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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Theses on Evangelization

  • Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel.

  • Evangelization takes place when and where God's threats and promises are correctly expounded.

  • The Law of God accuses sinners.
    • The Law must be expressed in a way that truly convicts people of their sinfulness. Our basic problem is not that we are broken, hurting, lost, confused, or unhappy. Our basic problem is that we are proud rebels against God.
  • The Gospel is not simply that God loves us or that He can help you with your problems.
    • The Gospel is justification. There are a number of biblical ways this can be expressed but should include: the blood sacrifice of Jesus, propitiation, forensic justification, forgiveness, reconciliation, imputation of righteousness.
  • Any human attempt to dress up the Gospel to make it more appealing is doomed to fail and damage (or even murder) souls, though it may well boost church attendance.

  • Reliance upon principles of group dynamics to lead people to Christ is manipulative and detracts from the power of God's Word.

  • God alone deserves the glory and credit when a sinner believes.

  • Saying the evangelist deserved zero credit does not mean Christians should not strive to speak the truth clearly, lovingly, firmly, fearlessly and with respect.

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Anonymous said...

Excellent points! Maybe you could send this to the "Ablaze!"

Petersen said...

Thesis 2 contradicts thesis 1.

The correction is simply: Evangelization takes place even when and where God's threats and promise are not correctly expounded.

That is not an excuse for sloppiness, laziness, etc. But it is grealy comforting, for as you say: conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our participation in it is pure privilege. God allows us, invites us, encourages us to work in His kingdom. But it is a bit like a kindergartner cooking supper for the family. Mom does the real work - including the clean-up.


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