Luis Palau: “Whatever Happened to Evangelism?”

Interesting article from Christianity Today:

“Whatever Happened To Evangelism?”

It is interesting to read the thoughts on American Christian’s views on Evangelism from Palau, who is originally from Argentina.  In this short interview he hits on a number of issues which continue to plague the church today.  He propses that evangelism is not an option or a calling for the few but should be the fundamental mission and action of the church today.  He observes that there are certain elements that have developed in America which stop the church from fulfilling this single and important mission.

Regarding “Lifestyle Evangelism” he says:

“Witnessing to Jesus Christ is done through one’s life, but the life has no meaning if the lips do not speak. Until you’ve done that, you have not been a full witness to Jesus Christ. People cannot guess why you’re such a good neighbor unless you openly, clearly express your faith in Christ.”

Regarding social action instead of evangelism:

“We see some Christian circles replacing evangelism with only social action. Now, I’m committed to social action, but when it so absorbs us that we have no time for rescuing the perishing, then we have replaced the priority. After all, evangelism is social action. It is the most fundamental social action in history—the most profound and real act of love there is. And that’s why it’s so strange that we hold back from practicing it.”

Importance of Conversion:

“We Christians forget that if we don’t evangelize America, we have lost the nation. We have lost our children and grandchildren. Conversion is seldom talked about today. We are being so careful, so proper, we forget that, unless people are converted, they will not enter the kingdom of God.”

Lastly, another highlight from this interview was his comment on other Christians opposing his push for the priority of evangelism:

“I find that the people who most argue against evangelism as a priority haven’t won a soul to Christ in decades. They are afraid of the nonbeliever. In almost every case, they stay within their closed circles. We scream at the world with our magazines and our microphones, but we don’t mingle with the people in the world to bring them to Jesus Christ.”


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by mmichalek on March 12, 2008 at 8:43 am

    yeah evangelism is a good thing. but a lot of the street corner preachers with the bullhorns have caused many problems with that. if you witness now days to random people they just blow you off cause most people think being a Christian is lame. i think we need to love others and witness to them in a loving way. not just random people. it really doesn’t work that way in America anymore.


  2. mmichalek,
    I agree that some street preachers have caused some problems, but also have some church preachers. You are not correct in your assumption that witnessing to random people does not work. We see it work all the time, if we speak the truth in love.
    Thanks, Richard


  3. Thank you both for your comments. mmichalek…as to your comments, how would you go about witnessing to people in a “loving way” as you said and yet also include the critical information of the coming judgement day?

    Richard, thanks for your comments as well – what have you seen in your witnessing encounters?



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