Dluxe's World

Friday, April 18

Wisdom for the Weekend [7]

In Romans 10 Paul argues cogently for the necessity of preaching the gospel if people are to become Christians. His argument implies that there must be a solid content in our evangelistic proclamation of Christ. It is our responsibility to set Jesus Christ forth in the fullness of his divine-human person and saving work so that through this "preaching of Christ" God may arouse faith in the hearer...

Let me invite you to consider the place of the mind in evangelism, and let me supply two reasons from the New Testament for a thoughtful proclamation of the gospel.

The first is taken from the example of the apostles. Paul summed up his own evangelistic ministry in the simple words "we persuade men." Now "persuading" is an intellectual exercise. To "persuade" is to marshal arguments in order to prevail on people to change their mind about something.

The second New Testament evidence that our evangelism should be a reasoned presentation of the gospel is that conversion is not infrequently described in terms of a person's response not to Christ himself but to "the truth." Becoming a Christian is "believing the truth," "obeying the truth," "acknowledging the truth." Paul even describes his Roman readers as having "become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed." It is plain from these expressions that in preaching Christ the early Christian evangelists were teaching a body of doctrine about Christ.

I pray earnestly that God will raise up today a new generation of Christian apologists or Christian communicators, who will combine an absolute loyalty to the biblical gospel and an unwavering confidence in the power of the Spirit with a deep and sensitive understanding of the contemporary alternatives to the gospel; who will relate the one to the other with freshness, pungency, authority and relevance; and who will use their minds to reach other minds for Christ.

John Stott

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