Starting Apologetic Conversations Without Sounding Confrontational

  • Recently a young man asked me, “How do I share my faith with someone who disagrees with me without sounding confrontational?” The following tips will help you open doors to productive apologetic conversations.
  • Begin the conversation with a question such as, “I’m interested in what you believe about (insert topic). Would you mind telling me more about your views on this?”
  • If they’re willing to do so, listen respectfully to your discussion partner and acknowledge your appreciation for their openness in sharing with you.
  • Next, politely note that you recognized some differences between their beliefs and yours. For example, “I found it interesting that you said you believe (insert topic). That’s a different perspective on this issue from what I hold.”
  • At this point your conversation partner may ask you to share more about your beliefs with them. If so, go for it. However, it they don’t, you might say something like, “Isn’t it interesting how we can both believe something about (insert topic) to be true, yet at the same time have such different perspectives?”
  • Having introduced this logical tension, you can follow up with, “You know, with our respective beliefs on this issue being so different, we can’t both be right.”
  • Now you have a great opportunity to take your conversation to the next level apologetically, try saying something like, “Personally, I don’t want to believe something that isn’t true. Maybe we should explore this topic more together?  Would you be open to discussing our respective beliefs further with me and examining why we each believe what we believe?”
  • Hopefully your conversation partner will be open to your proposal. However, even if they’re not, at the very least you’ve planted a seed that might compel them to think more about what they believe and why.
  • Notice, throughout this whole process you’ve been able to direct the conversation respectfully and without sounding confrontational. By engaging in apologetic conversations in this manner you can earn people’s trust and hopefully more opportunities to share with them in the future.

For more helpful witnessing tips, please check out the book, Apologetics For A New Generation, available in our online store.