Archive for the ‘Evangelism’ Category

I’ll Be Over Here:

So coming back to this particular blog doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. However, the other blogs to which I’ve been contributing have been revamped and that’s where I’ll be spending most of my blogging time. Hope to see you over there!

Re: Fundamentals KJV Only Debate Blog

Easy to Believe?

Easy to Believe?

The old rugged cross on which Jesus died
Is foolishness to those not made alive
Its bloody details cause them to grieve,
And you say it is easy to believe?

The Greek thinks it nonsense to accept the risen Christ,
The skeptic thinks the disciples pulled off the greatest heist
The New Atheist wishes all Christians would leave
And you say it is easy to believe?

To the Jews it is a block of stumbling,
It provokes the educated toward grumbling,
A story no one could ever conceive,
And you say it is easy to believe?

The Lord invited man to take up his cross,
To count the cost and consider all things loss –
Things the natural man cannot receive,
And you say it is easy to believe?

The scriptures say salvation is of the Lord,
A supernatural work man’s hands cannot afford
To think man can raise the dead is very naive,
The results of these methods can only deceive

Regeneration is the work of the Spirit,
Otherwise men would never hear it
You say that it is easy to believe?
Saving faith is only something God can achieve!

Christ and the Scriptures, Part I: the Basis of Knowledge

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“Because God told me so!” 

In contrast to a contemplative analysis of philosophical systems and the epistemic weighing of evidence, the above statement seems way too elementary to provide a basis for knowledge. However, I think it’s more accurate.

God is Truth. Jesus Christ is God. Jesus Christ is Truth. All Truth comes from Him. The basis of knowledge is God. That means truth exists outside of ourselves. It is not something we can conjure up from within, nor is it something we can attain by taking matters into our own hands. Only God can reveal truth to us.

Since man by nature is alienated from God, it is impossible that he can find truth apart from God. I think that’s pretty much Theology 101, yet sometimes we forget that when it comes to apologetics and our approach to doctrine in general.

In this next series of posts, I will attempt to highlight the relationship between Christology and Bibliology and how that relationship pertains to all other doctrine. I do not expect it to be a perfect foundation that provides the solution to every doctrinal problem. I do, however, think that having the right order in this regard will be pivotal in understanding some current issues. In particular, this will play out significantly in how I approach the Bible version issue.

I want to be very clear at the onset: this is my thinking. That should be obvious seeing how this is my personal blog. But I know the tendency for some is to look at what’s being said and declare, “well, that doesn’t represent  my perspective.” I know that. I’m using this to explain what constituted a shift in my thinking. I do believe that some out there can relate. I hope it is a benefit.

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Encouraging Sunday Video, 12.14.08

Although I have argued that the War on Christmas is a distraction from the main battle, I want to make clear that I also think Christmas time is a wonderful time of heightened spiritual interest. A friend referred me to this video, an encouragement to which we can all take heed this holiday Christmas season.

Keeping Christ in Christmas: Another Worldly Distraction

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A couple of years ago, I went to K-Mart during the Christmas season to see for myself just how anti-Christian things have become. As I stood back looking at the Christmas trees, I was amazed. I was angry. Every single box that contained a tree that would be used for nothing other than celebrating Christmas was labelled a “holiday tree.”

How dare K-Mart refuse to acknowledge my faith! How dare other secular companies change “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings!” This is all an example of secular society being so. . .so. . .so. . secular! And we Christians must stand up and do something about it. We must “Keep Christ in Christmas!” Right?

well. . .

That’s what I used to think. And that’s what many Christians seem to be devoting their time and energy to this time of year. Just recently I was invited to join a Facebook group called “Keep Christ in Christmas.” On the opposing side, groups like the ACLU somehow seemed concerned with not giving Christ the preeminence during this holiday or any other time. 

It’s obvious there’s a war going on. In particular, some have called this the War on Christmas. At large, we can classify this under the Culture Wars. But as with Proposition 8, I am prone to wonder: is this a battle in which Christians ought to fight? Or is this a worldly distraction? A soldier of Jesus Christ is not to be entangled with the affairs of this world (II Timothy 2:4). I’m afraid that’s exactly what the “Keeping Christ in Christmas” outrage is all about.

Before we choose to exhaust our God-given time and energy to any cause, we must consider if it is worthy. I pray that you would consider the following questions concerning this particular case.

