As a follow up to Josh and William’s comments on our last post, let me add this: When I was in early elementary school, I dreamed of growing up to become an explorer like Christopher Columbus. By about the fifth grade, I learned that the whole world had already been “discovered” so I changed my “what do you want to be when you grow up” to professional baseball player. (That dream died as well when I didn’t go out for the high school team.)
The irony in my path to a career is that, in time, I did become exactly what my first dreams desired; an intrepid explorer. My interest in geology and geophysics was never in identifying rocks and minerals or unraveling the geologic history of the earth or deriving partial differential equations. My interest was always in the search for buried treasure. And my working years have been spent in the hunt for underground deposits of oil and natural gas; literally buried treasure.
My exploration bent has colored my spiritual journey as well. I have characterized my spiritual journey as “The Thrill of Discovery.” And I am always interested in how people discover Jesus. This is why I subscribe to the “all of the above” approach to evangelism.
We are told today to forgo western style rational arguments for Christianity because our society lacks a basic belief in absolute truth to use as a starting point. Yet many nonbelievers are coming to faith hearing an apologist answer what turns out to be their last objection to Christianity. We are told that randomly distributing Bibles and tracts is too old school. Yet Gideons International and the Bible League are flooded with testimonies of seekers coming to Christ through the reading of a provided Bible. We are told to abandon preaching because young people no longer want to be “talked at”. Yet the “preaching of the cross is the power of God to those who are being saved.”
What I am getting at is this. Let’s not limit the means for getting the gospel message out. Let’s not limit the giftedness of our fellow believers to spread the Word. Let’s allow the church universal to use an “all of the above” approach and celebrate together, just as the angels in heaven do, every life that discovers Jesus.