Evangelists at Redeemer Presbyterian Preaching to Skeptics in N.Y.C.

By David KeddieOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Evangelists are preaching the gospel to skeptics in N.Y.C.

For an evangelist, seeking converts among vocal atheists can be quite a challenge. Such efforts are not new. Right from Christianity's origins, the religion's apostles have tried to convert adherents belonging to other faiths, like Roman paganism or Judaism. Missionaries in previous centuries traveled to Africa or China or even to the Americas to meet followers of other faiths- Buddhist or Aztec. In all cases, they were in conversation with listeners who are open to the concept of divine beings involved in worldly affairs.

The modern America, however, is a totally different ballgame. According to Pew Research Center, about 23 percent of those polled have put themselves in the “nones” category. The term “none” means religiously unaffiliated, atheist or agnostic. The popular success of prominent atheists like author Christopher Hitchens points to the difficulty of such a quest.

Evangelists at Redeemer Presbyterian Preaching to Skeptics in N.Y.C.

By Luiscortorreal – Self-scanned, Public Domain, Link

It is logical that evangelism must adapt to modern ways. According to Bryan P. Stone of Boston University, faith-based Christian communities will continue to remain important the “nones” and the pattern of faith formation will also vary. He said that the meaning of evangelism is no longer the securing of formal affiliations and propping up denominational identities and to expand Christianity in Western culture. Modern day evangelism is more about authenticity and relationships compared to institutions and programming.

This challenge has been met head on by Redeemer Presbyterian ministry's Dr. Tim Keller. He wrote a number of books on the subject, the most prominent among them being The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism.  He has opened a Redeemer branch on the West 83rd Street of New York in 2012- the maiden new church constructed in the neighborhood in the recent decades.

Tim Keller founded the Redeemer Presbyterian Church and is the co-founder of the national conservative network of churches. The latter has been hailed by evangelicals for its successful ministering in a decidedly secular metropolis without compromising the integrity of the Bible. The official position of Keller when it comes to be Bible is that for any kind of faith-based matter, scripture continues to be the final authority. He himself did not go by the story of creation as written in the Genesis as it was not written in any historical process.

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