Helpful words on evangelism from an atheist

December 23, 2008

Penn Jillette is an American comedian, illusionist, juggler and writer. He’s best known as the taller, louder half of the magic and comedy act Penn & Teller. Jillette is an outspoken atheist (actually, he considers himself “beyond atheism” – read an essay he wrote on his beliefs here). This is what he has to say about evangelism:


I originally saw this video over at the Pyromaniacs blog. This is a very popular blog and many people leave comments on their posts. Here are a few helpful comments readers left on this post:

  • “”It reminds me of that famous Seinfeld episode where Elaine dates this guy who professes to be a Christian but is seemingly unconcerned about her spiritual well-being simply saying to her “I’m not the one going to hell.” The most profound part of the show is when Elaine comes back and says “you should be trying to save me…I am not going to hell and if you think I’m going to hell, you should care that I’m going to hell even though I am not.””
  • “Apparently “gentleness and respect” are in 1 Peter 3:15 for a reason.”
  • “He clearly was very impressed with the man’s genuineness, sanity, looking him in the eye, really believing what he says he believes, and showing care for his soul.”
  • “I have learnt more from Penn Jilette about effective evangelism than from many others in recent times. The lessons?    

   Look people in the eye.
   Be sincere (not flattering).
   Be honestly nice.
   Be nicely honest.
   Be straightforward.
   Give them the Word.”

Let’s be faithful to give the gospel: it really is unloving and inconsistant to do anything else. And when we do, let’s be careful to do so with love, gentleness, sincerity, respect, and a prayerful dependance on God to “open blind eyes” and save (He’s the only one who can).


HT: Pyromaniacs


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