A Case for Persuasion in Evangelism
by Greg Stier
“Therefore, because of the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.” 2 Corinthians 5:11
“And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” Acts 18:4
“And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.” Acts 19:8
“Agrippa replied to Paul, ‘In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” Acts 26:28
Persuasion gets a bad rap, especially when it comes to evangelism.
Sure, we all know those types who take it to far. We’ve all felt that holy cringe when we’ve seen pointed fingers and heard “repent” reverberating from a bullhorn on the street corner. But I think we can all agree that this style of “evangelism” is more coercion than it is persuasion.
The English word for persuasion smacks of the used car salesmen stereotypes of evangelism that ask “what can I do to get you to buy into Christianity today?” to a hurried, harried and harrassed customer. But the Greek word for evangelism (“Peitho“) is a whole different story…
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