21 Jun 2010

A Gospel Approach to Evangelism

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from the “Gospel and the Heart” study, Harbor Presbyterian Church, San Diego CA

The liberal/pragmatist approach to evangelism is to deny the legitimacy of evangelism altogether. By contrast, the conservative/moralist person does believe in proselytizing, because “we are right and they are wrong.” Such proselytizing is almost always offensive.

The gospel is a “third way,” different from both of these, which produces a constellation of traits in us:

First, we are compelled to share the gospel out of generosity and love, not guilt
Second, we are freed from fear of being ridiculed or hurt by others, since we already have the favor of God by grace
Third, there is a humility in our dealings with others, because we know we are saved only by grace alone, not because of our superior insight or character.
Fourth, we are hopeful about anyone, even the “hard cases,” because we were saved only because of grace, not because we were likely people to be Christians.
Fifth, we are courteous and careful with people. We don’t have to push or coerce them, for it is only God’s grace that opens hearts, not our eloquence or persistence or even their openness.
All these traits not only create a winsome evangelist but an excellent neighbor in a multi-cultural society.

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