I have not followed the controversies surrounding the evangelism methods of Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort until I saw the movie Fireproof, starring Kirk Cameron. Then, in discussing this movie with friends, I got into this story.

Ray Comfort is an evangelist from New Zealand who has created quite a storm in his appearances across the United States. He is bold, if nothing else. And he is determined to never water down the rough edges of the gospel, at least as he understands it. Cameron, who also starred in the Left Behind movies and Growing Pains in the 1990s, has linked his efforts with Comfort in an approach called "guerrilla evangelism." In late 2001 Cameron and Comfort launched The Way of the Master to teach Christians how to share their faith "simply, effectively, biblically . . . the way Jesus did." Something about this troubles me, especially the assumption that they are sharing "the way Jesus did." What makes them so sure? And is this claim truthful and relevant contextually?

Look, I teach evangelism. I share my faith. I preach the gospel. I do apologetics, formally and informally. I am not attacking these two men or their motives, which I feel sure are solid. They obviously love Jesus and want to do a great deal of good. They may do more good than I could ever dream of doing. But their methods are debatable, as are their claims.

Ray Comfort has made a name for himself regarding his distinctive doctrinal emphasis as well. He regularly says that most church members are not regenerate and then argues that the Ten Commandments are the way to show them that they are still sinners. Two of his favorite sermons are titled: "Hell's Best Kept Secret" and "True and False Conversions." His stress is on "biblical repentance," which he defines in generally accurate ways but with his own unique mixture of passion and application. He speaks in churches and seminars all over the world but particularly in America.

Comfort, who was born Jewish, was raised with no religious faith at all. He was converted in his 20s. He has since designed and distributed scores of tracts and is known for his passionate proclamation. He made himself into quite a celebrity by arguing that he could prove the existence of God. ABC television picked this up and their Web site featured the question: "Does God Exist?" Two atheists took on Comfort and Cameron in a dialog on the ABC site. These two atheists had already produced a "Blasphemy Challenge" on You Tube that challenged youth to denounce the Holy Spirit and "damn themselves to hell." When all of this happened in 2007, many Christians came out in force to support Comfort and Cameron. But many then wished that serious apologists like Ravi Zacharias or William Lane Craig had led this public effort.

The problem with the evangelism of Comfort and CameronCameron
is that, though they are obviously sincere and filled with immense passion, they are simply wrong at some points. They were unprepared for these debates with the two atheists, and showed a lack of understanding of the issues that were at hand. Neither of these men has serious theological training and it shows, very sadly. Cameron even attempted to "prove" that God existed by showing why evolution would not work. This is a debatable point among Christians but as a serious apologist I do not think you can prove God by showing that evolution did not happen. This in no way proves the existence of the God of Holy Scripture. In fact, I do not think that you can "prove" God's existence in the way these two evangelists argue at all. But Comfort insists that he can prove God's existence without faith or biblical reference.

Cameron comes across, as in Fireproof, as likable and winsome. But his arguments are the real problem. Dealing with professional debaters who attack Christianity is one thing, while bearing faithful witness to another person who is your friend is a different matter altogether.

These two men are clearly sincere Christians who have a great deal of courage. I admire them for this more than you may know. What I question is the wisdom of their witness and approach.

Related Posts


  1. Richard October 22, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Did you see Mr. Comfort’s attempt to use a Banana to prove God’s existence? It would be funny if it weren’t so embarrassing.
    Surely we can do better than this.

  2. Amy October 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Hello! I recently found your blogpage off of a link from another. I’ve been reading through the last few days of your posts.
    Excellent stuff here!!
    I fully agree with you on this particular post. Sigh…the methods both men use for Evangelism are so…well…Religion based an Churchiantiy-inspiried.
    Love…love…love for all people is our greatest method of evangelising. For, through relationship with others, we cause them to want to wonder what the Light and source of Love within us is. Then, when asked, we can share Whom it is from — Papa Son Holy Spirit.
    I actually did a post on this subject on 8.28.08.
    Please feel free to drop into my blogpage, and add me to your Feeds list if you’d like! I always enjoy gaining new blogging friends.
    Walking In The Spirit
    ~Amy 🙂

