Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Theological Implications on Evangelism

With the risk of being called an alarmist, I think that there is a lot more tied into our theology than one might think. An example would be one popular evangelical organization's emphasis on what is called "connecting with the lost" in evangelism. Now, if you're into God's sovereignty big time - like I am - you don't worry so much about the connection issue because God's going to get those we're witnessing to one way or the other if He wants them. That doesn't mean we ignore the concept, but it takes the pressure off the "evangelist" regarding who's responsible for the gospel being understood. On the other hand, if you follow a more man-centered theology, then how the person tries to share the gospel has everything to do with the non-Christian's understanding and appreciation of it. In some Christians circles here in Brazil such an emphasis exists. But what do you expect? Arminianism rules pretty much across the board here. The main reason given? We're told that the culture has changed, so our methods must change. Sounds good, doesn't it? But what do you do with the scriptural commands to preach the gospel? People are still in rebellion against God, are facing eternal condemnation and are thus in need of a Savior. How we communicate that may change, but it does need to be communicated verbally - in spoken or written form - to them: "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Rom. 10:17 - NASB).

This is my main concern with some methods that, in the interest of not offending, leave out key elements of a biblical gospel presentation of the gospel. Christians who have bought into a more man-centered theology will often back away from key gospel elements in the hope of stringing the person along until they are able to handle the "hard words of Jesus." Talking about "bait and switch!"

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