Category Archives: Radical 'Evangelism'

Forgot Where I Was

34895506

Remembering takes a lot of imagination.

In the book Stumbling on Happiness, author Daniel Gilbert talks about how science is showing that memory is not a video that we play back, but that it is constructed with parts that we know or believe to be true already.  To demonstrate Gilbert describes a scenario where a person approaches a stranger to ask for directions.  During their conversation two people pass between them carrying a large wooden door.  Unknown to the stranger the person asking for directions is changed to someone else who has made no effort to look like the first.  The conversation continues as if nothing has happened.

If it is difficult for our brains to hold information that describes a person in a brief encounter like this one, it may be that our memory for details of our own past are not as sharp as we believe it to be.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Ambivalent Balance

233228813_ae74d9ec1d_b

Change is ubiquitous.  As the old saying goes: “The only constant is change.”

Part of change often means making a decision to change.  It is not untrue that many of us actually live in a place where we are precariously tethered between to possible choices in many areas of life whether it is a moral decision, a lifestyle change, a health concern, or a spiritual matter.  We may be grounded on some but the trepid balance continues as we decide which direction we are going to land.

Continue reading


Part of the Conversation

It is nice to know that there are other people thinking about different ways to address evangelism and relationships within our world and culture. 

In particular, this post from Neue talks about older versions of evangelism and recognizing that it did work, though not vigorously.   The article sets up the conflict between schools of thought that favor speaking or acting as the proper and most effective methods for evangelism.

As I have previously discussed in my post on “Diverse Social Commitment,” the conclusion is that the closer relationships in which the writer was already engaged were neglected due to his involvement in the evangelism group.   To make the point clearer, it was in the friendships with people he had already established where he had the highest potential for influence.

Continue reading


Mailbag

Mailbox 3

Dear Aaron,

Many people I know and love have a quite rigid and narrow perspective on the world, yet call themselves Christians.  For instance, they seem to be very opinionated in regards to politics.  They believe Obama is a communist, Muslim terrorist who was not born in American and is bent on destroying the world.  I don’t see how they would ever want to be Christians, when they hear the other people — the ones that have committed their lives to Christ — sharing hatred rather than respect and compassion.  I mean Jesus teaches us to love our enemies, but this attitude is not at all what I understand to be consistent with people who are followers of Jesus.  I’m not sure how to handle this situation.  It’s very discouraging.

I am certainly not trying to get people to become Democrats or change their political views, but rather to share respectful and factual undertanding of our world.  How can I talk to these people and point out to them that their hateful attitudes are not very Christ-like and that they are actually damaging people in the process?  How do I correct their information so that they can base their opinions on the facts?  How can I influence them in a way that can be respectful, so I do not offend and get drawn into a power struggle?

Thank you in advance.

Continue reading


God’s Beautiful Mystery

19163376 

Count it a joy and a privilege that we are called by God to do the divine work in our world.  Yet, God can do that work without our help.  If our faith is really something worth defending and pursuing we must believe that it is also a belief that can defend itself and that God will ensure that it will never die.

Previously I wrote that God is responsible for the changed heart, and that our duty is to honor God by tending to our divine purpose as people of God.  In Romans 11 and 12 Paul challenges us to honor God by becoming “living sacrifices” which does not mean being accomplished, but being useful to God and laying down our own will.  We cannot take the credit for something that we do as we sacrifice ourselves.

Continue reading