Guest / Limited Access /

Discussion Starter: An Illinois circuit court recently ruled that a Baptist group could legally distribute anti-Catholic leaflets at a Catholic festival. Meanwhile the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said that it was unconstitutional to restrict passing out Christian tracts at the Arab International Festival in Dearborn, Michigan. So now that such festival evangelism is legal, the question is: Is it effective?

"The practice of proselytizing in public is as old as the New Testament. Jesus preached at public gatherings during feast times, and Paul preached openly in the marketplaces. So there seems to be a very old precedent for this kind of activity. Furthermore, Paul recognized that some preached Christ with good motives and some with bad; nevertheless, he was pleased Christ was preached at all. Perhaps here the question becomes more complex and must be considered along two different lines at least. The fact that people can preach Christ in an unsavory way would require that those participating in marketplace evangelism monitor themselves to prevent abuses. Plato noted in The Laws that 'an abuse does not nullify a proper use.' If we judged any segment of society by its worst examples, who could stand? Nevertheless, to legislate against the bad uses in a way that prevents valid uses is itself an abuse."

"Most Muslims and most people, the statistics show, come to the Lord through a process of God dealing with them over a period of time. Very seldom does anybody do the classic 'somebody's a non-Christian who has never heard the gospel and you give them a tract, they read it, and at the end get saved.' That's very rare. But if you use the tract to open up a conversation with someone, you can find out their felt needs; you can meet ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedWhy Muslims Are Becoming the Best Evangelists
Why Muslims Are Becoming the Best Evangelists
Missiologist Dave Garrison documents global surge in Muslims leading Muslims to Christ. He calls it, “Unprecedented.”
TrendingFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Editor's PickYou Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
You Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
It's not a travel guide. And Colton Burpo isn't the first Christian to have an ecstatic experience.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisAugust August

In the Magazine

August 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.