Original post at http://soundbitesministry.blogspot.com/2013/01/fools-for-christ.html
I recall being at a gathering of sophisticated scholars at the faculty club of an Ivy League university where we were engaged in heavy talk about religion. As I tried to impress my cynical audience (whom Frederick Schleiermacher would have called "Culture Despisers") with the reasonableness of Christianity, I made a joke of a man who I felt rightfully deserved their derision. I let them know that I didn't think much of that guy who holds up the sign with the Bible reference on it at televised football games, and that to me, this man's attempt to do evangelism was ridiculous and embarrassing. I remember saying, "You can't dismiss us evangelicals by equating us all with that ridiculous guy who holds up signs with Bible verses on them, just when it's time to kick the extra point. That guy's idea of an effective witness for the gospel is to hold up a verse like
When I finished my mocking statement, one of the scholars sitting at the table pulled his pipe out of his mouth and said, "Interesting that you should mention that. Two years ago I was watching the Super Bowl, and just before halftime, the Dallas Cowboys scored a touchdown. As the Cowboys got set to kick the extra point, the man to whom you just referred held up a sign citing that exact same verse --
Score one point for a "fool for Christ." Strike one down on me for my readiness to put down a brother in Christ who was trying in his own way to preach the gospel. You never know what's going to touch people's lives.
-- Tony Campolo in Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God