Questions about Keeping Christ in Christmas:

1. Is there any biblical warrant for Christians to demand that society pay homage to Christianity?

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Encouraging Sunday Video, 11.30.08

Encouraging Sunday Video, 11.16.08

These are inspired by my attempt to hand a young Jewish man a gospel tract today and his annoyed response. It reminded me of a burden I had for the Jews that, by God’s grace, has been rekindled. The first one is real significant to me – it’s so cool that I found this video of the “2 Nice Jewsih Boys”, a radio show I used to listen to every week in high school.

Fighting the Real Battle

II Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

There’s a battle raging in America today. While some seek to “unite” the country, many are becoming increasingly polarized from one another. The battle of the worldviews is culminating in a head-on collision. Debates about abortion, stem-cell research, and especially gay marriage are bringing out the fight in everyone from all sides. 

While Christians are called to stand for the truth at all times, it seems we sometimes get too carried away with fighting the wrong battle. I sympathize for the churches that have been attacked and mocked. I am for this moment even on Rick Warren’s side. As a matter of fact, the Mormons have my pity at this time as well.

But, Christians – this is not the real battle! A friend pointed this out to me recently: there’s nothing wrong with taking a stand in society or voting for a referendum that would promote morality. But many of the Christians who are pouring their energy into these social issues have never personally shared the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation.

While it seems this “fight” is noble and godly, it is really the social gospel repackaged, and an outward expression of worldliness.

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Authentic Boldness

Acts 4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

If you haven’t, check out the news lately – people are afraid. We’re facing all kinds of crises, it seems. And aside from the looming threats of financial insecutiry and political unrest, American Christians today face the menaces of increasing opposition. This threat comes from many different angles. New Athesists and Muslims are on the offensive. Liberals and skeptics are subtely undermining absolute truth in this postmodern world. And many who call themselves Christians are growing increasingly apathetic. No matter who it is, let’s face it – they don’t want us to preach Christ.

And yet, we must. And we must preach Him with boldness. It’s time we take off the shelf our most valuable tool and put it to use. Let us pray with boldness so we may preach with boldness. This is what the early church did in the face of opposition:

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Evangelistic Fraud

The general consensus from conversation on this blog about Election’08 seems to be looking more towards hope for 2012 than towards next month. And now, the issue of voter fraud recently surfacing is just one more item on the long list of things that make this year’s presidential race uniquely complex. It only makes us hold tight to the passage suggested by our brother:

(Proverbs 16:33) “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.”

Recently, I was thinking about the ramifications of fraudulent voter registration in the election, when I stumbled across a thought. Persuading people to commit to something by pretense – sounds a lot like some fundamentalists’ idea of evangelism. I realize that it’s not a perfect comparison, but hear me out.

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Self-defeating Ministries & Self-defeating Christians

During the missions conference at my church last week, I heard an interesting illustration. It came from a personal experience of the preacher who used it. Having visited a country in central Africa, the preacher had taken a tour of one of the deepest gold mines in the entire world. It reached nearly three miles below sea level. In order to reach the lowest point of the mine, the preacher and the tour guide had to use a series of elevators.

As they were transferring from one elevator to another, the preacher asked the tour guide why they had to use so many elevators. The tour guide explained that the mine shaft was far too long for only one elevator. After a certain distance, the weight of the elevator cables become too heavy for any elevator system. It becomes a self-defeating mechanism.

The preacher had a different application for his story, but before he proceeded to it, he threw in the comment, “I know a few ministries like that – so big, they’re self-defeating.”

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Encouraging Sunday Video, 9.21.08

Well, this was certainly a slow week at the blog. But that’s just fine. Right? Sunday is a-comin’, and we need a dose of truth. Enter Paul Washer:

Weaker or Stronger?

Just a quick thought for today. 

It is obvious that there is a shift ensuing within conservative evangelicalism and in fundamentalism concerning evangelism. Many are realizing the errors of revivalism and watered-down evangelistic methods that have pervaded the church in the last century, causing an innumerbale amount of false converts. As a result of growing frustration, the resurgence of Calvinistic views, the conservative revolution within evangelicalism, and the influence of ministries like the Way of the Master, it seems more of us are trying to get back to a biblical model of evangelism. This, however, is a model that produces less professions of faith. Now I realize that there can be many reasons why people are leaving churches. Many a preacher decries the reduction in church attendance and employs the use of staggering statistics to do so: and they are staggering. Just think about how many churches are closing their doors these days. We certainly need a revival. But here’s my question: do you think we are having a revival? Could it be, that this approach to evangelism and emphasis on discipleship is simply causing false converts to go away? I will always remember James MacDonald’s quip – “God can cut your church attendance in half tomorrow and be more thrilled with your ministry than ever before.” Of course, we all say, “it’s not about numbers.” Well, let’s wake up and realize that. It’s not about numbers or the size of your church. It’s better to have 5 obedient Christians than 500 disobedient pew warmers, no? Who turned the world upside-down for the gospel? The multitudes that followed Jesus’ miracles, or his group of 12 disciples? Is the decline of church attendance in America really making us weaker? Or is it making us stronger?

