Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion

Joe Carter | October 19, 2015

As I was sitting alone in the cafeteria one afternoon, far from home, overwhelmed and lonely on a campus of 20,000 people, an older student walked up, smiled, and asked if he could join me. He took a seat and I prepared to engage him in a heady discussion of politics, philosophy, science, and other topics I’d picked up during my first few weeks as a college freshman. Thrilled to have the company, I was mentally preparing for anything he threw at me. 

Glancing up from his plate of spaghetti, he asked, “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?” 

Stunned, I was completely at a loss for a response. “Um, yeah, actually I have.” I finally managed in reply. 

“Oh,” he said. “Okay, that’s good.” He wore a look of minor defeat. He had chosen the wrong table; no soul would be won for Christ over this lunch. We chatted politely while I finished my burger. He ate quickly and excused himself. I never saw him again. 

That was almost 30 years ago, and yet that type of evangelism is still quite common. We use the same wooden methods—hand out a gospel tract, recite the canned here’s-how-you-get-saved speech…

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