Volume 2, Number 3

October 12, 1997

Evangelism on campus

An interview with "Mad" Max Lynch

By Scott Tibbs

You see him often on campus, passing out literature on what the Bible teaches or preaching in the meadow between Ballantine and Woodburn Hall. Sometimes he draws a crowd, and that crowd ranges from interested listeners to rude hecklers. But no matter what you think of him, you cannot ignore Max Lynch.

In twenty-three years of campus evangelism, Lynch has become somewhat of an icon on the I.U. campus as well as other campuses throughout the state. He travels all over Indiana looking to spread the Gospel. Many times you will see him in ice-cold weather, in the rain, or in baking sunlight, still pressing on to spread the word. Lynch is apparently very dedicated to what he does.

On February 16, 1974, Lynch was fired from his job as a college professor, for reading his Bible in class. He was fired first for actually reading the Bible, and second for refusing to stop. At that point, he went into campus ministry full time, calling it a "promotion" to being a "full-time servant of God". Later, he sued on First Amendment grounds, and was defeated in three state courts before being denied a hearing by the Supreme Court. He has had several ministries, via pamphlets, radio, and to the U.S. Congress.

What follows is an interview with the campus evangelist they call "Mad Max."

Hoosier Review: How were you called to preach the Gospel?
Max Lynch: I was called to preach the Gospel while I was a math professor at Indiana State University in 1963. I was working in a church In Terre Haute, but I was too busy to keep the church going. So, I turned to campus evangelism in May 1975.

HR: Are you bothered by the hecklers that attempt to disrupt you, or by the negative press you get?
ML: No, not a bit. Indiana University is mild compared to other universities.

HR: How effective do you think your ministry has been?
ML: That is a contradictory question, because effectiveness really can't be measured. I had several people come to Christ at one time, most notably seven in the meadow between Ballantine and Woodburn. My job is sowing the seed. I may never know what effect the literature I pass out will be. I may pass out literature to 200-300 people in one day, and it is impossible to know what the real effect of that is. In any case, that is not my measure of effectiveness. My measure of effectiveness is "Am I serving the Lord? Am I doing what He wants me to do, going where He wants me to go, and saying what He wants me to say?"

HR: Many Bible scholars believe the Second Coming is just around the corner. How close do you believe it is?
ML: It is relatively soon, but it cannot occur until two important prophecies. First is the Apostasy, or great falling away from God. That is occurring now, but the Man of Sin must also appear as prophesied in II Thessalonians chapter 2. There are a great number of signs, most notably the founding of Israel in 1948.

HR: Do you work with the other campus ministers?
ML: Not unless we happen to be at the same place at the same time, and that's just wisdom. We don't want to distract from each other, but to present the Gospel in the most efficient way.

Additional articles in this issue:

A poem by Kirsten Lammlein

Eric Seymour

Robert Schiener