Many Christians in the United States are “practical universalists” who believe that many if not all religions will lead a person to Heaven, according to the son of famed evangelist Luis Palau.
Kevin Palau, president and CEO of the Luis Palau Association, was interviewed on a recent episode of the Dallas Theological Seminary podcast “The Table” about a Barna Group report indicating that half of Millennial-aged Christians think it is wrong to evangelize.
Darrell Bock, executive director for cultural engagement at DTS and host of the podcast, commented that he felt that such a conclusion was peculiar given the respondents’ self-identification.
“If you think about the traditional definition of what an evangelical is, and I’m thinking of Bebbington’s quadrilateral, where there are four characteristics, one of those characteristics is you share Jesus,” said Bock.
“You believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior, that the Bible is the Word of God, you’re committed to the uniqueness of the Gospel, and you share Jesus. That’s kind of the definition. So we’ve got people in the category who aren’t in the category, or seemingly not in a part of the category.”
Palau, who was involved in the Barna research, explained that he was not surprised by the findings, as he has found in his experience that a majority of American Christians “are skittish about evangelism.”
“They hope someone else will do it, they hope the pastor will do it. They really don’t want to do it themselves. They love and hope the quote attributed to St. Francis is true, ‘Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words,’ and they’re desperately hoping that it’s never necessary to use words,” explained Palau.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski