Scared Little Kittens

Christians ought to make it their ambition to please the Lord (2 Cor 5:9). This sounds great in the abstract, but it becomes uncomfortable when it comes to evangelism. There are many approaches a church can take. The two ditches to avoid are:

  1. to focus so much on being “nice” (i.e. “See! We’re normal people, here!”) that you’re reluctant to give the Gospel lest it drive people away, and
  2. clinging to old methods that might not be the best for your area (e.g. door to door evangelism)

What happens in between these ditches depends on your context and your congregation. I minister in a very secular area, and I’m convinced nothing less than aggressive, winsome Gospel messaging will work. Next weekend, our church will participate in the annual Christmas parade in Olympia, WA. This is the secular epicenter of a very secular area. We’ll carry four 10’x3’ banners that proclaim the Gospel. We’ll hand out about 1000 bags, each with a Gospel tract and candy.

No other church goes near this parade. They should. It’s a great opportunity to give the Gospel. I think they’re either scared, or they don’t believe the Gospel, or they’re insular. I don’t think they’re maliciously insular or self-consciously scared. I think they’re intimidated by society, and they’ve tucked into their shells like frightened turtles. I don’t think they realize how cowed they are. I don’t know all this, of course - I just suspect it.

2273 reads

The Gospel Way: Theologically Rooted Evangelism (Part 1)

By Sam Horn. Republished with permission from Baptist Bulletin © Regular Baptist Press. All rights reserved.

“No human mind could conceive or invent the gospel.” These words comprise the opening line of a little-known prayer included in a collection of Puritan prayers, The Valley of Vision. These words arrested my attention and caused me to reflect again on my own understanding, response, and commitment to the gospel—especially my ineptness, fear, and disinclination to share it with others even after three decades of ministry and multiple evidences of its transforming power.

I have learned that while my soul longs for the gospel, my heart is often indifferent to its effects—and my lips are often silent to its glorious truth. This sad state has become increasingly difficult for me to accept as the status quo. I am convinced that a good bit of my difficulty lies in my failure to reflect regularly and deeply about the true nature and divine purpose of the gospel. Furthermore, I suspect this same failure is why many Christians and evangelical churches fail to engage in sharing the gospel accurately, attractively, and authoritatively with those who desperately need to experience the redemption it offers.

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Douglas Wilson’s ‘spiritual takeover’ plan roils Idaho college town

"The church website explains the church’s mission further. 'Our desire is to make Moscow a Christian town,' it reads, ' … through genuine cultural engagement that provides Christian leadership in the arts, in business, in education, in politics, and in literature.'" - RNS

1592 reads

Atheism is declining, says report; what should Christians do?

"According to the [Center for the Study of Global Christianity] report, atheism reached its peak in 1970, with over 165 million atheists worldwide. Since then, atheism has been steadily decreasing, with 138 million today, a number that’s expected to drop to 129 million by 2050." - Christian Post

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Review: The End of White Christian America

Robert P. Jones wrote his book in 2016. He’s the founder of the Public Religion Research Institute, and holds a PhD in religion from Emory and an MDiv from Southwestern. He’s a clever and engaging writer, and opens with an obituary for “White Christian America” (“WCA”). In this “eulogy,” he explained that WCA had been ill for some time, but the disease became terminal after the 2004 presidential election:1

The cause of death was determined to be a combination of environmental and internal factors—complications stemming from major demographic changes in the country, along with religious disaffiliation as many of its younger members began to doubt WCA’s continued relevance in a shifting cultural environment.

Jones writes from a progressive Christian perspective, and he sheds few tears at the death of WCA. His thesis is that a particular cultural era has ended in America; an era largely shaped and defined by WCA.2

What is WCA?

This is the million-dollar question, but (for me, at least) the biggest initial stumbling-block is that Jones decided to use a framework that generalizes Christians of various theological stripes by the color of their skin.3 It’s these white Protestants, Jones argues, who have lost their grip on the culture and are fast fading into obscurity.

2429 reads