The human epic is stained by guilt, shame and regret. Even if some deny the reality of God, they cannot functionally deny the existence of guilt.
People can try to discard it as a social construct, or repress it through medication, but there is a proven track record that emancipation from guilt can’t be obtained through human efforts. When we share the gospel with skeptics, we speak to their innate knowledge of God and their deep understanding of their moral guilt. But we must remember that guilt is only a symptom. Sin and separation from God are the true problems. And grace is the only antidote.
This is why evangelism with skeptics should begin and end with a simple presentation of the gospel, and this is why the Christian apologist need not water down the gospel in order to gain a hearing. Why concede the only truth powerful enough to change hearts?
This doesn’t mean the apologist should avoid responding to questions or offering arguments that force the atheist to reconsider his or her own objections. But it does mean that the apologist can never improve on Jesus’ assertion, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6).
For all of your logic and all of your evidences, never abdicate your responsibility to share the good news. Our arguments cannot, in and of themselves, save anyone. Only Jesus can.
The content is taken from chapter nine of the SBTS Field Guide to Evangelism available in print or as an eBook here.