Let me make a couple of things clear before I launch into this next story:
1. I actually do believe in the Bible as the inspired word of God, and in the story of our sin and Jesus’ redemption of us by dying and literally coming back to life, and though I don’t believe it can be fully proven, I do think there’s at least as much (even scientifically) to recommend it as there is to recommend any other system of belief or thought, including atheism.
2. I know that there is no way in this universe that blue and red make green.
But here’s the thing. In spite of point one above, I do understand how so many of my friends don’t (or maybe can’t?) see how there might be as much or more to recommend what I consider the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, over and above whatever my friends happen to believe in. Furthermore, I’m not that good at apologetics, and I’m pretty sure that a lot of times, when my friends are either open-mindedly asking or close-mindedly needling me about my faith (it’s reciprocal, by the way), what I’m saying to them sounds something like this:
This morning, before the first of two birthday parties in her honour, TWCN came into the living room. She had, about five minutes before, been insisting that she needed a piece of paper for drawing, so I had found her one. She got her own crayons, but about thirty seconds later she came back to me and now the piece of paper had a faint red line, a faint blue line, and a little green swirly under them.
“Look,” she said. I looked.
“Blue,” she said, pointing to the blue line. I nodded.
“And red,” she said, pointing to the red line. I nodded again, waiting for her to say, “And green!”
But instead she said, “Make green!”
“Oh!” I said. “Really? I thought blue and red make purple.”
“No,” she insisted, turning back to her paper. “See? Blue? And red? Make green!” She put her paper down triumphantly like a fundamentalist proof-texting to his or her own satisfaction, but maybe not that of the one being “witnessed” to, and then went off so Grammie (i.e. Mom–to me), who had arrived with Grandpa the night before, could put sparkly clips into her hair.
Let me say this again. I do not believe that my saying, “Jesus is God. Who died. And came back to life again–literally, physically” is equivalent to saying blue and red make green. But I do really understand how to some people, it pretty much sounds like it.