Friends,

Finished reading Just Couragethis morning. This is a fascinating and insightful book by Gary Haugen of the International Justice Mission. (I have written about IJM at Advance Signs). Anyhow, here’s a quote from his book:

Jesus is relentlessly issuing the invitation and forcing a choice to action. What are we going to do? I am much more interested in telling Jesus and others what I believe, but Jesus (and the watching world) knows that what I truly believe will be manifested in what I choose to do. (Just Courage, 125)

Always for God’s Glory!

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122 Comments(+Add)

1   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 11:25 am

This is true, even biblical.

But when what we choose to do is to tell others what we believe about Jesus (after all, this is what Jesus told us to do) we are often villified as extremists, radicals, fundamentalists, even by those who claim to follow Jesus. I don’t get that, Jerry!

2   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 11:46 am

Pastorboy,
Actually Jesus told us to “make disciples” and He didn’t mandate a certain way of doing that.

In my experience, listening to someone talk is overall a small part of becoming a disciple.

3   Bo Diaz    http://biblegateway.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 12:33 pm

but Jesus (and the watching world) knows that what I truly believe will be manifested in what I choose to do.

But when what we choose to do is to tell others what we believe about Jesus

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”

Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

4   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 1:40 pm

There seems to be a premium on “belief” and a subjugation of “works”. I will say this again, why are not the lives of the most aggressively orthodox among us remarkably more reflective of the life of Jesus Christ? How can you say you believe the right way to turn on a flashlight and others do not, but your flashlight and their’s emit basically the same light?

BTW Phil – I loved the designated hitter comment. Has Chris written about string theory or the anticipated season of Notre Dame either? :lol:

5   Chris P.    http://solascripturapprovedworkman.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 2:03 pm

“why are not the lives of the most aggressively orthodox among us remarkably more reflective of the life of Jesus Christ?”

What an assumption!

Bo Diaz, The message is an abomination.
For example:
“Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!”

Not even close to the original language
used. What a subtle and fatal spin.
Nice webiste btw.Who designed it for you?

Jesus and the world are watching??
The world could care less.
The Body of Christ always thinks as Jesus thinks,and does as He does, or it is not His Body.
A worse theology than salvation by our own works has been on the scene for quite awhile now. It says while our good works cannot save us, our good works can save others.
You preach a religion,and Haugen’s book should obviously be avoided.

6   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 2:11 pm

I don’t think ’saying’ and ‘doing’ are mutually exclusive. I do happen to think that much ’saying’ however orthodox is rendered unorthodox by the not ‘doing’ of people.

That said, there does seem to be some evidence in the NT and OT that when ‘we’ are walking in the light of the Lord we won’t have to even initiate conversation with the lost because the lost will initiate it with us.

See Deuteronomy 4:5-8 and Matthew 5:14-16 and 1 Peter 3:15-16 for a start.

jerry

7   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Jerry – good points. Could we say that doing is saying, but saying is not doing? Generally speaking. If all we need is saying, then let us just send sermon CDs and players oversees with one guy to play them to the lost.

8   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 2:25 pm

A worse theology than salvation by our own works has been on the scene for quite awhile now. It says while our good works cannot save us, our good works can save others.
You preach a religion,and Haugen’s book should obviously be avoided.

No one said anything about our works saving anyone. God saves people, but He does expect us to work with Him in the process.

Check out this passage in James 2:

You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

9   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Chris P. – not an assumption. I know many believers from all walks and I have found there is a greater gulf in their verbiage and not so great a difference in their lives. My living committment to Christ is within the same parameters as the committed seeker down the block and the staunch reformed guy next door.

No assumptions, a reality.

10   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Chris P.,

I say this lovingly and compassionately and with at much respect as can possibly be had from one brother to another: You need help. No one invited you into this conversation so please don’t go away mad, please just go away. You are not adding anything to this conversation by spitting your verbal idiocy at us. Please go away so that the rest of us can have a nice adult conversation.

jerry

PS–to all: please don’t bother to tell me I have not acted in a christlike way towards Chris P or that I should tone it down. I am tired of Chris’ ignorance.

