Evangelist speaks about sex at UND

Well-known speaker Bob Boyd visits campus

Grand Forks Herald/January 28, 2004
By Stephen J. Lee

This might be the ultimate preaching to the choir.

Evangelist Bob Boyd spoke on "The Secret of Great Sex" on Tuesday night to about 550 UND students in the Memorial Union ballroom.

Despite the same name, this is not the Bob Boyd who is vice president of student and outreach services at UND.

This Boyd is involved in another sort of outreach as head of Bob Boyd Evangelistic Association of Norfolk, Va.

Sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and several other campus groups, Boyd has spent four days on campus.

He spoke to about 16 different smaller groups of athletes or fraternity and sorority members. The keynote public address was Tuesday night in the ballroom.

As provocative as the title of his talk, Boyd is following a Campus Crusade for Christ tradition of "using" sex to talk about spiritual things.

Well-known longtime Campus Crusade speaker Josh McDowell spoke and wrote for years about "Maximum Sex," including at an event several years at UND in Chester Fritz Auditorium.

Boyd explained the connection he makes between sex and spirituality.

"We believe that great sex is a result of great love and that great love comes from God," Boyd said. "One secret of great sex is the opposite of pornography. It's not focused on just the physical, but on creative love-making. Sex is a great gift, but it's abused often."

He's not exactly encouraging UND students to go out and do it, unless they are married.

"We believe that sex was meant to be the expression of the complete commitment of a man and woman to each other for a lifetime," Boyd said. "In that bond of commitment lies the ability to be vulnerable, lies the ability to give yourself to the other person, lies the ability to develop a good sex life."

Russ Zimmerman, director of Campus Crusade for Christ at UND, said the numbers of students taking part in the weekly meetings is higher than ever.

Campus Crusade, started more than 40 years ago by the recently deceased Bill Bright, is the nation's largest "para-church," campus ministry. It's known best for it's aggressive evangelism style using the "Four Spiritual Laws" developed by Bright.

They have been successful at UND: The regular Tuesday meeting has had to move off campus to Hope Evangelical Covenant Church in the Grand Cities Mall because a large enough place was not regularly available at UND, Zimmerman said.

Up to 200 students and more attend the weekly meetings, he said.

Zimmerman and his wife, Di, are one-third of the six full-time Campus Crusade staff at UND. They all raise their own financial resources each year.

"We have seen pretty significant growth this past fall," Zimmerman said. "Last year, we had about 65 attend the fall retreat. This year, we had about 130 or so, so it doubled."

He attributes it to leadership.

"It's our student leaders understanding and being more excited about their faith and wanting to tell others about what Christ has done in their lives," Zimmerman said.

Boyd's appearances this week are special events to draw in more people.

Monday, he spoke to the men's and women's basketball teams, with coaches Rich Glas and Gene Roebuck present, Boyd said.

Boyd said that as the Virginia state champion wrestler in the 98-pound class in 1970, he still relates to athletes.

"We talked about how to perform to your peak," he said.

At the end of the talk, Boyd gave an "altar call" of sorts.

"We talk about that the key to life is a relationship with God," he said. "We give an invitation to athletes to make a decision to receive Christ in their life. We always say there is no pressure."

He gave similar talks to Greek members.

In two days, more than 100 UND students made that decision at his meetings, Boyd said. He hoped for more Tuesday night.

An ordained Southern Baptist who was a United Methodist pastor, Boyd worked as a national speaker for Campus Crusade for 12 years and started his own independent ministry seven years ago. He's spoken on more than 200 college campuses and plans to hold a crusade in Uganda next summer in an effort allied with prominent evangelist Luis Palau.

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