A Message to Stanford Students

Hey–glad you stumbled across the site.

You’re welcome to poke around here and learn more about Paula and I. Just so you know, this website is a tool we use to keep family, friends, and ministry partners up‐to‐date on our lives and ministry.

So if you came here wanting to learn more about Chi Alpha, check out Chi Alpha @ Stanford or national Chi Alpha.

If I’m Freaking You Out
If you just stumbled across this website while searching for something else and are growing increasingly horrified as you read of my nefarious plans to engage students in spiritual discussions, allow me to explain myself.

Some students are really uptight about religion, but most are not. Students generally enjoy having a non‐pushy and thought‐provoking discussion with someone about interesting things like the meaning of life, the existence of God, the nature of morality, and the power of religious belief.

Those are the people I interact with. I don’t roam about the campus like a lion seeking unwitting students to devour. I talk with people about things they want to talk about.

For the record, Chi Alpha is an organization in good standing with Stanford Associated Religions and is also a registered voluntary student organization at Stanford. That means our presence is sanctioned by the university.

So chill.

If I’m Freaking You Out Now
If, on the other hand, you were fine with everything I said until I explained that I’m not pushy and obnoxious, read on.

Being pushy and rude isn’t the Biblical model for evangelism. Don’t believe me?

  • Consider the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), wherein Jesus tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated. That applies to evangelism, too. If you wouldn’t want an atheist, Muslim, or Mormon talking to you a certain way, don’t talk that way to others.
  • Notice Peter’s advice that we are called to live in such a way that people ask us questions about our beliefs, and when they do we answer them gently and respectfully (1 Peter 3:15–16)
  • Consider Paul’s prayer request in Colossians 4:3–4, in which he prays for opportunities. Note that he does not announce his clever plans for tricking people into talking with him. He prays that God would bring the conversations about.

In other words, I’m not shirking back from proclaiming the gospel clearly, nor am I capitulating to some insane campus speech code, nor am I living in fear of the secular status quo. I’m merely being wise and biblical.

Just think about it: I’m an ordained minister and nationally appointed missionary with the Assemblies of God, which the world’s largest Protestant denomination and which is considered by many to be the most effective missionary movement in the history of the world (reflect on this: we didn’t exist 100 years ago and are now one of the largest religious movements anywhere). The Assemblies of God didn’t send us to reach Stanford because we’re some kind of cowardly wimps. They sent us because they believe we are called, gifted, and guided by God for this task.

So chill.

2 thoughts on “A Message to Stanford Students”

  1. Glen: I would like to send you a copy of my book
    Reading Genesis One: Comparing Biblical Hebrew with
    English Translation. I am a retired Phd physicist.
    I think the content of the book can be very helpful
    in evangalism. To what address could I send a copy?

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