August 28, 2007

Last night I participated in a debate with a street preacher about whether or not his style of evangelism (which he calls "confrontational evangelism") is effective or appropriate. I argued that his style was not only ineffective as it drives people away from God, but also inappropriate as it is not loving. The debate was sparked because I critiqued this and other street preachers in my book, For God's Sake, Shut Up!. There were about 200 people there, most of whom were college students. I thought it went very well and am glad that I agreed to it. Not only was I able to provide a more positive presentation of Christianity for the students, but I also was able to encourage many of the Christian students who do not like the street preacher approach. A local newspaper had an article about it today and other reports of it will likely come out in other outlets. Hopefully, these accounts will provide a loving version of Christianity to those who have only known the street preacher method and will encourage Christians to seriously think about the impact of our words.