Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The State of Present Day Evangelism

This sermon by A.W. Pink (1886-1952) is so relevant to today's condition of Evangelicalism that you would have thought he had visited us in a time machine and went back to write about it.

Here is an excerpt:

"Once a man makes the conversion of sinners his prime design and all-consuming end, he is exceedingly apt to adopt a wrong course. Instead of striving to preach the Truth in all its purity, he will tone it down so as to make it more palatable to the unregenerate. Impelled by a single force, moving in one fixed direction, his object is to make conversion easy, and therefore favorite passages (like John 3:16) are dwelt upon incessantly, while others are ignored or pared away."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Sirnickdon said...

Pink is too-little mentioned and too often overlooked today.

A remarkably eloquent read, but not lofty. Thank you for sharing that.

"Losing sight of God’s end, the churches have devised means of their own." This could become a motto for emerging churches today.

-ND

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Lynn H. said...

Ah, yes. This has been going on for quite a while in the church already; it is not unique to "emergent" postmodernism. One has been off by degrees while the other is completely off the beam. Still there are undeniable fundamental errors being embraced by both. Missions and the carrying out of the Great Commission have turned out to be areas subject to serious misuse by overly zealous souls mistakenly believing we are to effectively "christianize" the whole planet before Jesus returns. It has effectively been used to steer the church off course and into serious spiritual error, as the command to the Christ's followers was never to "win the world to Christ", but to faithfully preach the gospel and properly disciple those who respond to it to live in obedience to all of Christ's teachings. Humble-hearted followers of Christ is what the Lord is after, with no promise or even hint of our successfully converting everyone on the planet. Obedience to the call to preach the good news of Christ and make disciples of those who believe is what the Lord was commanding, not a calculated effort to take over the world "for Christ", which is the popularized yet tremendously errant interpretation assumed for some time now by many who would attempt to "accomplish" the Great Commission in their lifetime.

Al Dager has written an insightful work, a book titled The World Christian Movement, chronicling the steady shift of the church toward the contrived goal of "winning the world to Christ", a goal which has led churches and missions agencies to embrace tremendous error in their efforts to "successfully" accomplish this mistaken goal.

To study this subject is to find that it has been, surprisingly, a central seedbed of error for the Christian faith. It's been a real eye-opener for me to encounter this thoughtful work by Al Dager, and many others have weighed in on this subject as well. The subject of missions and evangelism is full of valuable examples of the subtlety with which error can creep into and deceptively overtake things one would never expect to spiritual compromise and error to affect. For me, it's been a lesson in how a simple change of focus, or embrace of an agenda not found in scripture can lead us far astray of the truth and set us up for deception and strong delusion.

5:32 AM  

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