Non-Proselytizing Evangelism and the Heart of the Church

The post links to a PDF that is worth opening. It says a lot about the difference between Evangelism and Proselytizing from both a liberal and a conservative point of view. A favorite section:
“When the Church changed from movement to religion, evangelism changed with it. Until that time the idea of evangelism as converting people to a new religion simply did not exist. In fact, the word ‘evangelism’ does not exist in Scripture, though the word ‘evangel/evangelist’ does. In the general culture, an evangelist was literally ‘a bearer of good news.’ “

Paradoxical Thoughts

Non-Proselytizing Evangelism: Returning to the Roots of Anglican-Episcopal Tradition and the Incarnational Heart of Christianity (PDF)

Rumor-EvangelizeWhen I broach the subject of evangelism to members of my own Anglican-Episcopal tradition, I get two distinct kinds of responses, depending on whether the hearers are conservative or liberal in their theology. Conservatives Anglicans, while a distinct minority in the denomination, are pretty gung-ho on the evangelism thing. They make jokes like, “to most Episcopalians evangelism is a “four-letter word,” and try to encourage the rest of us to get out there and start making converts for Christ.  Liberal (and even moderate) Anglicans, on the other hand, tend to be rather uncomfortable with the whole idea of evangelism. Oddly enough, they tell the same evangelism jokes as conservative but they sound a bit more nervous when they do, because to them it really does feel like a four-letter word.

Several years ago, when…

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