Archive for the ‘evangelism’ Tag

Mark Dever and one of his “little loving protests”

Mark Dever also spoke at Commending Christ, Desiring God’s 2009 conference for pastors.  Having grown up a Southern Baptist, I really appreciated this tidbit from His message – “The Pastor and Evangelism“.

We cannot measure the correctness of what we do by the immediate response we get…If you grab a hold of this in a sanctified way, pastor, it will reduce your stress and anxiety and change, maybe for the worse, your relationship with your denomination. They want your statistics. We as a church (Capital Hill Baptist Church) just won’t give them. We don’t count. I don’t know how many people I baptized last year. So we certainly then do not send it in to the denomination. I don’t think it is wrong to do that. I don’t think it is wrong to count. I just know the temptation in our own sort of family of Christian churches and that’s one of my little loving protests.

If we get this wrong, I think what we see is we end up distorting well meaning churches into pragmatic, results oriented businesses. It also cripples the individual Christian with this sense of failure, aversion, guilt…I mean who can deny that much modern evangelism has become emotionally manipulative seeking only to get a momentary decision of the sinner’s will yet neglecting the biblical idea that conversion is the result of the supernatural gracious act of God toward the sinner.

The Pastor and Evangelism, by Mark Dever

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Defending the Faith and Sharing the Gospel

Al Mohler has a great article about the death of evangelism in America

On that note, I had a conversation with a friend at work regarding an email correspondence he had with a gentlemen.  This gentleman called himself a Christian, yet believed there were still many ways to God.  Here was my counsel to him, for what it’s worth, after he let me read the email correspondence with his friend Warren.

What I have found to be true in trying to present the uniqueness of Christ to folks like your friend Warren is that it really boils down to a single issue that you stated very well in your last response – “God is holy.  Man is wicked.  Because of man’s sinfulness, he is not worthy to be in the presence of God.  His destiny is death.  ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.'”  This is the key to the Holy Spirit breaking through to this guy just as it was true in our own lives.  None of us (Warren, me, or you) can accept the reality of the sin within us unless the Holy Spirit, working through the word of God (Romans 10:17 – “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.”), breaks us and reveals to us our need for the Savior.  Warren believes what he believes because he does NOT believe he or anyone else truly needs a redeemer.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t also present proofs to him regarding the reliability of scripture and the reality of the resurrection – I’m just saying that it is clear Warren is not a Christian although he may say he is and so he primarily needs to hear the gospel.  You know what I mean – we are surrounded every day by people who see no need for a savior just as we once did – all they think they need is someone to point them in the right direction and then they are perfectly capable of getting there on their own (whether “there” is heaven or nirvana or paradise or whatever) just like we once did.  Until Warren comes to terms with the truth that there is a sin problem in his heart that makes him guilty before a holy God, no evidence for the resurrection or the reliability of scripture that you present to him is going to convince him.

I hope you continue your interactions with Warren and I encourage you to concentrate your efforts on his conscience by showing him what the Bible says about the natural condition of mankind – that we are all sinners and under the just condemnation of God, that Christ bore that condemnation in our place and that is what makes Christ unique among all other false gods.  The God of the Bible, as He is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, is the only true God and he is a redeeming God.  No other religion makes the claims of Christianity in that all other so called gods do not redeem.  They may set forth a prescription for mankind to adhere to so that they may find redemption, but only the God of the Bible has acted in history to redeem a people for himself.  He alone is mighty to save and until Warren discovers that he has no hope outside of the redemption that comes through Jesus, he will not be convinced of the resurrection as fact and the inspiration of the Bible as divine…