Posts filed under ‘gospel’

Evangelism Book Idea

Recently I had a conversation with an editor who rejected my book proposal. It was not as depressing as it could have been. But, the bottom line is that books on Evangelism just aren’t the biggest sellers out there. So, I’m scrapping my book idea on Evangelism.

For those who may be disappointed by this – even if it is only a few of you – I wanted to let you know that I will be writing on the topic, just not for the purpose of a book. I plan to continue writing and try to get articles published. Recently, I published some of what I had written for the book proposal on the Deep Church blog (I am a guest author there now, blogging about once a month) and the article got picked up by Doable Evangelism as well. If you are not a regular reader of those blogs, I encourage you to check them out and join the conversation.

If you are interested in this topic, I’d love to hear from you. Please comment here after reading the chapter summary I worked up for my book proposal and vote on which topic you would like to hear more about next. (more…)

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April 23, 2009 at 10:14 am 1 comment

Would Missional by Any Other Name Sound So Sweet?

Last fall I took a hybrid-course from Leonard Sweet called, “Global Mission of the Church” at George Fox Evangelical Seminary. In the first few minutes of our face to face time, Sweet refuted the title of the class saying it should be, “Global Mission of God.” In the ensuing hours we touched on the concept of Missio Dei, and learned that Sweet’s vision for the church includes the church being missional, relational, and incarnational – an MRI church. This term “missional” has been growing in popularity over the last few years in the church in the West, especially in relation to emerging church. If missional is the shape of the future then we would do well to understand the origins and implications of this term. Some believe “the controversial hypothesis that the language available to humans defines our thoughts.”  If this is the case, then how we define missional will not only affect how we think, but if we take Proverbs 23:7 out of context, we can argue that how we think affects who we are.

In March of 2007, I attended a conference called “Inside the Missional Matrix” put on by Off the Map. Scot McKnight, Todd Hunter, and Rose Swetman did an excellent job engaging those in attendance. One question that was raised particularly intrigued me. The question raised was something like this, “Some people use the term incarnational and some missional – what’s the difference and are these terms interchangeable?” (more…)

November 9, 2008 at 11:59 pm 12 comments

A Christianity Worth Believing – Ch. 1-4

So far, CWB is a good read, but raises some interesting questions.

Question 1: Christianity as religion, relationship or something else?

Ch. 1, pg. 7 – “Religion by its very nature, tends to be conservative. Not just in the political or theological sense, but in the truest sense of the word–to conserve something. Religion is often a tool for preserving a set of beliefs, ideas, and behaviors. That preservation necessitates a stance of protection, of warding off any changes that threatens those beliefs.”

“The stickler is that Christianity doesn’t make a very good religion in this sense. Christianity is not a faith of conservation and preservation. It is a faith of creation, participation, and change.”

What are your thoughts on Christianity as a “conservative” religion in the sense Doug describes here?

Question 2: Do you have a “conversion” story?

Ch. 2, pg. 13 – Doug describes his “conversion” experience and relates, “I didn’t know the story of God, yet I had a gut-level understanding that God was involved and active in the world and wanted people to join in that activity.”

Question 3: Can we “boil down” the gospel into bullet points or tracts?

Ch. 3, pg. 22 – about booklet versions of the gospel, they “seem like a different story altogether, one with steps and stages rather than people and passions.”

Question 4: How do you define the gospel? Has your definition of the gospel been more influenced by booklets and “evangelism” training, or by Scriptures and your life experience with Christ?

Ch. 4, pg. 30

“… the gospel is to be told in a way that makese sense in our day and time so that we too can find life in it.”

July 7, 2008 at 8:47 pm

A Christianity Worth Believing, by Doug Pagitt

I started reading Doug Pagitt’sA Christianity Worth Believingyesterday and will be offering discussion points the next few Mondays for those who are interested. I will read Ch. 1-5 this week and offer discussion points on Monday, then Ch. 6-10 on week 2, followed by Ch. 11-14 on week 3, and concluding with Ch. 15-18 on week 4. I hope you will join me in reading this book and drop in on the discussion sometime. It will be a lot more fun to discuss this with others than to read it on my own.

I listened to a recent radio interview with Doug and wanted to offer a quote that struck me as interesting. Doug suggests the following thinking about truth: “All truth, whatever is a true expression of reality, is not going to interfere with any other of God’s truths. So, we don’t have to fear that actually knowing things or being educated or understanding the way things work is going to get in the way of the gospel.” You can listen to the interview here. Happy reading!!

July 2, 2008 at 2:22 pm

A Rollin’ Gospel Revival Meeting

So, I went to church on a Monday night – I guess that’s what you do for a revival meeting – it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, church is in session!! Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, and Mark Scandrette are touring the country doing “The Church Basement Road Show: A Rollin’ Gospel Revival Meeting.” These guys take us back to another century – 1908 – when itinerant preachers were traveling the country leading revival meetings. Specifically they portray three men who traveled together one historic summer – Brother Duke, Professor Hawthorne, and Preacher Withee. While the historical dramatic presentation was entertaining, and the knee slappin’ music was fun – it was all a verhicle for peddling books – as they unashamedly proclaim. Truly, it’s a “glorified” book tour. And, a successful one at that as far as I can tell – my friend and I bought all three books and plan to start a book club this summer to discuss them. I would also like to invite any readers of this blog to join us in our reading and discussing of the books here online. Starting July 1st we will read Doug’s book – A Christianity Worth Believing. Please leave a comment if you would like to join in this discussion.

June 26, 2008 at 9:38 am

The Road to Intimacy – Part 4

Faith leads us to intimacy with God.

God has made a way for all of us to know Him through Jesus Christ. He has revealed Himslef to us through Jesus and has shown us the way to intimacy with Him. God desires intimacy with all who will believe and put their faith or trust in Him.

“Loneliness is the most terrible poverty” – Mother Teresa

You can know God by faith.

“Trust in the LORD forever,
For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” – Isaiah 26:4 (NASB)

“…these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” – John 20:31 (NASB)

Faith is believing what you cannot see.

“Seek the LORD while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the LORD,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.” – Isaiah 55:6-7 (NASB)

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once…” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-6a (NKJV)

Prayer is an expression of faith.

Talking to God is sometimes called prayer. When we talk to God we demonstrate our faith or trust in Him. You can talk to God intimately any time you want.

April 5, 2007 at 4:59 pm

The Road to Intimacy – Part 3

God provides the way to intimacy.

God desires to walk with us in intimacy. Our sin keeps us from walking with Him in unashamed intimacy. in is an offense to God and when we offend someone we need to make restitution and seek forgiveness. Our disobedience to or disbelief of the revelation of God has caused separation from God. Through Jesus, God has made restitution for our sin. God has made a way for our sin to be forgiven and forgotten.

“The more we know, the better we forgive. Who’er feels deeply, feels for all that live.” Mme. de Staël

Forgiveness brings us close to God.

“Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man
whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.

For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
Selah

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD “—
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.” – Psalm 32:1-5 (NIV)

“…the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7b-9 (NASB)

Jesus is the way to intimacy with God.

“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:34 (NASB)

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.'” John 14:6-7

In sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, God has provided the way to regain lost intimacy with Him – through Jesus Christ.

Stay tuned for Part 4.

April 2, 2007 at 4:49 pm

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