On June 28th, I wrote a post titled defending the faith – should we? Sarah left this comment,
I recently listen to a GREAT podcast sermon on this topic exactly. If you have 40 minutes, it is worth a listen. http://trinitygracechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Trinity-Grace-Chelsea-3-August-08.mp3
I didn`t have 40 minutes to spare but thought I should quickly check out the link before approving the comment. Well, 40 minutes later my work was still undone but I had listened to the entire broadcast. It was, indeed, well worth a listen. Thanks, Sarah!
My original post questioned aggressive proselytizing and defense of the faith. The podcast addresses this issue within the evangelical world. Here is a brief summary….
Too often, evangelization focuses first on critiquing the world. It then moves on to presenting and vigorously debating the Christian message as the answer. This method overvalues the human role in conversion, and undervalues the work of the Holy Spirit. The methods of St. Paul are studied for possible solutions. Paul spent most of his time focused on existing communities – praying with them, encouraging them, energizing them. As these communities grew in faith, their way of life became a thing of beauty. Faith lived in the fullness of beauty will draw others. We want want they have! Yes, Paul also preached the gospel to all and participated in lively discourse with those of other religions. If the message was believed and embraced – praise God! But if there was no receptivity, he simply moved on. He did not spend his energies on critiquing and arguing until the gospel was accepted. Preaching hell-fire and brimstone, judging and criticizing seldom move hearts.
I`m not sure who the speaker is in this podcast, but he presents a well reasoned and rational approach to evangelization. The podcast is from Trinity Grace Church in New York. Sarah is from Siren Magazine, an online magazine covering `community, home, faith, fashion, and culture from a progressive Christian worldview.`