Monday Discussion (Fay: Part 4)
On Thursday of last week, my good friend and fellow blogger, Matt Stephens, made some thoughtful comments on the first post in what has become a four part series on the five questions that start the evangelistic process of Bill Fay. Bill’s book is called Sharing Jesus Without Fear, and I have found it to be life-transformingly helpful over the last ten years. In Matt’s final comment, he points to a very real problem related to our evangelistic efforts in much of the nation. Here’s Matt’s comment:
Unfortunately, the majority of Americans consciously deny the latter [objective truth], along with being overtly hostile to the slightest hint of uninvited proselytization.
Matt is absolutely right on both counts. For many Americans, truth is becoming almost completely relative.
“Truth is that which is true for you, i.e. what works for you, but that doesn’t mean that it has any binding objective reality for me. I don’t have to live according to your truth. I am going to live according to my truth.”
This epistemological quagmire is a definite problem but we cannot let it become an excuse for shirking our privilege to proclaim the gospel to a needy world.
If I am driving down the road and my wife and I look at the gas gauge and see that the needle is approaching empty, my wife will say “Honey, don’t you think we should stop and get gas?” (A question with an implied exhortation.) When she does this, it does me no good to say, “That’s your reality. My reality is that we have enough gas to go another hundred miles. I’m going to ignore your question and deny your reality because I don’t like your implied exhortation that I need to do something at this time that I don’t want to do.”
And this speaks to the second point that Matt makes. It is unquestionably a problem that the average American is “overtly hostile to the slightest hint of uninvited proselytization.” Once again, that is a problem, but we must not let it become an excuse for not proclaiming the gospel.
So let’s ask a different question to begin our Monday discussion: How can we overcome the overt hostility to uninvited preaching of the gospel?