As you share the gospel with your friends, family members, classmates, and business colleagues, you may find that they tolerate much of your worldview until you press the point that Jesus is the one true Savior and the only one who can deliver them from eternal judgment and bring them into right relationship with God. In other words, your spiritual conversations may coast rather smoothly until you land on the exclusivity of Christ. Continue reading “The Exclusivity of Christ: A Compassionate and Humble Doctrine”
At the same time Scripture exalts the sovereignty of God in salvation and regularly speaks of our need for God to grant us spiritual life (see John 1:12-13; 6:44; Acts 11:18; Eph 2:1-5; Col 2:12-13; Phil 1:29; 2 Tim 2:25-26), it calls us to believe in Christ and holds us responsible to do so.
Hyper-Calvinists typically argue that in order for a person to truly respond to the biblical exhortations to repent and believe, that person must have some confidence that they are elect in order to know that they have a warrant to believe in Christ. Specifically, a person should make sure they can discern the work of the Holy Spirit in their life before they put their faith in Christ. Continue reading “Hyper-Calvinism’s Deadly Mistake”
By delivering His people from sin’s power and penalty, God has given every Christian a testimony—a story of sin and grace; justice and mercy; failure and redemption. Yet, a personal testimony of salvation in Christ is unique to all other stories we can tell. We might have warm-hearted stories of time spent with family or riveting stories of adventure and friendship. Our testimony of salvation in Christ is unique, however, for it is the story through which all our other stories find meaning and significance. Continue reading “The Value of Your Salvation Testimony”
There is certainly a place for a public defense of the Christian faith. We should be always ready to engage unbelief with solid, biblical arguments and willing to tear down the strongholds of deception with the weapons of truth. For this reason it is useful for Christians to gain some handle on the most common objections to biblical Christianity and equip themselves with substantive answers. The ability to expose self-refuting arguments and point out inconsistencies in the unbeliever’s worldview is an important tool in the apologist’s tool box, and some knowledge of issues related to science and history can prove helpful.
But all of this effort at defending the faith does little good for the unbeliever unless it is wrapped, at all times, in the gospel. Continue reading “Give Them Shelter: Why We Can Never Separate Apologetics from the Gospel”
A few days ago I posted some thoughts on how Christians can love those who hold to different worldviews. One of the reasons why the Christian worldview enables believers to love unbelievers is because it teaches that salvation is all of grace. I noted that when Christians are walking faithfully within a Christian worldview they will sense deep love and compassion for those who hold to opposing worldviews. In this article I want to focus particularly on the topic of compassion.
By affirming in the previous article that salvation is all of grace, I was assuming a specific view of grace; namely, a Calvinist view. And, as I’ve continued to reflect on this topic, it has become clear that only this understanding of grace provides the necessary theological grounds for a Christian’s compassion toward unbelievers. Arminian theology cannot, in the final analysis, provide an adequate basis for a believer to exercise compassion on those who reject Christ and the gospel. Continue reading “Why Arminianism Can’t Make You a More Compassionate Christian”
As I reflected on my post from Monday, I came to the conclusion that I was probably guilty of two faults: (1) Drawing a false dichotomy between blogging and evangelism and; (2) not emphasizing the goodness of Christian blogging as a ministry. Please forgive my carelessness. I will attempt to clarify these two issues in the following paragraphs.
Blogging and Evangelism
Under the heading Don’t Let Blogging Replace Clear, Biblical Priorities, I mentioned that one of those priorities that should not be set aside by blogging was evangelism. What I had in mind here was face-to-face evangelism like evangelism to neighbors, co-workers, family members and the like. This principle tied in to the previous heading, Don’t Let Blogging Outweigh Your Time With Others. However, I can see that this might be confusing because it almost sounds like engaging in dialog with an unbeliever through a blog, or through an email as a result of interaction on a blog, is not evangelism; or that true evangelism must only be done face-to-face. I do not think that is true. Evangelism does not necessarily need to be conducted face-to-face; it can happen through letters, blogs, email, phone, video, and other means.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that since we live in a digital age, where the Internet is almost a new kind of Piazza, Christians have massive opportunity to spread the gospel through their blogs. Our blogs can be a means by which we expound and proclaim the Christian faith, where we can interact with unbelievers about the content of our blog, and where we can provide spiritual resources to those who are under conviction and desire salvation.
What can happen, however, and what I am trying to guard us against, is that we can make the mistake of only doing virtual evangelism and gradually drift away from face-to-face evangelism. Why? Probably because it is easier to evangelize through the computer. The spears of anger, confrontation, and ridicule are significantly blunted when they have to pass from the keyboard to our monitors. We can take that, and even end up feeling pretty good about our “courage.” Let us not be deceived!
Blogging as a Ministry
As I tried to show in the previous few paragraphs, blogs can be used as a ministry to unbelievers. They can be used as a ministry to the Church as well. That is one thing I have tried to do with this blog: provide helpful spiritual resources to Christian men and women, both young and old. And there are a host of other blogs serving the Church with their book reviews, essays, personal thoughts, and links to other good websites. I believe this can be rich and effective ministry if done well and according to God’s Word. Again, my only warning is that we are careful to not allow our blog time prevail over our personal (face-to-face) interaction with others.
Yet, there are some precious members of the body of Christ who are relegated to a wheelchair, or who are mostly homebound because of disabilities, and who are rarely able to get out and about, who may find that they can have a fruitful ministry online hosting a blog or website. If this is your situation, and you have despaired of finding ministries with which you can serve others (or even if you have not yet despaired), then I would encourage you to pray and think about this as a possible ministry, while at the same time seeking out personal fellowship with other Christians as much as you are able.
So in even in above case, I realize I need to be careful to not draw such a hard and fast line with blogging. Some may sense a leading to spend more time working on their blog or website, some may choose to spend less. In either case, what is important is that we are being guided by biblical principles (like those I have tried to lay out, though somewhat clumsily, in the last post) as we think about blogging.
The Internet is a wonderful tool for evangelism and ministry; may we use it wisely, purposefully, fruitfully, and above all, for the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ.