Parting Words: Schaeffer on Evangelism

Today is get-away Thursday for a lot of people myself included, so before skipping out for the weekend, here is a quote from Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 classic “The God Who Is There”, a book I’m currently reading and thoroughly enjoying. He is talking about evangelism (and not the evolutionary kind):

We must remember that the person to whom we are talking, however far from the Christian faith he may be, is an image-bearer of God. He has great value, and our communication to him must be in genuine love. Love is not an easy thing; it is not just an emotional urge but an attempt to move over and sit in the other person’s place and see how his problems look to him.

Love is a genuine concern for the individual. As Jesus Christ reminds us, we are to love that individual “as ourselves.” This is the place to begin. Therefore, to be engaged in personal “witness” as a duty or because our Christian circle exerts a social pressure on us is to miss the whole point. The reason we do it is that the person before us is an image-bearer of God, and he is an individual who is unique in the world.

This kind of communication is not cheap. To understand and speak to sincere but utterly confused twentieth-century people is costly. It is tiring; it will open you to temptations and pressures. Genuine love, in the last analysis, means a willingness to be entirely exposed to the person to whom we are talking.

Good stuff, ya’ll have a safe and happy 4th. I cannot think of better words to depart with than the words of the inimitable Brett Myers,

Boom… Outta here!

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