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Go, stand, speak – the forgotten power of the public proclamation of the gospel

February 2012 | by Andy Banton

DVD review

Go, stand, speak — the forgotten power of the public proclamation of the gospel

The Apologetics Group & Go Stand Speak Ministries
$14.99 from http://www.gostandspeak.com

This production is of a good quality, with interviews and footage that lasts over two hours. It is helpfully broken up into its various sections.
    A number of evangelical leaders from the United States make various contributions. Each one presents a balanced and yet impassioned plea for preachers to leave the comfort of their pulpits and venture forth into public places to proclaim the gospel.
    The point is well made that since most unconverted people do not attend church today, the biblical emphasis of going to where the people are in order to present the claims of Jesus Christ needs to be rediscovered.
    We are reminded that throughout the history of the world, public proclamation has been something that God has ordained and honoured. The Lord Jesus himself was found preaching in the public square just as often as he was doing so in the synagogue. We are urged to follow in his footsteps and go out with the gospel.
    High standards of preaching are encouraged and many helpful suggestions given. Paul Washer (Heartcry Missionary Society) makes the point that we shouldn’t have a lower standard for preaching in the open air than for the pulpit. He states that, as well as the content being extremely important, so is the presentation.
    Emphasis is rightly placed on the need for open air preachers to be tender-hearted as they deliver their message and never angry or arrogant.
    One of the ‘special features’ shows an open air meeting taking place at the Kentucky Derby. This gives a realistic picture of what open air preaching is like, in terms of the wide range of responses that it brings about.
    There is much apathy, some mockery, but also those who stop and listen to the preaching and then engage in personal conversation and receive literature afterwards.
    There are a few negatives about this DVD. Some may dislike the pictures of the Lord occasionally used as the background to some quotes from Scripture.
    A few of the contributors are seen taking part in protests outside abortion clinics. Whatever our views of such activity, many of us would struggle to view this as evangelistic activity.
    Some footage shows men preaching in front of captive audiences such as on railways stations. Forcing people to listen in this way usually leads to antagonism, and since there are so many pedestrianised shopping precincts in Britain, this seems an unnecessary as well as unwise approach.
    Finally, one of the minor contributors, Shawn Holes, visited Scotland last year and caused quite a lot of controversy. I was shown some YouTube footage, which I watched with dismay.
    Mr Holes repeatedly pointed at individuals outside an Edinburgh nightclub, telling them repeatedly that they were going to hell. I am saddened that Mr Holes’ behaviour somewhat undermines what is a helpful and challenging production.
Andy Banton
The Open-Air Mission

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