Penn On Evangelism (Gift of A Bible)

I’ve heard Penn of Penn and Teller’s comedy routine a few times. He is a talented comedian with a sharp wit. He’s also an outspoken atheist. Though I would disagree with him on some fundamental theological issues, I happened to find this video by him refreshingly good.

I share this vid (which one of my dear readers first shared with me) because Penn speaks a lot of wisdom here Christians should consider.

Be sincerely interested in people. This goes for people from a variety of worldview persuasions. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a unique context from which they draw answers to the biggest questions in life.

Everyone deserves to be heard and valued, if not simply because they are fellow image bearers.

I’m not great at this by any stretch.

A few years back I had an outspoken atheist coworker I worked closely with on a daily basis. Conversations inevitably turned spiritual from time to time. Most of them were respectful but now and then some of the dialogue turned heated. I was as much (probably more) to blame for this as he was.

I remember one day after asking a few questions about the origins of everything he admitted, “Well, we both take some things on faith.”

I appreciated that honesty.

No one has all the answers.

I certainly don’t.

But everyone deserves to be heard, considered, and respected at a basic human level. No one has to be a world class apologist to do this.

In the end we’re not walking trees, we’re souls.

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

31 thoughts on “Penn On Evangelism (Gift of A Bible)”

  1. Great post. My wife and I were talking about Penn the other day. I appreciate how he always seems to emphasize the importance of kindness. People are far more important than winning arguments.

    Thanks for posting this.

  2. I LOVE this!! I was the registrar for Worldview Academy a camp for Chrisitan youth. One of the activites the camp does is go to campuses ‘practice’ a bit of Evangelism as well as their newfound ability to teach what they know. A man called the office one day, introduced himself, Ted Something, he explained he was an Athiest, he had been a major player in trying to remove God from the pledge of allegience. He had been approached by one of our students and given a handout. Ted was very impressed, he said much the same as Penn. He explained he had always been astounded at the lack of knowledge many Christians had in their own belief. He had a great respect for those that could stand for and speak for what they believed. He and I went on to discuss why we Christians should, and must go out and tell others of salvation, how I would be lacking if I did not explain to Ted, even knowing he was an Athiest, what I beleived, because I do care about his eternity. I asked Ted the same question our students asked, which was “What if you are wrong?” He, an intelligent man, understood that there is a possiblity, even though he chooses to not believe, was wrong, and he said he was willing to accept the consequence. I told him I would pray he would change his mind, he thanked me. When we evangelize in Africa one of the main points we are taught is, to present The Gospel, nothing more. We can not make anyone do anything, even believe. We do our best, God does the rest.

    1. I was thankful to read your comment, Christy, because we are considering sending our teenager to a Worldview camp this year. It’s a bit pricey. But, we’ve heard great things. And to hear this from you is encouraging!

  3. I think an even more important part of this video is Penn saying, “I know there’s no god.” The faith of Penn is, in some regards, even deeper than ours.

    You are right though. Every person is stamped with the image of God and that is what gives them worth. We, as Christians, should be people that recognize this even in the most staunch atheists. Keep up the great work Bryan I really enjoy your stuff.

    Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

  4. Great post, I love Penn even if I disagree with some of his stuff. He’s a fantastic comedian and a guy with great ideas. Thanks for this, I saw it the other week but it’s nice seeing it again.

  5. The sad thing is, though, while atheists can and often do respect Christians -we may pity your ignorance – you still wholeheartedly believe that we will go to hell, and tacitly damn us because we don’t believe in your man-god.
    In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter what you believe of non-believers, but it doesn’t say much for your omnipotent all loving deity and his minions, does it?

  6. A thought provoking post – thanks. It’s amazing to me how often we all need to be reminded, Christians and atheists and everyone in between, to show simply kindness to one another.

  7. It sounds like this touched him a little bit..as much as he probably won’t like to admit it..he sounds like he’s been thinking about it for some time..and he kept saying the guy was “sane” and he was a “good man”..does he have the idea that Christians are all “crazy” or something..hmm..something to think about..
    But I’m glad this got through to him a little..this could be the start of something new..I’ll keep him in my prayers 🙂
    *starts off as a trickle..*

  8. Thanks for the reminder that what Jesus and Paul said is actually true. All we are told to do is be witnesses and sharers. There is no command to force, condemn, or bludgeon anyone. Refreshing.

    BTW I didn’t realize who had visited my site a couple of weeks ago because I thought “Chief of Least” was my dad. He is very fond of that title himself!! 😀

  9. AWESOME! Thank you for passing this along…just being a good man and allowing God to handle the salvation. Following our hearts and providing a way when and if our number ever needs to be called. very powerful…thanks!

  10. Jesus’ life of evangelism should be our role-model… He was more concerned about the personal needs of the people that he encountered in his ministry (i.e. the prostitute, tax-collector, woman caught in adultery, the lame, the blind men, the man who had legions of demons, etc.) and how he could minister to their needs as well as developing a relationship with the people he came in contact with… When we begin to love people with the true unadulterated love of Christ in spite of their backgrounds and beliefs instead of judging… condemning… and beating them over the head with the bible and religion… Then and only then will we see the miraculous, supernatural power of God to Deliver!!!… Save!!!… and Set Free!!!… as we love one another the way that Christ first “LOVED” us!!!

    Blessings!!! 🙂

    1. Now that came from a heart that has in some special way been touched by the heart of God! Very lovingly said, I admit I was very touched! And thats not something I experience very often in the words of mankind. May the Fathers love grace and peace, continue to abide in your heart.

  11. I have seen this video before. It convicted then and convicts me now. I wish I could quote it, but what I take from this is: If I know that someone is going to hell, and do nothing, how selfish is that?

    I have read several of your blogs and find you quite refreshing.
    Ozzie

  12. Good video. Penn makes some very valid points. Presentation is everything and if you really believe in your belief system then you should be willing to share but politely. You can’t shove your beliefs down someone’s throat. Christians cannot strong arm people into the Kingdom of Heaven. All we need to do is when the opportunity is given, share politely, back off and let God do the rest. We can’t save anybody. The individual must make that decision for themselves, just like we did.

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