The Constraints of Evangelism, Part I


Excursis:
Hi All, Sorry it’s taken so long to write again, I’ve been a little busy with papers and with the U.S. midterm elections (I’m a bit of a political junkie). Anyway, thanks for your continued reading. I would also like to ask for your prayers, since my busyness has also done some damage to my Bible Reading, as well as to my blogging. I need diligence.

Now to the topic at hand:

I have been dealing with the question of Evangelism for a while. As we said earlier, I believe that it is necessary to evangelize, even from a secular perspective, as it is a Christian worldview that best develops a love for freedom and a basis for democracy.

The problem is that there are good ways to do evangelism, and I think very bad ways. I am grading “good” by how well they exemplify and proclaim the glory of God to those around us (and by extension how well they avoid causng others to devalue God).

The Bible says that all the law and the prophets hang upon the two great commandments, and I think that as such, our understanding of how to do evangelism should hang from them too.

As an aside, I don’t think that these commandments can be understood outside of the whole counsel of scripture. As Article XX of the C of E articles of faith says, no part of scripture should be read in such a way as to make it repugnant to another part. The English reformers had a point, so I will read the commandments within the context of all scripture. (as it is all God breathed).

This is getting long, so I’ll end by mapping the next 2 entries. The first will be how we love God with all our hearts and minds and strength by doing evangelism, and the second will be how we love others as ourselves in evangelism. I will be doing them in this order for a very simple reason: they’re the order we’re given in scripture, and I think that there’s a reason. If we get the order reversed, or if we make the cmmandments fully equivalent, we miss things. If we forget the first one, and pretend that we can love God by simply loving our neighbour, we become functional atheists, and if we focus on the former without the latter, we end up causing our neighbours to see our God as less beautiful and less glorious (which is really, really bad).

Author: Stephen Dawe

Steve is a part-time vocational elder Calvary Baptist Church, St. John's as well as a full-time student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in the Religious Studies Department.

2 thoughts on “The Constraints of Evangelism, Part I”

  1. It’s funny you should mention evangelism, Steve. It’s been a steadily growing, resurgent call for me over the last little while, and this has been confirmed through several different and individual sources. I think I might address that call in my own blog. Take a look when you get the chance.

  2. part one. Sounds good. A series :D. evangelism is one of those sketchy topics or so I’ve heard. You know apparently people always think of the preachers on commercials that ask for money to heal you of your illnesses or something. I never really grew up seeing any of those commercials myself. But we are all called to be ministers of our faith. I can’t wait to hear part two.

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