Sparking a Genuine Interest in Jesus

During my recent travels in Spain and Cyprus, I had the privilege of interacting with Christian media leaders across Eastern Europe and the Middle East. One particular encounter stood out, when a media producer shared some intriguing research he had conducted with European audiences. This research, I believe, holds the key to understanding the current state of Christianity in our culture.

He said that based on conversations with nonbelievers, he discovered they hadn’t rejected Jesus; they just didn’t care about Jesus.

Certainly, since the Enlightenment, the West, in particular, has rejected claims about Christianity. For hundreds of years, people have actively attempted to disprove the Bible and reject the divinity of Jesus. That effort has dramatically changed the culture for the worse, in my opinion.

However, the landscape has shifted. We now find ourselves in a culture where the active rejection of Jesus is no longer necessary, as it’s already the prevailing assumption. It permeates our very atmosphere. The efforts of the “new atheists” like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have only served to solidify this shift.

As a result, today’s culture doesn’t care about God at all.

Think about that for a minute. They’re not actively rejecting Jesus; they don’t care. And if you think about most of your nonbelieving friends, they would probably agree.

This revelation should prompt a complete reevaluation of our approach to engaging this culture with Christian ideas. It’s not about defending the faith anymore; it’s about sparking a genuine interest in it.

1. If they don’t care, they won’t listen—not necessarily because they disagree, but because they don’t care.

2. If they don’t care, we need to stop defending the faith and give them a reason to care. Because if they don’t care, doctrine won’t make a difference. That doesn’t discount the importance of correct doctrine, but it’s not a factor for someone who doesn’t care.

The question we should all be asking is What would make a typical person today care about the life and message of Jesus?

I’d love to hear your thoughts because figuring that out should completely shift our thinking about evangelism, missions and engaging the culture.

It’s not the question of whether Christianity is right or wrong anymore. It’s the question of getting today’s culture to care about it. 

Because if they don’t care, they’ll never listen to begin with.

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This article originally appeared on and is reposted here by permission.

Phil Cooke
Phil Cooke

Phil Cooke is a filmmaker, media consultant and founder of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles, California. His latest book is Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking. Find out more at