Wisdom in Evangelism
by Ryan Pauly
I recently had the opportunity to attend the AMP Conference here in Southern California hosted by Reasons to Believe. It was a wonderful weekend with presentations from Jeff Vines, Sarah Sumner, Sean McDowell, J. Warner Wallace, Fazale Rana, Hugh Ross, Mary Jo Sharp, Abdu Murray, John Njoroge, and Mark Mittelberg. Each of the speakers approached the weekend’s theme from a unique way with topics including: conversations that count, intolerance, the science of Genesis, the problem of evil, Islam, and reaching people in a secular world.
The thing that immediately caught my attention was that the speakers were preparing the audience to have wisdom in evangelism, yet they were teaching apologetics. It is the same reason that J. Warner Wallace says, “In this day and age, evangelism is spelled A-P-O-L-O-G-E-T-I-C-S.” Our culture is at a point where we have to take a different tactic in the way we approach evangelism. People are being exposed to different religions today like never before, and this is causing people to ask questions. I was talking to my dad over the weekend and I asked him how much he knew about other religions while growing up. He grew up in a very small town where everyone he spent time with went to the same church and the same school. He said that he grew up in a bubble where he wasn’t exposed to other world religions and different belief systems. There was no reason to question his beliefs.
As much as we want to protect the youth today and keep them in a bubble as long as we can, it has become an impossible task. Young people are being exposed to materialistic philosophy, the sexual culture, and every worldview you can think of whether it is from TV shows or social media. This is causing them to ask questions, and to be effective in reaching them we need to have answers…
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