Thursday, January 29, 2009

Evangelism: "come and see"

I just read this excerpt on another blog and it so powerfully spoke to my condition that I had to put it here as well. It's from Bryan Stone's Evangelism after Christendom: The Theology and Practice of Christian Witness:

Christian evangelism, as I will argue throughout this book, is pacifist in every way. The good news is, as Isaiah said, the good news of "peace." But this peace is not only the content and substance of evangelism, it is its very form. Christian evangelism refuses every violent means of converting others to that peace, whether that violence is cultural, military, political, spiritual, or intellectual. Evangelism requires only the peaceable simplicity of an offer and an invitation to "come and see" (John 1:46).

The practice of evangelism, I believe, inescapably counters and disarms the world's powerful practices by unmasking the narratives that sustain them and by offering a story and a people that are peaceful and beautiful. The gospel can, therefore, be good news again in our world. But only if in Christ something new in the world has been made possible and the Holy Spirit present--something both disturbing and inviting, a salvation in the form of a new story, a "new humanity," a new peoplehood.

No comments: