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Saturday, July 23, 2005

How to Argue About Jesus

The highlight of the past week in St. Louis with the Higher Things Youth Conference was undoubtedly the worship. You haven't lived until you've heard 1200 teenagers absolutely belting out all 10 verses of Salvation Unto Us has Come. People who say that you can't use traditional liturgy and hymnody with youth simply do not know what they are talking about.

I was the preacher at one of the services so I was sitting in the front able to see the faces of the congregation. And I can tell you that these high school men and women were singing and chanting away with gusto. They were, as a whole, more attentive and engaged than any congregation of adults I have ever witnessed - except for when I was in the Sudan.

But the other big strength of this week's conference were the sectionals. Since my wife and I were both leading sectionals ourselves, I did not have the opportunity to sit in on others as I would have liked. I did catch two superb presentations however.

Rev. Todd Wilken, of the Issues Etc. radio broadcast gave a fun and interesting presentation on UFOs.

But I was also deeply impressed with Pastor Klemet Preus's sectional entitled: How to Argue About Jesus. The room he was in seated 300 people. And I would guess that there were 350 in attendance. The title is intentionally provocative. "Argue" sounds so negative. And aren't Christians supposed to be positive people all the time?

But Pr. Preus does us a favor by defining argument for us as simply explaining the reasons one has for one's beliefs. And then arguing about Jesus becomes not only acceptable, but a biblical mandate for all Christians. Essentially, this was a presentation on critical thinking, logic and debate in relation to spreading the Christian message. Preus clarified that we only fight because we don't know how to argue.

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1 comment:

cwv warrior said...

The passion and Spirit sound awesome. My sons like hymns and tradition over "worhsip and praise" songs. They also like passionate, driven music. I guess it's in the depth of both the music complexity and emotion. Well, the joy must have been something to behold!
As far as arguing, there's got to be something to that. Rhetoric is something I'd love to know about. On the other hand, listening to people debate, I have noticed people rarely change their minds, or hearts. Dr. Francis Schaeffer has an interesting approach. Do you know of it?

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