Gospel Conversations in a Hispanic Setting
DATE POSTED: 05/24/2018  |     |   Category: Shoulder to Shoulder

Gospel Conversations in a Hispanic Setting

Dr. Daniel Sanchez, Distinguished Professor of Missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, shares in his book, Sharing The Good News With Roman Catholic Friends, a personal story of how he once won a Biblical argument but lost a relationship. This has happened to many of us, but I think it bears reviewing when it comes to gospel conversations with our Hispanic friends and neighbors.

Dr. Sanchez was asked the question, “What do you Evangelicals believe about the Virgin Mary?” He clearly and precisely shared the differences between biblical evidence and Roman Catholic tradition concerning Mary, and the person he was conversing with had no arguments to counter with. However, that person never returned to his Bible study.

Dr. Sanchez believes he made five strategic mistakes that day.

  1. He passed judgement, believing this person knowingly embraced a non-biblical position and way of worship.
  2. He was impatient, trying to explain several biblical doctrines at once instead of waiting on the Holy Spirit to work in the person’s heart.
  3. He focused on the person’s religious affiliation, believing that a biblical answer to doctrinal error would convince them to be open to the gospel.
  4. He was insensitive to this person’s emotional and intellectual unpreparedness to handle the biblical evidence concerning Mary’s other children, instead of using their dialogue to guide this person to the saving presence of Jesus Christ.
  5. He failed to recognize the difference between an initial gospel conversation and the progressive discipleship development of a new Christian after salvation.

Using the Bible story of the woman at the well, Dr. Sanchez then balances his personal failure with five steps he believes Jesus took in His gospel conversation with this woman, and I will draw my application after each of these.

  1. Jesus cultivated a friendship. I need to leave my comfort zone and engage Hispanics where they live life.
  2. Jesus created an interest in spiritual truth. I should use common every-day situations to create interest in gospel conversations.
  3. Jesus understood her spiritual situation. I need to understand where my friend is in regard to his personal beliefs and practice concerning Christ.
  4. Jesus concentrated his dialogue on the essential aspects of salvation and side-stepped differences between religions. I must guide initial conversations on religious differences and filter them down to an individual and personal response to Christ and His Word.
  5. Jesus communicated the gospel progressively, helping the woman move from calling Him a Jew, then Sir, then Prophet, and finally Messiah. I will invest myself into however many conversations are necessary to help my friend take the same steps, under the Holy Spirit’s leadership.

If you are interested in this book, it is published by ChurchStarting.net and is available in English or in Spanish (Comparta las Buenas Nuevas Con Sus Amigos, Católico Romanos).


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