Our Perception of Reality is Distorted
Our perception of reality is distorted. We do not perceive the sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise. The serpent cast illusions that distort our perception of reality. Therefore, shatter the illusions with the sledgehammer of truth as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. The truth is the fuel of our rationality. When fueled by the truth, our rationality steers us in the right direction. When the fuel of truth is fouled by a lie, our rationality leads us astray (John 8:44).
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
Only the premises persuade. Conclusions do not. A conclusion derives its strength from its foundation. A weak foundation begets a weak conclusion; a strong foundation begets a strong conclusion; no foundation begets no conclusion.
The right questions help us to make the jump from premise to conclusion.
To get the answer right, it behooves us to first understand the role that an answer plays in the fundamental unit of thinking, the troika of question, answer and basis. John Donne teaches us that "No man is an island entire of itself". Neither is an answer. An answer is not a solitary creature. It is never alone. Its boon companion is its basis. A question, an answer and its basis dance together as a team in the ballroom of our rationality to give our world meaning. An answer derives its strength from its basis. A weak basis begets a weak answer; a strong basis begets a strong answer; a wishy-washy basis begets a wishy-washy answer. The best answer is the answer with the best basis. The quest for the best answer to a question is, therefore, the quest for the best basis.
When we dig up the answer to the question, 'Who is God?'', for ourselves, we value the answer more than when someone else digs up the answer for us and hands it to us. When we don’t arrive at a conclusion on our own for ourselves, it does not belong to us. It is someone else’s property. When an outsider tries to ram a conclusion down our throats against our wills by dint of omnipotence, we regurgitate it. We reject it because it isn’t ours. Only when we arrive at the conclusion for ourselves do we own it. We cherish our own property.; not so much, somebody else’s. In short, the strength with which we grip a conclusion depends on 1) the strength of premise on which it rests and 2) whether we ourselves make the jump from premise to conclusion by the exercise of our own rationality. The premise and the jump are the key factors in becoming the owner of a conclusion - in becoming the owner of the answer to the question, 'Who is God?''. Therefore, when you evangelize, point out the location of the premise and help them make the jump to the conclusion by asking the right questions. Nothing else works.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE TRUTH ITSELF IS THE MOST POWERFUL MEANS OF PERSUASION. God, understanding the art of persuasion, applies both the sour truth and the sweet truth to our rationality to persuade us.
Persuasion by coercion does not work.
The Valley of Tears is auto didactic. By letting us put our fingers in the flame, we learn for ourselves that the fire is hot. The heat of the fire teaches us not to put our fingers back into the flames.
On what basis does your answer to the question, 'Who is God?, rest? What is the foundation? Our faith in God derives its strength from its foundation. A weak foundation begets a weak faith; a strong foundation begets a strong faith; no foundation begets no faith. What is the rock on which the wise build their faith in God? What is the sand (Matthew 7:24-27)?