas of special interest, whether animals, astronomy, or airplanes, that God can use as a springboard for evangelism. No matter what the topic, however, you need to be prepared to address people who completely disagree with you—and win them over. Here are some tips from Rick Piatt’s experience speaking before the Zoological Association of America (see earlier article, p. 17).

Be Prepared

If your audience is already inclined to disagree with you, they’re likely to discount your message altogether if you don’t have your facts right.

Be Humble

Don’t approach listeners with a chip on your shoulder. Remember, your goal is not to prove that creationists are just as smart as evolutionists but to point precious human souls to Christ.

Speak in Love

You won’t reach someone who disagrees with you by claiming he’s stupid. Introduce the truth in a nonthreatening way. Your sincere love for others will shape your words and give them much greater impact (see 1 Corinthians 13:1 and Proverbs 15:1–2).

Meet Objections Up Front

If you know some objection may keep your audience from paying close attention, don’t ignore it; acknowledge and answer it. With the objections out of the way, your audience will find it easier to listen to your message.

Obtain Credentials

If professional certifications are available in your field, pursue them. Credentials give you the credibility necessary for some professionals to listen to you instead of scoffing.

Trust the Bible

Trust the Bible even when you can’t fully explain some sticky topics that rub against the grain of our culture or popular science. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know, and take God at His Word. The Bible is true regardless of our ability to explain it scientifically. In fact, it is the other way around. The Bible must be true for science to proceed. If you don’t know an answer, try to find it and contact the person later with the answer or resources on the subject.

Answers Magazine

October – December 2012

God’s Word clearly teaches that the earth is young, and the evidence powerfully confirms it. So don’t miss this issue of Answers, which brings you up to speed on the ten best evidences for a young earth. Also discover incredible new examples of the Creator’s undeniable designs, a biblical view on political activism, the latest findings on the Dead Sea scrolls, and much more!

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