I’m convinced that pre-evangelism is essential for reaching people with the gospel in postmodern settings today. But perhaps I need to make my case a bit more persuasively. After all, isn’t the gospel self-authenticating and powerful enough on its own? Do we really need to appeal to fallen people’s inadequate reasoning in proclaiming a message about rebirth? Perhaps my quoting of Schaeffer, Moore, and Keller still leave you wanting input from a higher authority.
Fifty years ago, Francis Schaeffer, the one-of-a-kind preacher and evangelist in postmodern Europe (before most people ever heard the term postmodern) told us, “Pre-evangelism is no soft option.” More recently, Russell Moore awakened us to the reality that “we can stop counting on the culture to do pre-evangelism” for us.
From Unlikely Converts, pages 13 to 15:
“Don’t you just love stories? We sit on the edge of our seats to hear them. We download podcasts that feature them. We pay money to hear comedians tell funny ones. We wake up when a longwinded speaker breaks from explanations, elaborations, and emendations and says, “This reminds me of a story.”
“Randy Newman has done it again! His latest book on personal evangelism is so captivating and inspirational that I read it in one sitting.” So says Dr. Lyle Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University Randy’s latest book is Unlikely Converts, the result of his doctoral research on how we can help non-believers come to faith. I’ve asked Randy to write a series of four guest blogs here to share some of what he discovered (and hopefully entice you to buy his book!)
In addition to a healthy theology of grief (last week), a healthy theology of death is also essential to being able to say “goodbye” well when the time comes. Having a “theology of death” may seem odd, morbid, and even wrong. Ours is such a life-affirming and life-focused culture that we rarely think of death. Therefore, it is not surprising that most of us don’t have a theology of death, much less a well-developed one. But this is exactly what we need in order to be able to say goodbye well.
During this Christmas season, I’m reflecting on the implications of understanding that Jesus was born as a boy, who grew to be a man in this same world we share. In my last three posts, I shared the first and second reasons that are vitally important to keep in mind, during Christmas and always. As important as these first two are, the third reason is the most important one for our salvation.
Happy Thanksgiving! During this season as we stop to reflect on our many blessings, I am posting the last in a three-week series of reflections on finding my birth mother after nearly 55 years. This discovery has also helped me understand more of what my adoption meant to both my mothers and the many blessings I received as a result. The biblical passages about adoption have come alive to me in new ways, causing me to be even more thankful for what it meant for God to adopt me, and the many blessings I have received from Him as a result.
“Hello, is this Stan? My name is Jean. I think I’m your mother.”
These are the amazing words I heard when I answered the phone on September 7, 2017. After nearly 55 years I was reunited with my birth mother. I blogged last week about two of the three truths I’ve understood more deeply since getting to know her these past few months. But this has also caused me to reflect on the love and courage of the woman I have and always will call “Mother”—the woman who adopted me.
Can we hope to find common ground in “the public square” over the critically important social issues of our day? Over the past seven weeks I’ve illustrated how the three different answers to “What are we” determines our answer to this question. But our view of what we are also determines our view of whether abortion and euthanasia are ever justified, whether the gospel makes sense, how Christians best grow in their faith, what constitutes “ministry,” and so much more. Let me explain…
What is the essence of Christianity? How does being a follower of Christ relate to thinking, to work and to life? Why is this the title of your blog and the topics you address? These are questions I am often asked. So I decided to add a “Definitions” page to my website and offer my answers to these questions.
In my last post, I shared the first way biblical truth always shows up in the movies we watch. Yet there are two more ways that we should notice as well. Each of these should regularly remind us of the Gospel in our own lives and give us “common ground” from which to discuss biblical truth with those around us.
During the holidays I had the chance to see a play and several movies (a rare treat!) I was struck by three biblical themes that were central to them all. By highlighting these themes in conversations with our children and friends we have ready-made examples to help them understand the great truths of the Gospel, as well as remind us of the grace of the Gospel in our lives!
During this Christmas Season, I’m reflecting on the implications of understanding that Jesus was really born as a boy, who grew to be a man in this same world we live in. In my last three posts, I shared the first and second reasons which are vitally important to keep in mind, during Christmas and always. As important as these reasons are, the third reason is the most important one for our salvation. (Read Post #1, Post#2, Post#3 here. These reasons were just too important to cram into the few weeks leading up to Christmas!)