Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Tweets for the Streets



I saw this article retweeted by a friend, Phil, today and thought it was ingenious.  It is written by a man called Andrew Wilson on the New Frontiers Theology blog (original post). Some really good and intriguing answers too.  What do you think to them?  Do you have any questions or any better answers (in 140 characters or less, of course!)?

Lots of people go out on the streets at this time of year, to talk to people about Jesus, the gospel and the meaning of Christmas. When those conversations happen, we often encounter questions or comments which sound simple – ‘Who made God?’ or ‘Why does God allow suffering?’ or ‘Science has disproved God’ – but to which simple, pithy answers may not come easily. Lengthy analytical responses, or book recommendations, or even blog-length answers, are not what you need at times like that. You sometimes need a quick, simple response, whether in the form of a question or a statement, which summarises your position and helps the conversation move on. My friend Simon Holley was talking to me about this recently, and he said it would be really useful to have a list of tweet-length answers to common questions like this. Tweets for the streets, if you will. 

So here’s twelve to get you started (the first is from J John), and I’d ask readers to log in and add their own suggestions, both of questions and responses, in the comments below. The only rule is: no more than 140 characters are allowed! 
“Have you seen God?”
I would have seen God, if I’d lived at the right time. Have you seen Queen Victoria? 
“Who made God?”
God, by definition, is eternal. So asking “how did God get made?” is like saying “how do squares become circles?” 
“Religion causes wars.”
I think people cause wars - for religion, land, food, empire, etc. But Christianity is about a man who sacrificed himself for his enemies. 
“All religions lead to God.”
How do you know? Some religions sacrifice children to the gods; others (like Christianity) find it appalling. They can’t all be right! 
“Why does God allow suffering?”
God hates suffering. All suffering comes from either sin or death - and the good news is that in Jesus, God has, and will, overcome both. 
“You can’t prove God.”
Scientifically, no (but then I can’t scientifically prove that I love my wife, either). But we can conclude he is likely, based on evidence. 
“There’s no evidence for God.”
Actually, there’s lots - but for starters, have you ever looked into the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus? 
“Science has disproved God.”
That’s like saying that the discovery of hormones has disproved the existence of love. Science is the how and when; God is the who and why. 
“Miracles are impossible.”
Says who? The most we can say is that they don’t normally happen - but then we all know that. If God is possible, miracles are too. 
“Evolution has disproved God.”
Really? Most of the world’s leading evolutionists don’t think so, and lots of Christians believe in evolution. Why is that a problem? 
“God sending people to hell is unloving and unfair.”
Hell means: if you want to be without God, forever, then that’s exactly what you get. What could be fairer than that? 
“Why doesn’t God heal amputees?”
So: if I could find you someone who didn’t have a body part, was prayed for, and was instantly healed, would you follow Jesus? 
This is a very 20-30something, white, British list (since Simon and I are both 30something, white, British men!) But since we have 500 pageviews every day here, and we’re followed in 94 different countries, there should be plenty of examples of good questions, and good responses, amongst our readers! Please share your best ones…