When I met Tushan*, he was a Hindu. Two years later, he's still a Hindu. Frank* was a maintenance foreman and lapsed Catholic when I went to work for a major chemical company in 2003. When I left the company in 2005, a lot had changed. He'd been promoted to shift foreman.
Coming out of seminary, I'd have considered my relationship with these guys to be failures. Two years under my influence and neither had become a believer. But along the way, I've learned a few things about the nature of salvation and about our culture—and about how I analyze my success or failure as an evangelist.
Once upon a time (up to about 1960, to be precise), approximately two-thirds of Americans believed the Bible was the Word of God. And that carried with it quite a few underlying beliefs, like that there is a God, and that Jesus is His Son. There also was a societal belief that church people were good people, and that the church building was the proper place to meet God.
As you may have noticed, a few things ...1