The word evangelism can cause many images to form in the Christian mind. Some people may think of committed missionaries who travel to the ends of the earth. Others may think of Paul, Peter, Stephen, and other martyrs of the early church who lost their lives for the sake of the gospel. Still, others might imagine a man in a suit on a street corner with a bullhorn and a gospel tract. Probably few of us think of ourselves. However, all of us who bear the name of Christ are called to evangelize and spread the good news of the gospel to those around us.
Though sometimes overlooked, the medieval Christians in early Anglo-Saxon England heeded this call remarkably well. In St. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, we are given a detailed historical account of the numerous ways in which the Anglo-Saxons were able to influence surrounding pagan cultures. Their persistent passion for evangelism and their use of reason and imagination, as well as natural talent and supernatural power, together constitute an excellent apologetic example for Christians today.
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