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The Round Table Approach

E. Stanley Jones felt strongly the he had no right to teach others if he was not learning from them.  He writes:

In looking back at the Round Table approach, I see now how daring and decisive this approach was: Here we were putting our cards on the table and asking the non-Christian world to do the same. Suppose our ‘hands” with which we were playing the game of life should turn out to be inadequate; and suppose other ways of life should prove more adequate. This was a showdown, and the stakes were high. In every situation the trump card was Jesus Christ. He made the difference. The people who followed Him might be spotty and inadequate, but they had hold of the spotless and adequate or better Christ had hold of them!

I came to India with everything to teach and nothing to learn. I now learn as well, and I am a better man for having come into contact with the gentle heart of the East.

The Roundtable meetings were a more intimate approach than the public lectures.  Leading representatives of different faiths, including agnostics and atheists (30-40 people) would be invited to share what their faith or lack of faith meant to them in experience. He would ask, “Tell us what you have found through your faith – What does it do for you in your everyday life?” (A Song Of Ascents)

Present day dialogues with non-Christian faiths have been heralded as something new, and they are surely important. E. Stanley Jones held these conversations 80 years ago.

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