On the first day I started my career as an insurance underwriter, I had to learn about a variety of insurance products, and I had to learn about the companies I was competing against. I had to understand what we sold and how it compared to the competition if I was going to start out on the right foot.
Entering the public square is kind of like that. We have to understand the world around us. We need to know our own worldview, but we also need to understand the other players in the marketplace of ideas. How are we supposed to have conversations and dialogues in the public square if we aren’t informed about what other people believe?
I understand that it may seem inappropriate to consider the presentation of the Christian worldview as a competition. However, look at the book of Acts. When the apostle Paul was speaking to audiences around the Mediterranean, he was out to be persuasive. He wanted to show people why it was better to follow Jesus Christ. He wanted to show people how their worldviews were insufficient ways to explain the world.
In that sense then, we do need to think about our competition in the marketplace of ideas.
Think about it this way. If Christianity is true, then believing in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is of the utmost importance. Because it is so important, we believe that it matters whether or not people have made that commitment.
Obviously, God is the one who is going to convict people of their need for a Savior, but He also uses people like you and me to help communicate with other people. Therefore, it is our job to share with other people, and we need to understand that other worldviews are alluring.
It is a competition for hearts and minds. It is our job to be persuasive. It is our job to be winsome.
However, with that in mind, we need to remember one very important detail.
God has commanded us to interact in the marketplace of ideas. We are called to enter the public square and make disciples. We’re going to meet other worldviews, so we need to be prepared for that resistance and that competition even though we know we are ultimately on the winning team.