11   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 3:22 pm

To All regarding Chris P’s comment about The Message:

“All translation is interpretation.”–Dr John Currid, Reformed Theological Seminary, Lecture Series on the OT Books of Judges through Song of Solomon. (Lectures available online through itunes u.)

12   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Sigh

13   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 3:28 pm

To all – what would have happened if God the Son had said in heaven “I believe in redemption, I believe in the Incarnation, I believe in forgiveness of sins, and I believe in salvation by grace.”

But then He never came and died…

14   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 3:37 pm

“It says while our good works cannot save us, our good works can save others.”

Anyone who believes that is wrong. I have not seen where this author teaches what you have suggested. Do you have actual quotes to back up your “assumption”?

15   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Bo Diaz, The message is an abomination.

that is just silly.

Have you, Chris P, or anyone else here read the last chapter of Peterson’s book, Eat This Book? It is well worth the read.

peace.

16   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 3:49 pm

No, but I’ve read Abbie Hoffman’s “Steal This Book”! :lol:

17   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 3:51 pm

I recommend stealing over eating. Eating it can taste sweet at first but becomes quite bitter.

18   IWanthetruth    
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:00 pm

The hardest part is getting past the flesh. If we could believe (faith in?) Jesus and be obedient to His commands we will grow in our trust in Him. Then maybe my actions would go along with my beliefs better or stronger or what ever description would fit here.

In other words, if I would indeed feed the hungry, cloth the needy and believe that God WILL supply my every need, AND FEED ME AND CLOTH ME then maybe I would do it more often.

It’s a growth thing, a maturing thing. The more I am obedient to the commands of Jesus and see how He responds to me after wards the more my faith will grow. To me this is the practical application of “walking in the spirit”.

The more I apply the truths of His word in my life the more I see His truth become alive in my life the more I trust Him the more I have faith and do more… it’s like a continual cycle.

19   Aaron    
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Wasn’t The Message originally written for Peterson’s children? I think if anyone was serious about getting into the Word of God, they would pick up a more formal translation, but for someone who is reading the bible literally for the first time, or especially as a child, wouldn’t The Message be an ok choice for the time being?

20   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:17 pm

I wonder what Chris P would do if he found out Jesus misquoted the OT passages when he quoted from the Septuagint?

Good grief… what hate some people have…

iggy

21   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:28 pm

My first bible was “The Way” a Living Bible paraphrase. I was not able to understand the KJV… later I read the NIV… yet, still I return to the simple reading of “The Way”… I found The Message refreshing… and yes, I use about 6 different versions and lean heavily on Strong’s when I am doing a study…

But as a friend stated to me when I asked him about the Greek, he used to take my bible and open it to the passage and hand it back and say, “read it… that is what it says in the Greek… if you don’t like that one try another version until you get it.”

The Message is not word for word… it is thought by thought… it keeps the original thought and states it in a way people can grasp today…

Would someone condemn a child for reading a children’s bible?

I used to argue with KJVonly people who sound like Chris P… I would ask what about the Chinese, Japanese, or other languages? Are they also reading corrupt bibles because it is not in our language or KJ Elizabethan?

What a sad state when someone cannot see past their own arrogance and understand that God’s Word will not return void… it will do as He wills.

I see that someone who argues over this version and that has little faith in God and has placed his faith in man and man’s ability to write.

Now obviously there are some bibles out there like the JW’s bible that is purposely changed to reflect their own doctrines… but seriously, there are many good versions out there… why fight over the good?

iggy

22   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Aaron-
Not exactly, but close. He did a book, I think Matthew, for his Sunday School class and from there went through the entire Bible.

