I “talk back” to my books as I read them, which is why I hate borrowing books. I use a variety of symbols, including a key for vital points, a pair of glasses for references or books I’d like to look up later, a “Q” for great quotations, etc. If I’m not sure what I think, I’ll either write “?” (for statements I probably doubt) or “Hmm” (for statements I probably affirm). Sometimes, of course, I disagree with a writer entirely. I’ll normally indicate my disagreement with a simple “X” in the margin.When especially exercised, though, I’ll say “That’s nuts!” or “Yikes!” Well, the following statement in an article on evangelism in a well-known publication got a “Yikes!”
“After Scripture has had its chance, and decision should be reached, get your friend on his knees, and ask him to decide after you have poured out your heart to God for and with him. I have known more men who have yielded on their knees than anywhere else. At just the right time, when genuinely prompted by loving impulse and sincere motive, your hand placed upon his shoulder may help him make the decision….
When you pray with the one for whom you are working, be most specific and plain in your petition. Then ask him to pray for himself. If he cannot, frame his prayer for him, and ask him to repeat.”
“Mercy.” I write that sometimes, too. Now, on rare occasions even the old hand-on-the-shoulder trick doesn’t work. The author offers some practical advice for that scenario:
“If you fail, do not be discouraged, but determine to get nearer to God and to gain more power through your apparent failure. Write a good letter to the one you have failed to reach or failed to find after repeated calling. Many have been won by correspondence. He knows you are interested very difinitely if you write.”
Getting nearer to God is a great thing. So is writing evangelistic letters. In fact, I appreciate the author’s urgency about getting the gospel out as effectively as possible. But calling evangelistic conversations in which one doesn’t repent and trust Christ “failures”? “Yikes!”
Now, here’s the fun part. Any guesses regarding who the author is/was, or at least the name of the publication that printed the article? You can at least guess the author’s denomination, I’d think. Anyone? (No googling allowed.)