Evangelism & Outreach

Every Christian should agree on the necessity of reaching out to the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Through history some Christians and some groups of Christians have placed more emphasis on this than others, but nearly all have agreed on its importance. In the English language we have two terms that are often used synonymously to describe the sharing of the Good News � evangelism and outreach. In this article I would like to address the difference …

God’s Sovereignty & Human Responsibility in Evangelism

For the second time in the past year I am turning to J.I. Packer’s small but powerful book Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. Having read several books on the doctrines of grace, I wanted to make firm in my mind how human responsibility and divine sovereignty interact in the process of evangelism and conversion. I know of no better resource for this than Packer’s book. I would like to provide a lengthy quote that speaks of the danger of …

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The Listener’s Responsibility

We set high expectations for our pastors. We expect that every Sunday we will sit under their teaching and learn sacred truths from their mouths. We expect that they have spent their week investigating Scripture and digging deeply into God’s Word so that they can teach us something that will change our lives. We expect them to be true to Scripture, to entertain us and to make a good presentation. While a pastor bears great responsibility in preparing for and …

Rick Warren

In past weeks I have been challenged by several fellow believers on my statements concerning some of the people I have written about on this site. In particular, people have questioned my views on Rick Warren and John Eldredge. Because of their impact on the evangelical church, I have written about each of these men extensively over the past year. While I have read everything I have written (obviously) I realize that some newcomers to this site have not, so …

Renaming The Doctrines of Grace

English-speaking Reformed believers have long been taught the acronym TULIP as a memorization aid to the doctrines of grace. In classic Calvinist terminology, the letters stand for: T – Total Depravity U – Unconditional Election L – Limited Atonement I – Irresistable Grace P – Perseverance of the Saints Recently many authors and theologians have realized the shortcomings with trying to make theology fit into nice acronyms. In the case of TULIP, several of the terms have not received the …

For The Good

Every believer has at least a passing familiarity with Romans 8:28 which reads “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” If you’re like me, you probably have lost track of the number of sermons you have heard and books you have read which make mention of these verses and the promise they contain. And truly they are verses of great comfort as they prove God’s concern …

Seeker Services

Every week Rick Warren sends out his Ministry Toolbox and it seems he always gives me something to think about. As the man at the leading edge of evangelicalism these days I always pay attention to what he says, for I know it will be only a matter of weeks before many churches follow his lead. This week he addresses the topic of seeker services, saying that when he started Saddleback he immediately “decided to specialize our services, having one …

Rules of Translation

There have been a couple of occasions on this site where I have written about the evangelical church’s apparent belief that unbelievers are really quite dumb. After all, we treat them as if they are unable to pay attention to anything for more than a few minutes, as if they are unable to enjoy any kind of music but what they hear on the radio and that they need pictures, excitement and multimedia to keep them interested in church. You …

Dale “Potty Mouth” Earnhardt Jr.

For someone who lives this far north, I have a surprising number of friends and acquaintances who are NASCAR fans. I can’t count the number of times I have heard them defend it as a sport, and not just some sort of car rally. Like most types of sport or entertainment, NASCAR has many who follow it fanatically. I can’t imagine why, but I have been told on good authority that the reason I do not love it is simply …

Knowing How To Use It

Vincere scis, Hannibal; victoria uti nescis In my literary travellings this weekend (you can interpret that phrase to mean “reading” – I just mean to indicate I stumbled across this phrase, not that I was spending a lot of time reading ancient history) I read an interesting phrase which immediately caught my attention. It was spoken by a soldier named Maharbal in 216 BC. Maharbal was the cavalry commander who served under the great Carthaginian general Hannibal during his wars …