There is an old, old (outdated) belief or assumption that scripture is written in some sort of “holy speak.” For a long time people thought the Greek used in the NT was God’s special language to God’s people (it is amazing how many people still think this same way only under a different guise). What we have come to learn, however, is that it isn’t holy language at all. It is very gutteral, very earthy. St. Augustine detested scripture for a long time, in fact, because he thought it was written by savages. The point Peterson makes is that scripture was written in the everyday verbage of the author’s day. They did not write to impress the elite but they wrote in a way that any commoner would understand, using words and phrases that were simple, ordinary.
His hope with the Message was to translate that same ethos to our world today. As such, he worked hard to take the themes and words of scripture and put them in the vernacular of our own day. He never claims to be writing a study bible or one that is a word-for-word translation.

While I do not use it myself I do refer to it now and then to get a different perspective. I find it very helpful to read different renderings of the same stories we read again and again because it keeps me from skipping over lines I know too well or assuming that I understand “perfectly” (Chris P).

grace and peace,
Chad

23   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:33 pm

My first Bible was The Way as well. I cannot understand people who say they believe in God’s sovereignty and the power of the Holy Spirit seem to suggest that God’s will can be abrogated by the works of man.

24   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:48 pm

I don’t see what difference is between these two things. Scenario 1: A pastor reads from the KJV when he’s preaching and the audience doesn’t understand him, so he explains the passage in terms they understand using everyday language. Scenario 2: A pastor reads from the Message or some other paraphrased version that the audience understands.

In both cases the original text is being translated and paraphrased by someone. In the case of The Message, the paraphrasing is probably being done by someone who understands the original text better than most pastors who would try to do it on their own.

25   IWanthetruth    
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Sure off the beaten path of the original post here aren’t we?

26   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Phil, the difference is that the KJV was good enough for St. Paul so it should be good enough for us.

27   Bo Diaz    http://biblegateway.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:55 pm

The incredible irony of all this is that I guarantee you that PB and Chris P approve of the ESV, in fact it may be their preferred translation if Reformed fanboy heros are any indication. And yet its a bastardized translation in which the “translation” committee took the 1971 version of the RSV and re-translated the bits they disagreed with doctrinely.

Its one thing if a translation committee produces a text in a way you disagree with, another entirely when doctrinal positions determine how you translate. Talk about an abomination, and dishonoring the word of God.

28   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Bo,

Oh noez! Now you diddit!

You took the gloves off… what will they do now?

Most likely some snappy comeback that will just be as cwazy!

iggy LOL!

29   John Hughes    
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Jerry – To All regarding Chris P’s comment about The Message:

“All translation is interpretation.”–Dr John Currid, Reformed Theological Seminary, Lecture Series on the OT Books of Judges through Song of Solomon. (Lectures available online through itunes u.)

Jerry: “The Message” is not a translation it is a paraphrase. There is a significant distinction between the two.

“Any that pisseth against the wall” = word for word translation – KJV.
“one male” = Interpretation – NASB
“every cur in his misbegotten brood” paraphrase – “The Message”

Paraphrases have more potential for “problems” by intrinsic format of the media than a translation. The Message has serious problems in several key passages which do significantly alter the “message”.

30   John Hughes    
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:27 pm

“Pisseth against the wall indeed!” :-)

31   Bo Diaz    http://biblegateway.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Actually, by definition, The Message is a translation. Eugene Peterson said, “Writing straight from the original text…” which makes it a translation, and not a paraphrase.

32   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:36 pm

John – I agree with your general premise. Charles Taze Russell paraphrased his own version to accommodate his cult.

However all language has a paraphrase ingredient to it. Even when translating from Greek, much less Hebrew, there usually has to be some paraphrase with a little idiomatic properties.

In the end, the Holy Spirit’s ministry is essential regardless of the version.

33   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:37 pm

The original states, “Wee-Wee on the wall”.

34   John Hughes    
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Rick: The original states, “Wee-Wee on the wall”.

No, the original says “writes in cursive in the snow”.

