Category: The Gospel and the Ministry

The State of Discipleship in the Evangelical world

Discipleship is under attack by those who dismiss doctrine as unimportant, and by those who believe that it ends with a certain level of progress in the Christian life. Is discipleship unimportant today? Does one ever outgrow the need for discipleship? These questions are relevant because people believe that discipleship seemingly ends when one reaches a certain level of maturity in Christ. If discipleship ends when one progresses to a certain level of maturity then there is no more need to learn because one has become God. It is precisely this attitude that saps the Church of Jesus Christ from any form of credibility outside the Church today. The other concern related to discipleship is the expressed desire of some to have a conversation about how to redesign the Church at the expense of doctrine. How one defines knowledge demonstrates their view of what discipleship is. The popular approach to knowledge among evangelicals suggests that one never has anything to learn “after” believers “arrive” at a certain place in he/she walk with Christ. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord and fools despise wisdom and correction.” No one ever achieves perfect knowledge as every believer even the most “mature” believer only knows in part not in whole. Ultimately only God knows everything, because He knows every hair on every head of every person...

Read More

The Role of Culture in Gospel Communication

Introduction One of the most controversially discussed topics in the Church today is the issue of contextualization. A brief sampling of what various Professors and Pastors teach on contextualizing the Gospel will suffice to demonstrate that this issue is controversial. Dr. David Sills Professor of Christian Missions and Cultural Anthropology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary defines contextualization as simply the process of making the gospel understood.[1] Dr. John MacArthur, a well known Pastor of Grace Community Church in California, and President of Masters College and Seminary on this point teaches that:  The Church, if it is to be anything, it is to be absolutely distinct from culture, absolutely distinct from the world, absolutely distinct from unbelievers. Paul demands a total break. You can’t marry the church to the culture. Don’t fornicate with the world.[2] Dr. David Hesselgrave was Professor of Missions and Director of the School of World Mission at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, as well as a past President of the Evangelical Missiological Society, he notes that the old gospel must be communicated, but it must be communicated in new ways that engage the attention, empower the thought forms, enhance the understanding, and merit the consideration of people enculturated in systems very different from our own.[3] Dr. Ed Stetzer a noted missiologist and President of Lifeway Research on the point of contextualizing the Gospel argues that Christians...

Read More