When I describe Doubt on Tap to my friends who are Christians they have a couple of standard objections. The first is often about the beer. The second is about how do we “bring the truth to the pagans” that come?
First, it’s not about the beer. Do we have a beer or two with our conversations? Yes. But it’s not about the beer. We hold our conversations in a pub because it provides a neutral ground for people. Pubs, especially the Corner, are places where you can come and sit around a table and talk. You can do this at a coffee shop or cafe too. We have just found that the best context for what we are doing is the pub. Often times people attend and don’t drink. And get this, nobody cares. This isn’t high school any more. The “cool kids” are not pressuring you into drinking. It’s not about the beer, it’s about the conversation.
The second question is more important. “How do we bring the truth to the pagans?” My first thought is that I recoil and get defensive because the folks that come are my friends. One or two may self-identify as “pagan” but that’s not my perception. They are people who I care about, deeply. Actually, it makes me angry when we attach a label to the people around the table. We continue to find that there very few of our assumptions are accurate and that most are based on caricatures that are media created.
However, the follower of Jesus is concerned about people hearing and knowing the truth. So the question is legitimate and needs an answer. When you’re convinced that the Jesus narrative is true then you do not need to convince people of it. I find that it’s similar to the person with the Porsche at the stop light next to the person with the Taurus. The guy in the Taurus wants to beat the Porsche off the line. He is focused, ready, and when the light turns he punches it! He wins! The Porsche driver gently leaves the line knowing exactly what is under the hood and has no need to prove anything. I am so convinced that the truth of the Gospel is so beautiful that when people see it inhabited in front of them they will be inexplicably drawn to it. Does this mean that I ascribe to the “always preaching, use words only when necessary” concept? No. But it means that at the table I don’t need to “sell” my position. I trust in it.
I am comfortable making positive statements about the gospel without feeling the necessity to “argue for it”. Comparing and contrasting the different points of view around the table happens as a natural part of the conversation. They are evaluated and discussed. I am confident that the biblical position stands on its own and needs little help from me.
The other thing is that following our conversations I will write them up and give my perspective clearly in writing. This allows for reflection on the conversation by everyone. It always provides a platform for further discussion. These follow up conversations happen over the next week at the coffee shop and cubicles.
Finally, I am confident in the sovereign grace of God. He is at work, about that there is no doubt.
Read about how to practically do your own Doubt on Tap here.
This was originally posted at Pastor Dan’s blog, The Subversive Journey.