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Does it ever strike you as remarkable that the fanatical Jewish fundamentalist, Saul of Tarsus, who acted more like a terrorist than a guardian of orthodoxy, was converted by the kindness and grace of God to become Paul the Apostle who planted churches all over Asia Minor and wrote two thirds of the New Testament? It would be sort of like if Osama bin Laden had had a born again experience and became the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. People back then had trouble believing that Saul’s conversion was legitimate. Can we trust him? Is Saul just faking it to gain an advantage? Is his conversion real? Beyond that, what about justice? What about all the suffering he caused? How could God just seem to let him off the hook? Is God’s mercy and grace really that extravagant? Is it even right? Put yourself in the early Christian’s shoes. Don’t you think we’d have been scandalized if Osama got born again and wanted us all to believe it and accept the new him? Most of us were glad when we heard he’d been shot dead. Somewhere late in the last century, evangelism became a dirty word. Sophisticated people didn’t like evangelists. They seemed intellectually challenged and emotionally manipulative. When I did my Dr. of Ministry degree, it was offered by Columbia Theological Seminary with the emphasis on evangelism. Other Presbyterian schools refused to offer such a course load, merely shaking their heads and clucking their tongues. The word evangelism and the practice of evangelism had evidently fallen beneath the worthiness line of the mainline.
bound: 168 pages
publisher: Parson's Porch Books (May 14, 2017)
isbn: 1946478245, 978-1946478245,
weight: 9.8 ounces (