Counting the Cost

In one of His sermons on discipleship, Jesus tells those who would follow Him that they must count the cost of making such a decision:

Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him

This is a missing principle today. Too often, modern evangelism has produced many “converts” who were “not able to finish.” We have to ask, was it a result of not counting the cost?

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Agnosticism: The Impossible Belief

In the onset of the New Atheism there is a contingency of people who have reservations about the militancy of the followers of Richard Dawkins and the other champions of modern atheism. Rather than jumping wholeheartedly into the ‘Dawkinite’ camp, many direct their allegiance to a different line of thought – agnosticism.

The following is not intended to be a thorough examination of agnosticism and all it has to offer. However, I think a careful consideration of how agnostic ideas relate to Biblical thinking is needed.

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Encouraging Sunday Video, 8.3.08

The Morality of Warning

Many preachers have used the illustration of a bridge being out to drive home the point of urgent evangelism. Usually, it is said that up ahead the bridge is out, and in order to warn people of the consequent destruction, some brave soul exits his car and begins screaming and waving his arms to warn drivers to stop before it’s everlastingly too late. From this scenario, we glean a necessary truth about evangelism: warning plays a major part in the evangelistic life.

I’d like to suggest that today we must add one more element to this common sermon illustration. Typically, we understand that in this situation, many will drive right past the preacher on the side of the road and fall miserably off the bridge. Those same people may even call that screaming preacher “crazy”. Now, however, there is more to the story. On the other side of the road, there is another guy. He is just as energetic, just as bold, and just as convinced he is right. He is holding a sign that reads: “Don’t trust the guy on the other side. The bridge is not out. He is lying to you.”

As we’ve noted before, there is a growing, offensive movement to undermine Christianity. It appears in the form of Jesusanity, the New Atheism, and other various forms of liberalism. It is not just one of unbelief – driving by the preacher and thinking he’s crazy. It is one that vehemently opposes all that Christians stand for – trying to convince the world that we’re wrong about the bridge being out. As I listen to more of this kind of thinking, I’ve realized that we’re actually accused of being immoral because we warn people of the coming judgment. Are they right? Are we immoral?

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A Program of Practice

Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

If one were to take a look at many of the blogs produced by young fundamentalists such as myself, he would find that it is becoming more common to reject virtually everything fundamentalism is known for. While it is true that some changes need to be made, and are being made, we must be careful to not change simply for the sake of change. There were and are still some things about fundamentalism that are extremely helpful. We may not all like certain details, but how we go about these things is between us and God.

One such area up for dispute is that of evangelism. As fundamentalists, we are taught that the highest priority in life – the reason God left us here on earth – is to share the gospel with the lost. Of all the commandments Jesus gave to us, the one we all call the Great Commission deals with that very thing. And so, being the movement known for its passion and zeal, fundamentalism has placed an intense emphasis on personal evangelism as well as church-organized evangelism. As many leave, or consider leaving the movement, evangelism as a program is being rejected. The reasoning seems to be, that since it is everyone’s job to preach the gospel, as long as the church is training people to do so, an organized program is not needed. Programs, after all, can easily become a substitution for one’s personal spirituality. While I agree with some of this reasoning, I conclude differently. Evangelism should be both a personal practice and an organized program.

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Double Standards in Fundamentalism Today, #5: Me

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Galatians 4:16
 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

True friends tell you what you need to hear. As much as I covet those comments in which people say, “great website!”, I need much more to hear about the things I need to change. Those things have been brought to my attention, and it seems like I’ve been one of the biggest Double Standards all along. I hope now to articulate some of the problems, and offer some possible solutions.

(No, that’s not really me in the picture.)

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Separation vs. Penetration vs. Both

There is no way to deny that we live in perilous times. Ethics are personally defined, absolutes are generally denied and any belief system goes as long as it does not impede upon another system, be it one of belief or unbelief. Tolerance is the buzzword of the day, and intolerance is the only thing intolerable. As Carl F. H. Henry put it, “These days are as hectic as Nero’s Rome, and they demand attention as immediate as Luke’s Macedonia.”

