I am in Philadelphia today at Biblical Theological Seminary, and we will be discussing the future of the seminary; I will begin one of my sessions with them with the following….
Which emerging leader do you think said these things about evangelism in an emerging context? I will suggest tomorrow that this thinker is paving the path for what I’m calling the “new evangelism” or the new “EE”.
On the need to re-shape the gospel for a new era…
“The gospel of Christ is one and immutable; the comprehension and expression of it in history has been of infinite variety. No individual, no church, no age of history has ever comprehended the full scope of God’s saving purposes in Jesus Christ.” “It is a lack of Christian humility to assume that our gospel and the Gospel are identical.”
“… the spirit of free enquiry engendered by … science neutralizes the dogmatic authority with which the church has been accustomed to speak.”
“We are emerging from the era of individualism.” So, therefore, it should not surprise if the new generation “fails to be stirred and guided by statements of truth that were adequate to obsolete conditions.”
On spirituality outside the church
“It is not because the religious spirit has failed [today]. It runs surprisingly strong, but it runs largely outside of the churches.”
Two kinds of evangelism today…
“There are two kinds…. The one proclaims new truth, as Jesus did to his nation, or Paul to the Gentiles… The other summons [others] to live and act according to the truth.”
The ineffectiveness of existing evangelistic models
“Our evangelistic calls strikes an invisible wall and comes back in hollow echoes.”
On the wedding of the Church and capitalism
“When the Christian business man is presented as a model Christian, working people are coming to look with suspicion on these samples of our Christianity.”
On the hope created by reframing the gospel today.
“The tongue of fire will descend on [this generation] and give it great faith, joy and boldness, and then we shall hear the new evangel, and it will be the Old Gospel.”