I have been spending some time lately over at Kiwi University under the tutelage of Professor Fromont. I like lots of what he is thinking.
Check out his July 2nd entry, on The Provocative Church. This struck me because I went to sleep thinking about the same thing last night. I was thinking how the best "tool of evangelism" or whatever you want to call it is to really follow Christ. Taking him seriously and acting out his way causes heads to turn and people who are otherwise disinterested to start asking questions. A couple of examples are the two stories I shared a few days ago. Here's another one:
A guy I know owned two houses. He gave one away to a friend (and it is a nice house). He straight out gave it to him, no payments, expectations or agendas. The second guy is now using it to live in community with some friends of his.
I have seen remarkable fallout from this act. I, for one, could hardly believe that our buddy just went from debt-laden-single-guy to homeowner in one day. Some reacted almost with anger, almost feeling like such generosity isn't even fair (brings to mind the parable of the workers in the vineyard, Matthew 20). Others reacted to this act with acts of their own. There was an attitude of "wow, if he can be that generous here, I can be generous there". I have a friend who is rather disintersted in anything Christian who heard about this. His response was so gushy and incredulous it made me laugh. "These people must really believe it," he kept saying. I was saying the same thing.
This is the kind of stuff that makes for "provocative Christianity". This kind of action turns its back on the spirit of the world that says things have to be done like so, that you have to live in a mediocre way. Our part is to have the creativity to think of what crazy things we might do, and then the courage to do them. The courage is necessary because the sacrifice part is hard (it was hard for Jesus too) but it is the sacrifice that reveals the difference. Wouldn't it be something if Christians were defined by the acts of kindness, compassion and self-sacrifice that the Leader was known for, if we were known "by our Love".