This last week on Friday, February 27, Oklahoma Wesleyan University welcomed Stuart McAllister from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries to chapel. Stuart McAllister is a dynamic speaker and has had the opportunity to speak and minister all over the world.
Born in Scotland, Stuart McAllister saw his life changed by Christ at the early age of twenty. He worked with Operation Mobilization for 20 years preaching in communist countries. From 1992-1998 Stuart acted as general secretary of the European Evangelical Alliance and was involved with the European Lausanne Committee. Stuart joined Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in 1998 as the International Director and today serves as Regional Director, Americas. Stuart is passionate about the gospel and sharing the message of Jesus Christ.
On Friday, he spoke about how to share the gospel in a culture that is at odds with it. He start his talk with 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside…”
He said that first we must recognize that there is a clash of worldviews. “The message of Christ and the cross come as a surprise and an offense to many; however, it is the central focus. It is the essence… Jesus Christ is not only the messenger, He is the message.”
Stuart also discussed that idea that once we realize that the cross is not only an answer, but it is the Christian way, we encounter the difficulty of being a meaningful witness.
“Our culture and society set hidden rules for what is and is not allowed in the public square,” said Stuart. He gave the examples of the hidden rules that “everything is relative,” “there is no such thing as truth with a capital T,” and “we reject any claims of certainty.”
This means that we must be intentional with how we engage in apologetics and how we share the gospel message. Stuart quoted Ravi Zacharias saying, “Two key realities sum up an effective apologetic: how to relate to the questioner and how to make sure that the answers are couched in a relevant context. If we miss those two converging lines, we miss the opportunity.”
Stuart advised that we must “expose flaws in a kindly manner and be committed to a compassionate mission. We must speak the truth in love. Our manner is as important as our message.” He encouraged those in chapel to people and their views and beliefs with care.
He ended his talk exhorting students to maintain their focus on Christ and the cross. “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”