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How to Evangelize Today

Reaching people who think negatively about Christianity

Brian McLaren pastors inside the beltway at Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland, and is author of the forthcoming book More Ready Than You Realize: Evangelism and Dance in the Postmodern Matrix (Zondervan).

Q: How can we speak evangelistically to people today? Is it different from how we spoke to former generations?

A: Much of our evangelism here in the United States was developed in a context of Christendom, in which just about everybody knew the basic information of Christianity and were favorably disposed to it. Evangelism got people to act on what they already knew and, in a sense, already passively believed. You could call people to commitment relatively quickly. You could also use pretty forceful persuasive techniques. In dealing with postmoderns, you're dealing with people who do not know the basics of Christianity. If anything, they have a negative idea of what Christianity is. So it makes no sense to them if you come on too strong and quickly ask for a commitment. ...

May/June
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