Monday, January 28, 2013

Areas of Influence and the Purpose of Life

[Adapted from “The Point of It All” in What's Wrong With Outreach.]

The typical model of how evangelism is supposed to work divides people into two categories, Saved and Lost. These categories are completely distinct and separate from one another. Every individual is in one category or the other. No one can be in both, or anywhere in between. This view could be illustrated like this:
There might be secondary differences within each category—among the Lost might be those who are apathetic to the gospel, those who are actively hostile, those who are devoted to other religions, and those who are atheists and have no supernatural beliefs at all; among the Saved might be those who are new converts and need instruction, those who are strongly committed and growing, those who are relatively apathetic, and those who are enthusiastically “on fire.” But these divisions are considered more or less intramural and aren’t really connected with the overarching goal of evangelism. The only distinctions made would be in relation to technique—how one goes about trying to reach a particular group from among the Lost—or impetus—how one goes about trying to motivate those from among the Saved to do evangelism in the first place.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Marginal Christianity: The Persecution of the Church in America – Really!...

The Marginal Christianity blog has a very interesting piece suggesting that Christianity in America is indeed under persecution--but not from the usual suspects.  Check out The Persecution of the Church in America – Really!...

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Roger Olson and Evangelical Secularism

Roger Olson has recently written a passionate post entitled, "Have American Evangelicals Become Secularized? Some New Year’s Reflections on Changes during a Lifetime." I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Olson, and his piece deserves thoughtful reflection. In discussing the differences between the church world he grew up in and the church world that exists today, Olson writes,
In 1950s evangelicalism we memorized Scripture. Who does that anymore? Then we sang theologically rich hymns and gospel songs. Who does that anymore? Then we studied our Sunday School lessons on Saturday (if not before). Who does that anymore? Then we attended church on Sunday evening and invited “unsaved friends” to hear the gospel. Who does that anymore? Then we gathered in each others’ homes for fellowship and prayer and Bible study. Who does that anymore?