Tag Archives: evangelistic witness

Telling Stories

“Flasher evangelism.” That’s what Bowen calls those abrupt spiritual conversations with a stranger on the street that mark certain evangelistic methods. (See his book “Evangelism for Normal People.”) Relying on a Margaret Atwood short story, Bowen exposes the way others often perceive our attempts at evangelism as “disgusting,”  if not abusive because of our attempts to suddenly access a deep level of personal intimacy with someone we’ve never met.  Admittedly, I’ve gone there before.

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More Than Our Need to Be Right

James 1:19-20 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

It was one of those extended arguments that we couldn’t let go of. We had only been married for a couple years and it seemed like every conversation we had over that particular three or four day stretch would result in one of us choosing sides against the other. One of us would see the bright side of the cloud, the other would point out the grey. One of us would want the window open, the other would walk past and close it. Yes, it got that ridiculous. The tension permeated everything. Though I no longer remember what we were really fighting about, I can still recall that sense of anger and disbelief and frustration and self-righteousness mingled together.  Continue reading

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“Who are you eating with on Friday night?”

Abandoning the industrialized approach to discipleship and embracing an organic approach to discipleship that Bryce Ashlin-Mayo is calling for (see yesterday’s post) is not an easy transition to make, if for no other reason than we are a people who like numbers.

We are convinced that to make something count it needs to be counted, particularly financial numbers. We look for them in our entertainment industry. Nowadays, the quality of a movie is often simply depicted in terms of how much money it grosses in its first three day weekend. The content is secondary to the perceived popularity determined by how many millions of dollars the movie grosses. We watch numbers with our celebrities: who was the highest paid actress last year? How many downloads has an artists new video or song had? Where does a person rank on the list of the world’s richest people? Our economy, likewise, is healthy or not based largely on the number of job losses or gains in a given month. We constantly poll the popularity of government leaders and of government itself, determining whether they’ve done their job based on whether the people answering their phones have a favorable impression of our politicians – an impression that is shaped primarily by the most recent sound bites the media, spammed email, or a boisterous talk show host has fed them. The quality of their work is understood by popularity polls. Continue reading

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More than a mutual sharing of good gifts

Brian McLaren offered a blog post last week in which he shared his response to a question from a Hindu friend regarding the place of proselytism in a multi-faith world. His post has been running in the back of my thoughts for a couple days now.

McLaren suggested that there is a difference between proselytism and evangelism. Proselytism is where some “actively recruit people from other religions to defect from those religions and join their own.” Evangelism, with its missional character is concerned with the common good and, in it’s original sense (distinguished in his post from “the traditional sense of demanding conversion with the threat of eternal damnation”), occurs as “each religion is encouraged to bring its good news – its message about the common good, its transferable wisdom, its treasures to be shared.” Continue reading

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