6/01/2007

Communicating the Gospel

I have been reading books written by several Christians lately that criticize ways of communicating the gospel that other Christians use. Examples are here, here, here, here, and here. (I commend these efforts in principle, although I do not agree with all the conclusions. I cannot because some of them contradict each other.)

If we do not feel that other people’s way of communicating the gospel is inadequate, then it may be that we do not value the gospel as we should. We see things we value as precious. Precious things must be protected. Precious doctrine must be communicated well.

Not challenging other’s interpretations is often a function of intellectual laziness, not willing to mentally engage the great mysteries of the gospel as they relate to your context.

I pray that Christ’s church will continue to refine the ways we talk of Christ’s sacrifice for us.

2 comments:

Steve Newell said...

While I understand your concern on that we communicate the Gospel effectively, I am more concerned on the content of what we are communicating. Many have replaced proclaimation of Law and Gospel where the focus is Christ with moralism and how to be a better person and then call it the Gospel.

It is the proclaimation of Law and Gospel that God uses to convict man of sin and then show what God has done for that sin. When we focus on the style and not the substance, then the fosus moves from Christ to the Preacher. For example, Joel Osteen is a very effective communicator, however what his message lacks is the Gosepl of Christ.

J. K. Jones said...

I agree. Completely. You are showing the same passion I am trying to commend!

My favorite book linked to above is "Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People" by Will Metzger.

http://www.amazon.com/Tell-Truth-Gospel-Person-People/dp/0830823220/ref=sr_1_14/105-3424725-0325240?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180712590&sr=1-14

I think he addresses those concerns.

I can't personally get to far from the Evangelism Explosion training I went through in college (http://www.eeinternational.org/index.html). Grace-Man-God-Christ-Faith covers all the bases if you do it right. It also allows for different emphases with different people who are in different places in their lives.

Some understand law more clearly, almost by nature. They just need a reminder of law. They need to understand the gospel.

Some ignore the law with a high hand. They need to understand the law in all of its terror first because the gospel cannot make sense without it.

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