Saturday, 21 October 2017
Friday, 20 October 2017
Evangelism professor talks to people while they're waiting for the train
Once a month I go out with Wheaton College students to share the gospel on the streets of Chicago. Many are intimidated by this kind of sharing. While I prefer ‘friendship evangelism’ most of all, marketplace evangelism is also a worthy enterprise.
In fact, the Gospels and the Book of Acts are full of examples of Jesus and Paul encountering anyone they happened to meet, making the most of each situation. If you think of Jesus and the woman at the well (John 4) or Paul in Athens sharing at the Agora (Acts 17), your memory will be jogged and you can discover many other examples. This kind of witness has its own perimeters and unique features, but it is surprisingly fun and often fruitful.
Last Friday, I was out with about 25 students and 3 of us went together. We prayed, telling Jesus we were available to talk with those to whom his Holy Spirit would direct us. We asked that he would lead us to people whose hearts he was preparing that we might make explicit what he was doing implicitly in their lives already.
My approach is simply to ask people in environments where they may be waiting for something or someone (train stations, bus stops, park benches, etc.). I simply explain we are out talking with people about Jesus and ask if we can speak with them for a while as they are waiting. Sometimes people say they are not interested, and we thank them and move on. My experience is that about 50% of those I approach in this matter are interested in talking. And it’s fun!
This past Friday, I went with Maddy and Amanda to the food court at Ogilvie Transportation Center and we had four deep and engaging evangelistic conversations.
Story 1: Jewish Background
First, we spoke with a Jewish guy who initially didn’t want ...
Thursday, 19 October 2017
Creating a safer world for women means talking about our vulnerability.
I was somewhere in the North Carolina mountains, driving down a long stretch of highway on a cold December night, when my predicament hit me. It was past midnight and I was alone, over a hundred miles from home. And of course, my cell phone was nearly dead. My mind began racing: What if my car breaks down? What if no one stops to help me? Or worse, what if the person who stops isn’t a good person?
Suddenly I was face to face with my own vulnerability.
Female vulnerability is not something women like to talk about much. In recent decades, we’ve preferred themes of empowerment and success. From female pioneers at NASA to Wonder Woman, women have been proving their worth in society and showing themselves just as brave and intelligent as men. But even as we affirm female agency and strength, we can miss an equally important, albeit unsettling, reality: Women are vulnerable in the world in ways that men, as a rule, aren’t.
This has never been made clearer than through the recent spate of revelations about Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood sexual harassment and abuse. As powerful, successful women came forward with their own histories of assault, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply.” Her tweet, which popularized the #metoo campaign that activist Tarana Burke began over ten years ago, prompted more than 12 million Facebook reactions in 24 hours and a million tweets of the hashtag in 48 hours.
Both support and criticism flooded in, but perhaps the most telling reaction was the simple question: “What woman hasn’t?” Some communities use female vulnerability as an excuse to repress and control women. ...