Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Power of Persuasion

Quoting the dialogue between caller Steve and Host Todd Wilken from a February 2008 Issues, Etc. program:

Steve:

“Let me ask you this question. Are a lot of Christian preachers putting more faith in our ability to quote ‘Make a decision,’ than in Christ’s Word to convert us?”

Pastor Todd Wilken:

“Yes. Thank you Steve. I think of course almost all the faith is being put in the power of persuasion. I don’t even think it lies in man’s ability to make a decision to be persuaded. I think it’s gone far beyond that Steve. I think it’s gone to the point now, especially in the seeker sensitive movement, or whatever it’s calling itself nowadays. It’s far from the power of God’s Word to convert, and it’s not even in man’s ability to be converted, or to be persuaded, or to make a decision. It is now totally in the packaging of the message. It’s all totally in the ‘buzzwords,’ following the right process, taking the right steps, overcoming the right obstacles. The power to convert has been taken from God and even really from the person who makes the decision, and placed totally with the persuader. The great preacher, the guy who knows how to tweak the message and repackage the message just so to catch people, to get them, to bring them in - in the end to convert them. Which is odd because St. Paul makes it quite clear that it was not with the power of persuasion or persuasive words, or wisdom, that he presented the saving message. But he says God not through wisdom but the foolishness of what we preach, Christ and Him crucified, shows both His wisdom and His power."


photo credit: CS Muncy

2 comments:

steve martin said...

Todd Wilken is right.

St. Paul was right.

Jesus was right.

( "I chose you, you did not choose me")

Father Hollywood said...

I love the picture of "Rev. Billy" of the Church of Stop Shopping (he's a riot, and can be seen in the movie "Freedom Fries and Other Stupidity We'll Have to Explain to Our Grandchildren" - which, if you have Netflix, can be streamed online for free).