And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2CO 4:3-4 ESV)
It is easy to get angry and frustrated at those who don’t believe our message (the gospel). But this verse teaches us that there are other forces at work. The god of this world seeks to snatching the Word before it can take root. It is a spiritual battle being fought. The god of this world blinds the mind of unbelievers by giving them something else to believe at such a fundamental level that the truths we teach from the gospel are immediately rejected because they are incompatible with the presumed truth of the listener. Keller calls these “defeated beliefs”. Every culture has them.
Our culture, for example, assumes that since there are so many religions, no single one can he right. Or, because there is so Mich evil and suffering on the world, there cannot be a good and powerful God. The defeated beliefs must themselves be dismantled before the gospel can gain a hearing. Learning these is part of what it means to be incarnational and do the hard work of entering into someone else’s point of view. This is going behind enemy lines. It is not easy work. And yet, this is our calling. It is what Jesus did for us and modeled for us.