I was 18 or 19, the room was jammed with more than 1,000 college students and we were enthralled by the man on the stage. He was thick necked and spoke with power and authority. When he got passionate the veins in his neck bulged. As a young man, I found in him the embodiment of all that I wanted to be: strong, intelligent, quick witted, and a command of philosophy and logic that left your head spinning.
He shared story after story of destructing the worldviews of other people thereby creating a vacuum for the message of Jesus to fill.
He didn’t share many stories of people becoming followers of Jesus.
Fast forward nearly ten years.
I am alone in my basement listening to a man with an English accent, whom I have never seen. He is sharing story after story of people responding to the story of Jesus.
One man built bridges and the other created vacuums.
One man started with humanity being created in the image of God and the other with human sinfulness.
One man started with the mindset of a builder and the other with the mindset of destruction.
If we respect people and understand what they believe we will necessarily find points from which to build bridges from their world to the glorious grace of God in the face of Jesus.
Building is harder than demolition, but it is worth it. It’s worth it because regardless of response the conversation stays open.