  3. Anthony October 22, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    This is actually something of a personal issue for me.
    When I was a young Christian, not long after having responded to the Gospel, and taking my faith seriously, I came across the works of Charles Finney, particularly about true and false conversion. I was reading quite a bit on salvation and holiness, because I was looking for assurance as well as “the secret” to living a genuinely holy life. In short reading Finney put me in a tailspin of fear, confusion, and despondency. During this time, I also read some of Comfort’s works, and works of a related nature by other author’s. What I found was that there was a lot of disagreement about “the Biblical plan of salvation” and I found little in the way of assurance and encouragement to live a holy life. Instead, I basically came to the conclusion that I was the product of a false conversion, and in response I tried to repent to the depths of my being and be genuinely converted. Ironically, instead of spurring my on toward a genuine or deeper faith I was led to depression and deep despondency, and I ran from God, both in my heart and actions. I went looking for signs of genuine faith and repentance, but being the deeply introspective person that I am, I only found further proof of my sin and depravity. I understood the Gospel, but I was baffled as to why my experience didn’t match the experience that Comfort and a few others said I should have had. It is hard to explain my frame of mind, but I guess that I was thinking that I was passed over by God, or that I was not sincere enough in my faith, or that I was… you name it. Basically, it was if my soul was bent on taking the divergent often-contradictory assertion of theologians across the spectrum and using them to accuse and condemn me.
    Fortunately, I could not find peace and I did not enjoy running from God, and I think the Spirit began to show me how it was my own pride that was condemning me, and how the Devil is the accuser of believers. And mainly, I saw a kind of twisted strategy at work, one that began to look like the work of the enemy. Basically, what I saw was that my attempts to make sure my experience was genuine, or to make sure that I had a genuine experience, was leading me further from trusting in God. Now, I take comfort in God’s sovereignty and wisdom, and though I know that God made us human agents, with appropriate responsibilities, ultimately my well-being is in his inscrutable and glorious work.
    Having said all this, I still have to confess that the aftermath of this confusion still lingers in my heart.

  4. Bradley Cochran October 31, 2008 at 1:36 am

    You are so very right again. I mourned as I watched Ray and Kirk on the ABC debate. Oh … the agony.
    I have been very influenced by Ray’s methods, however. I used to use them, but now I only use certain aspects of his teaching, and selectively at that.
    Great thoughts! I think I’ll post a link to your post here on T h e o • p h i l o g u e

  5. P. Mann November 15, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for this interesting blog entry. Perhaps the title can be changed to “The apologetics of Kirk Cameron” or “The Non-Apologetics of Kirk Cameron”, as your entry seems to critique their apologetics than evangelism methodology per se.
    I read the entry twice and can’t put my finger where really is a substantial disagreement of their evangelism methodology other than the fact the name is “Way of the Master”.
    Do you believe that the Law of God is a tool for evangelism? http://www.teamtruth.com/articles/art_thelawtoolsforevangelism.htm
    I do agree with your concern about their apologetics…it’s kind of disappointing.
    Concerning apologetics, you stated, “Dealing with professional debaters who attack Christianity is one thing, while bearing faithful witness to another person who is your friend is a different matter altogether.”
    But the two Atheists…were they really “professional”???
    Visit those atheist website sometimes, I think you will be surprise just as I am that ABC hosted not only Comfort and Kirk, but also these two Myspace juvenile atheist! I listened to their shows, and it was a bunch of kids who lives at home (the girl atheist was a stripper) and no degrees.
    Christian apologist Paul Manata wrote about these two atheists: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/02/is-theism-irrational-responding-to-lil.html

  6. Susanne Hicks April 24, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I disagree more strongly than any other commentator so far about this approach and if you scroll up to Amy’s comment that is the reason, it is all about condemnation, he is the kind of guy when sharing the Lord’s dealings with the Samaritan woman glosses over all that wonderful word about the well of water springing up into eternal life and zeros in and magnifies His word to her about having 7 husbands/partners for which there is no condemnation, and the whole witness turned not because she “writhed” but because she perceived He was a Prophet [I listened to the tape] and so he does in all his examples. Also he is very coy about his own conversion, I have a strong feeling that he was saved by what he now dismisses as the love/happiness gospel. And oh he toots bout the backing he gets from David Wilkerson, hang on, isn’t he the one who looked Nicky Cruz in the eye and said Jesus loves you, N.C. tossed and turned all night on that and it was the pivotal turning point in D.W.s whole ministry.

  7. Mary Moody July 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Make sure you pray for Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort because they are witnessing and taking an active role in spreading the Gospel? If you or I are not out witnessing or making a concerted effort to win souls I think God will wonder what in the world were we talking about to tear down those that are?
    God, unlike us, is interested in what we do not so much in what we say should be done. He tells us to witness, win souls. Some will be gentle evangelists. Others may be didactic, legalistic, and dogmatic. All God is concerned with is that souls are won to Him.
    Check the Bible John the Baptist was radical and eccentric; Jesus was bold, intellectual and at least one time, violent. I could say more. But my theological debate or preference matters not to God. Again he just wants me to be active in soul winning, and if you are active then pray for your brothers. Pray that God will make them wise and that they will win many souls to Christ as I pray for you now.
    May God continue to bless Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort for their obedience to God’s word when He says, go into the hedges and highways and compel them to come.
    God bless you,

Comments are closed.

My Latest Book!

Use Promo code UNITY for 40% discount!

Recent Articles