I have reached the point in my journey of understanding the life and work of Dr. King where I’m now trying to get a better grasp on those who directly influenced him. Most recently, my efforts have been turned toward the autobiography of Mohandas Gandhi, one of Dr. King’s more significant inspirations.
In 1893, at the young age of 23, Gandhi journeyed to South Africa to do some legal work for a family friend. It would be here where many of Gandhi’s views on politics, religion, and the ethics of non-violence would be forged.
It wasn’t too long after his arrival in South Africa when Gandhi encountered a Christian community who tried to evangelize him. For obvious reasons, I am particularly interested in his formation of religious thought as well as his religious experience. Unfortunately, this early encounter with a Christian community left a lasting negative impression of Christianity on Gandhi.
Perhaps we can redeem this “bad recipe for evangelism” by looking at a few of these poor ingredients and discern better ones for our own evangelistic efforts today.