For the past few years, Fred Clark over at Slacktivist has been doing an in-depth critique of the book Left Behind by LeHay and Jenkins. I began to read through this review about a month ago and have enjoyed Clark’s analysis, which has covered literary, theological (Clark himself is an evangelical Christian), and political perspectives alike.
Yesterday, I ran across this installment, where Clark takes a step back from the book’s plotlines to discuss one of the concepts touched upon by the book, evangelism, in a broader context. Primarily, he speaks of a shift from evangelism as hospitality to evangelism as a sales pitch, expanding upon a familiar (or at least familiar to anyone who’s been involved in the evangelical Christian community) metaphor:
…it is not “one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread,” but rather one fat man trying to convince another fat man that he’s a beggar in order to close the sale on another loaf.
The rest of of the post goes on to talk about how this approach to evangelism amounts to a sales pitch with little or no product to go with it (in fact, the title of my post references another great comment made by Clark). I highly recommend reading the whole post, as it’s quite insightful.