But who is a fault here? How much, if any, of the responsibility can Christians carry for the tragic demoralization that marks our culture? We have become so good at pointing our fingers of indictment. We blame the secularists with their declared independence from God. We blame the pagans with their disillusioned cults. We even blame our own liberal wing for having no backbone and the wherewithal to take a stand against the first two culprits.

We examine the pulse our culture and give a self-righteous diagnosis. We hone our skill of flaying those at fault, all the while, forgetting a most important question: “What about us?” What have we done or not done that has contributed to this slippery slide into decadence and abandonment of the truth?

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Maybe It’s the Change We Need

There’s a lot of talk about change from the Democratic side of the Presidential election, and it’s literally making conservative sick. Presumptive Democratic nominee Barak Obama is running his campaign on such an idea, but political pundits are rightly pointing out, “where’s the substance behind the claims?” As most Bible believing Christians tend to be political conservatives, we are saying the same thing. The only “change” we could imagine a very liberal political leader bringing to the White House is an agenda that is more socialistic than ever, and more secular than ever.

As we have made clear, and will continue to do so, on this blog, we believe that Christianity thrives on challenge. You and I may not want someone in the oval office who is all talk and no walk. We may not want someone who will make the government even bigger than it is now and fund more unnecessary projects and unmotivated people with our money. We may not want someone who says he’s a Christian, but his liberal leaning only seems to pave way for more religious regulation in this country. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a conservative evangelical who is going to vote for Obama. Yet with all that said, maybe a victory for the liberals is what we need. Not what America needs, but what the church in America needs for a wake-up call.

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Don’t Just Sit There! (Romans 12:11)

Most of us have a tendency to be lazy, but we know full well that the Christian life is a tremendous contrast to that kind of attitude. It seems that the blogosphere highlights this even more, as it produces more and more armchair theologians. Knowing that I fall into the same trap, the following sermon is mainly preaching to myself. I know, however, that it’s powerful, because this time – it’s alliterated!

 The Right Kind of Business

Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord

When Christ said to His disciples, “upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”, He carefully chose the words that He used. He could have said, “I will build my synagogue” in order to differentiate His gathered flock from those of the Jews. Synagogue means just that – a gathering. But there was more to the word He chose for church. Ekklesia means “called out assembly”, and when the disciples heard this word, they didn’t think of a synagogue. They thought of the city-state, in which the assembly was called out in order to do the business of that particular city-state. Hence, when Christ used this term for His church, the illustration was apparent – this is to be the called out assembly to do the business of the Lord.

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One Way

People love having their options. It’s not so much that we love choosing; we just have to have the ability to choose. Be it buying a house, car, tool, or whatever, there is nothing quite as satisfying as knowing that you have searched every possible avenue and have chosen the very best option. It seems as though it isn’t truly a choice if we do not have plenty of options.

Perhaps that is why some have such a problem when they come to a religion that is centered on the phrase, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) There are no options here. There is only an ultimatum: the way or no way; the truth or no truth; the life or no life. Jesus laid it all out. It’s either Him or nothing.

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Book Review: Culture Shift by R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Culture Shift by Al MohlerDespite the avoidance and in some cases blatant rejection he has received from many fundamentalists, there is perhaps no greater figure in present day evangelicalism with a more thorough grasp on current issues than Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. He is currently the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and thereby a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist convention. He is a regular contributor to such nationally acclaimed periodicals as The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. The unique thing about Dr. Mohler, however, is that despite such an involvement on a national level, he is the figurehead of the conservative movement in evangelicalism as well as a fountainhead of conservative evangelical thought. Dr. Mohler’s blog and radio show are for many a standard for interpreting today’s most pressing issues in the light of Biblical thinking.

In the first book with him as the lone author, Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth, Dr. Mohler does exactly what its subtitle advertises.

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Heaven and Hell in Evangelism


There is an immense difference between regret and repentance. Anyone who has worked with teenagers for any length of time, or anyone for that matter who has been a teenager for any length of time can attest to that. “Sorry, I was wrong” and “sorry, I got caught” are two utterly different things.

I am afraid, however, that if we are not careful we might not be so quick to make that distinction in our presentation of the Gospel.

How many Gospel tracts have you seen that begin, end, or at least give the majority of its attention to either going to Heaven or escaping Hell? How many times have you confronted someone with the Gospel and found yourself offering a way to Heaven and a bypass from Hell? If you are like me, you can answer a resounding ‘Plenty!’ to both questions. However, is this preoccupation with Heaven and Hell a Biblical approach to evangelism?

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