I just started a new study this week. The book is called Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People, by Will Metzger. I have only read the introduction so far but I am LOVING it. Seriously. I am really excited about the book. We are doing this study with a home study group at our new church. We missed the first week though because I have been sick. We were actually at the after hours clinic during the study, Sunday night. I was trying to avoid the Dr because of many reasons (the biggest being no insurance!!) but I was miserable and couldn’t take it any longer! Thankfully, after 3 days on antibiotics I feel much better. So after reading the introduction I wanted to share a few excerpts that got me excited about reading further!

Metzger says:

It boggled my mind that once Christians passed beyond the common notion that everyone needs Christ for salvation, there was confusion and even contradiction on what triggered the new birth- our faith and repentance or God’s enabling Spirit? These are haunting, important, fundamental questions. How could the majority of evangelicals be so oblivious to the need to research what is the biblical gospel? … I have to admit that the resurgent interest in this topic in evangelical circles is healthy. Who can deny that there has been an increased participation in evangelism?… Yet something bothers me- and I believe others also have an uneasy conscience. Could some aspects of contemporary evangelism lack biblical integrity?

He goes on to say:

If it is true that there are serious differences among evangelicals on the message and methods of evangelism, then we must ask, to what extent are these differences justified? If the differences are simply due to the different audience we are reaching or the variety of gifts God has given us, these differences are not bad. But if in evangelism we are just being loyal to our tradition, molding truth to our personality, diluting the gospel or manipulating people, we are wrong. If we are convinced there is a theological foundation for our methodology, we may be justified in evangelizing accordingly. Then our difference is a matter of our conscience bound by what we conceive Scripture teaches. A scriptural doctrine of evangelism should be the controlling element in any practice of evangelism.

Nevertheless, even when we can articulate a theological base for our evangelism, I do not believe our responsibility has ended until we compare our doctrinal interpretation with that of others and in humility be willing to rethink what the Holy Spirit is telling us in Scripture. Not to do so is to say that we cannot learn from each other. It is to deny that new light can break forth on our understanding of the Scripture. It is to limit the Holy Spirit in communicating to us through other Christians. It is to evangelize a certain way out of tradition and not conviction.

Good stuff! I think the main reason why I am so excited about this book is that for some time I have expressed to many that I disagree with some forms of modern evangelism. I know why I disagree but I don’t exactly know how to put an explanation into words, as well as Scripture to go along with it. I know what God’s Word says about it, but I’m hoping through this book it will help me organize my thoughts better so that I can clearly explain it, if need be. I’m praying
that it will also help me in the area of witnessing. I pray it helps me to understand more clearly my role, my calling to reach others for Christ. Not to just ‘get decisions’ but to make disciples.

Matthew 28:18-20- And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

~ Crystal (I deleted my signature on accident!)