I do want this book to be a bridge to faith conversations, but not a tract with use of Christian words that are triggers for some people.
I find that Christians are rarely talking at all about faith, outside of our already Christian friends. Can I help encourage more dialogue by encouraging people to share this book?
I grew up an evangelical Christian. In this tradition of faith, we have promoted evangelism like this: try to "close the deal" in our faith conversations with always inviting the person to a prayer of repentance.
I believe some people (if not most people) need to be invited to start seeking God, and as they open their heart, they let the Holy Spirit woo them to his Truth. Everyone is on a continuum where they are about who God is, whether Jesus is Divine, or anything that the Bible teaches about the Triune God.
My hope with this book building bridges is that it will help move people closer to knowing and experiencing God. That once you've shared it, and opened that door, you can hopefully have deeper conversations that may offer you the privilege of praying with your friend to realize the fullness of what Christ did for us. And our need "repent and surrender" in order to truly experience what he offers us in relationship with him.
With this book, in regards to those who are not following Jesus, I want to invite people to hear others' perspectives who have a relationship with God. If this stirs up a desire to know more, there is an invitation in "How about You?" to pursue answers to questions about faith at everyperson.com (which is a website with articles and clear presentation on how to have a relationship with God).
We need to build more bridges.
Yesterday one of the friends in Team59 wrote that in order for her to want to promote the book, she wanted me to include a better explanation of atonement for sin in the introduction. I have had two others give feedback the other direction: As it is, Experience God "used language that was inaccessible or caused offense."
One was this: The person he prayerfully gave it to was offended and didn't want to have a chat about it.
Another friend said, that she knew that it wasn't the right thing to give a woman she spends weekly time with. The book had too MUCH Christianese to lead to a positive conversation about faith with this woman (I was trying not to use ANY "Christianese!").
So, this is the experiment of Team59: Does this booklet work as a bridge to conversations about faith with friends who are not currently followers of Jesus.
I encourage you to share it with someone who is not following Jesus (but not against following Jesus!!) Will this work as a bridge to deeper conversations about faith with our friends who don't yet follow Jesus? If it does, then we can include that in the promotion of the book when it is published.
I write this post to share my reasoning for why the book is what it is (not a tract inviting a person to follow Jesus and how to do that), and how I am wrestling with the competing feedback!