Mission

Obstructions

John Stott on the closing verses of 2 Timothy:

Paul is fully alert to the difficulties, however, both internal and external. Timothy himself is inexperienced, infirm and shy. The world’s opposition is strong and subtle. And behind these things stands the devil, bent on ‘taking men alive’ and keeping them prisoner. For the devil hates the gospel and uses all his strength and cunning to obstruct its progress, now by perverting it in the mouths of those who preach it, now by frightening them into silence through persecution or ridicule, now by persuading them to advance beyond it into some fancy novelty, now by making them so busy with defending the gospel that they have no time to proclaim it.

Apologetics: Good but Not the Gospel

Mark Dever in a recent Gospel-Centered Discipleship post on 5 Things Mistaken for Evangelism:

By far the greatest danger in apologetics is being distracted from the main message. Evangelism is not defending the virgin birth or defending the historicity of the resurrection. Apologetics is defending the faith, answering the questions others have about Christianity. It is responding to the agenda that others set. Evangelism, however, is following Christ’s agenda, the news about him. Evangelism is the positive act of telling the good news about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation through him.

Apologetics is a good thing, but it isn’t the power of God:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 ESV)

The Scope and Subtlety of the Gospel

I'm currently reading Unbelievable Gospel: How to Share a Gospel Worth Believing by Jonathan Dodson in preparation for an upcoming Classroom Series session 2 Pillars Church is holding on Evangelism. In the opening chapter, Dodson observes the following about the gospel:

The gospel is both bigger and smaller than we think. Sometimes we can’t imagine the scope of the gospel, as news so good that it changes everything—society, culture, and creation. People really need to hear this. This vision of reality is better than anyone can imagine. The good news of the gospel is better than the best news people can conceive. Others times, we can’t imagine the subtlety of the gospel, that it brings us exactly what we need in Christ: acceptance, approval, forgiveness, newness, healing, worth, purpose, joy, hope, peace, and freedom, all in Jesus. The gospel is bigger and smaller than we think, as big as the cosmos and as small as you and me. It is the good and true news that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through his own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us!

This is the good news of the gospel. This is the message Christians are called to share. This is the message Christians get to share! It's implications are huge and cosmic on the one hand, subtle and deeply personal on the other.

I'm really looking forward to this upcoming installment of the Classroom Series. We'll be seeking to grow in our own understanding of this good news and our calling to proclaim it. We'll also spend time discussing the practical how–tos of evangelism. It's shaping up to be a great morning.

Join us on April 20 if you're in the Lincoln area.

Ambassadors of the Kingdom

Edmund P. Clowney:

The City of man requires idolatry. All must bow before the symbol of its total claim. Religion is tolerated when it supports the claims of the state, the party, the institutional hierarchy. But those who say, "We must obey God rather than men" are always condemned as traitors or exiled as aliens. Yet the calling of Christ's kingdom not only separates a man from the world, it also sends him to the world. In this time of the kingdom we are pilgrims, for the mountain of Christ's rule is the heavenly Zion; but in the task of the kingdom we are ambassadors, for we have been sent by the King to proclaim his terms of peace to his rebellious realm.



© 2019 Adam Stahr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