An apologist and Christian author says you can no longer "logic" the younger generations to a belief in Christ; "story" is the heart language of Gen X and beyond.
Joshua Chatraw says apologetics can quickly become a monologue rather than a dialogue, but when people are asked about their stories, they reveal their values, their aspirations, and their sense of what they believe makes for a good life. Alex McFarland of "Exploring the Word" on American Family Radio has seen the shift as well.
"It was really with the advent of Gen X that we began to hear about conversational evangelism and lifestyle evangelism, and it was less about communicating rhetorical content and more about emotion and feeling," he says.
But apologetics and evangelism still need to be rooted in scripture.
"I believe in story and arresting people's attention with relatable, even emotionally-moving anecdotes, we must include the scripture," McFarland submits. "While God has promised to bless his Word, he's not necessarily promised to bless even a well-crafted argument or a gripping story."
McFarland adds that the Bible being a book full of stories is a good thing. And while one's stories can be helpful in relating to a lost relative or neighbor, there is something different about the stories in the Bible.
"What gives the scriptural stories their power is the fact that they originated from God, and we have the promise that they'll be blessed by the Spirit of God," the apologist insists.
Reliance on story is not the last change to apologetics and witnessing, as Millennials and children born today will need a gospel with feet.
"Churches are going to have to have food pantries and clothes closets and meet human need to earn the right to be heard," McFarland concludes.