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Friendship Evangelism

Posted by Matt Postiff July 20, 2017 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology  Bible Texts 

Should we practice so-called "friendship evangelism"?

As I understand it, the common ways that it is practiced can easily lead to unbiblical practices. I can summarize the problems this way: sometimes there is too much friendship; sometimes there is too little evangelism; and sometimes there is the wrong amount of both!

Sometimes friendship evangelism has too much friendship, and other times it has too little evangelism.

We have to be careful. Friendliness does not a gospel presentation make. It does not convince anyone of the truth about Christ. It does not even communicate the truth about Christ, which can only be done by proclaiming the propositional truth of the gospel from Scripture. And, this approach ignores the many examples in Scripture of what I will call "cold turkey evangelism" where Jesus and/or the apostles happened upon someone and told them of the need and provision of God's salvation before befriending them.

Even worse is that many times, the friendship centers around entertainment or social interests and doesn't get around to talking about the gospel very much. This is the approach of "live well and that's enough" or "live well and they will ask you about your faith." They might ask, or they might not. And living well by itself doesn't cut it.

In addition, friendship with worldly people can lead us into friendship with the world, which is the opposite of what we are called to be (James 4:4).

But I don't think we should throw out the entire idea that the phrase "friendship evangelism" evokes when we hear it. Our gospel witness should be friendly, loving, and winsome. And, after all, Jesus was a "friend" of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34). I want to be like that every day of the week!

If you have time, here is another helpful article you can read.

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