I can’t imagine a better way to wrap up my speaking year for 2013 than sharing with students in a public university setting. This past weekend proved once again the value of embracing the challenge of sharing Jesus and his message of the Kingdom on college and university campuses, which are among my favorite venues.
Three encounters stand out from the weekend. The first was with a young guy I met who had just finished reading Reza Aslan’s volume The Zealot. And while I appreciate The Zealot and agree with much of the historical research in the volume, there are some significant proposals in the volume that shook the faith of this gentleman. The testimony of my new friend was very encouraging to me. While a couple of fundamentalist evangelicals were having a meltdown in the back row as a result of some of the ways in which I was explaining some things, this young man was finding answers to each of the questions The Zealot raised for him, and his faith in the nonviolent revolutionary named Jesus and his decision to follow this Jesus was reaffirmed. On that level alone, the meetings were a success.
The second was a thrilling conversation I had with a young lady who was very involved in her local Catholic church and their outreach on campus. It was a wonderful exchange of ideas and thoughts, which I believe benefited us both in further pursuing a God who looks like the Jesus we find in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The final encounter was with a precious young lady who defined herself as a millennial (for those who are familiar with that term), attended each of the four presentations, and was absolutely thrilled to be both encouraged—and even a little challenged—by new ideas regarding Jesus and what the Jesus of the Gospels may being saying to us regarding how we view ourselves, the world around us, and the character of the God Christians claim to be worshipping.
On every account, I would call this weekend a success. To those who were praying, I cannot stress enough how important your prayers were this weekend. This venue possesses an almost infinite array of challenges. The audience is peppered with minds and hearts who come from so many different backgrounds, who look at things differently, and who bring to the table such different sets of presuppositions. God showed up this weekend, Jesus was revealed, and hearts were awakened.
Over the next few weeks, as the holiday season begins here in America, I will be endeavoring to finish up a draft of a new book and to wrap everything up for 2013 that Renewed Heart Ministries does besides travel and speak. Again, I can’t think of a better event to end the 2013 speaking engagement tour with. Thank you to each one of you who supports Renewed Heart Ministries. We are changing lives both for the present time and for eternity by bringing healing, restoration, and reconciliation to people. Your prayers worked this weekend. They will have a lasting effect. I saw providence impacting lives at every turn. Thank you, with all my heart, for partnering with us in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
I’ll post these four presentations later this week under the title Jesus for Skeptics and let you know when they are ready for listening.
I love you guys.
And thank you once again.