Two Hands in Evangelism

Since we in the East still have to wrestle with what we have inherited from the West , some of the insights from Prof. Abraham rings true for us too here in C. S. Lewis & the Conversion of the West. Consider the following:

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“… I think there are two hands in evangelism, one where we reach out to share, the other where we reach out to receive. With the one hand we reach out to declare with a passion and flair the good news of the arrival of Godís kingdom in Jesus Christ. With the other hand we reach out with intelligence and love to receive those who respond to the gospel, seeking as best we can to ground them in the fullness of Godís rule on earth.

… Christians live in a world that is radically pluralistic and fragmented. For the most part the age of Christendom is gone, and we must now happily acknowledge our marginal, minority, and even sectarian status in the conflict of ideas and ideologies.

… Our second task is to relearn the language of faith, to steep ourselves in the creeds, to dig deep in the commonalities of the Christian tradition, and to learn again the gospel of the kingdom embedded in the scriptural record. This is the place to start as evangelists; and to these fountains we must return again and again with open hearts, self-critical minds, and bended knees. Lewis grasped and lived out this admonition with characteristic thoroughness and flair.

… However we work through the significance of Lewis for evangelism, we must always remember that conversion involves some kind of consent which is not under our control. Conversion always involves the secret action of the Holy Spirit in our culture and in our hearts. Lewis was well aware of this. What he may not have sufficiently stressed, however, at least in his formal essays, was the necessity and concurrence of the action of grace. Grace is vital to conversion, because it means that prayer and fasting are as critical in evangelism as some grand scheme of preaching or apologetics. An understanding of grace also means that we need to relax and release all our work into the hands of God.”
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