What the gospel needs most is not intellectual brokers or cultural diplomats but rather saints who have taken up the way of the cross and in whose lives the gospel is visible, palpable, and true. It needs disciples who follow Jesus with or without the support of their culture and for whom the power of the gospel is demonstrated not through winning but through obedience. Evangelism from the margins, then, requires no prior foundations in either human experience or reason that would somehow shore up the relevance, truth, power, or beauty of its gospel. It does, however, require a people that has been made into the temple of God in which the Spirit dwells, built upon the church’s only secure foundation, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:10-17).
Christian evangelism … 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).
This does not mean that there is no apologetic dimension to evangelism-no room for making a case publicly, intellectually, or culturally for Christian faith. The character of Christian evangelism is not only invitation but also summons. It does mean, however, that a Christian apologetics must refuse to consider unbelievers as either barbarian or irrational. It also means that a Christian apologetics may very well rest on an aesthetics more than on an epistemology or a metaphysics, since, in declining every “secure” foundation for belief other than Jesus Christ, evangelism relies from first to last on the beauty of holiness made real in the church by the operation of the Holy Spirit. The very possibility of Christian evangelism, then, is premised wholly upon the faithfulness of the Spirit’s witness in our lives rather than our own ability to calculate and predict how our obedience might translate into effectiveness.
-Bryan Stone, Evangelism After Christendom
Image Credit: Space Abstract