35   John Hughes    
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Bo: Actually, by definition, The Message is a translation. Eugene Peterson said, “Writing straight from the original text…” which makes it a translation, and not a paraphrase.

I would respectively have to disagree.

36   John Hughes    
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Rick: However all language has a paraphrase ingredient to it. Even when translating from Greek, much less Hebrew, there usually has to be some paraphrase with a little idiomatic properties.

In the end, the Holy Spirit’s ministry is essential regardless of the version.

Agreed.

37   Bo Diaz    http://biblegateway.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:42 pm

This is not a matter of subjective opinion like the quality of a translation. The definition of a translation is that it begins with the original language and is translated into another language. By definition the Message is a translation.

38   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:53 pm

I prefer the Jeffersonian bible…is that a problem. I mean after all he was of the founders of this Christian nation.

39   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Wow.

My only point was that our actions should include the preaching of the Word, and yet I get mocked.

Nice, Bo and Iggy. Not necessary!

Phil, making disciples is a process which includes teaching them all I have commanded you- Jesus’ words Paul puts it like this: How can they hear unless someone preaches to them?

You MUST understand the Gospel to obey the Gospel. How can you understand it if no one cares enough to explain it to you?

If you believe that there is no Hell, or that salvation is universal like you buddies Bell, Pagitt, and McLaren, then I could understand why you have such an aversion to preaching. If you believe the scripture, you MUST believe there is an eternal Hell, and the only way to salvation is through Christ Jesus-

40   John Hughes    
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Bo: By definition the Message is a translation.

“Unlike a metaphrase, which represents a “formal equivalent” of the source, a paraphrase represents a “dynamic equivalent” thereof. While a metaphrase attempts to translate a text literally, a paraphrase conveys the essential thought expressed in a source text — if necessary, at the expense of literality.” Wikipedia – paraphrase, definition of.

So The Message is both: a translation and a paraphrase, both of which share common elements.

41   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:07 pm

“So The Message is both: a translation and a paraphrase”

When this occurs it is described as the rambling musings of an old man who attempts to convey the truth as he sees it. It is where we get our word – transdementia. :)

42   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Phil, making disciples is a process which includes teaching them all I have commanded you- Jesus’ words Paul puts it like this: How can they hear unless someone preaches to them?

Teacher what is the greatest commandment?
He replied: Love God and Love Others. CPV

Preaches to them: Use words if necessary!

If you believe that there is no Hell, or that salvation is universal like you buddies Bell, Pagitt, and McLaren, then I could understand why you have such an aversion to preaching.

Oh boy…here we go again.

Sheol, Gehenna, Hades? John want to give us a break down of those words from the Greek.

43   Bo Diaz    http://biblegateway.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:12 pm

What’s the matter Pastorboy? Couldn’t find anyone new to slander?

It seems even with a non-Message translation you can’t obey commands to avoid slander and deception.

44   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:12 pm

PB,

I did not mock you in this thread… if so where.

Good grief…

In fact I ignored your comment, as I did not care to read what you stated as I did not need the aggravation today…

So how did I mock you if I never responded to you or mentioned you?

iggy

45   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:17 pm

PB,

Also, when and where have I ever stated preaching was wrong? I preach at my church at times… I preach on my podcasts…

Where do you get off slandering me over and over without repentance? I guess though since you feel free to disobey the bible and slander others… why not slander me also?

iggy

46   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:21 pm

PB,

Which Hell are you talking about? The grave? The abode of the dead? Which one of those? Abraham’s bosom which now is paradise and being with JEsus? Or Hades where the unrighteous wait judgment? Is it the Lake of Fire were the “hell” you refer to now as eternal is cast in and burned up? Is it Tartarus where the fallen angels are now kept in chains? Which one are you talking about John? Which one does not exist…

Once we get past that we might have a conversation, yet it seems you miss all that in your deep reading of Paggit, McLaren and Bell…

Really, you make things up and give only half of what people state… and lie about the other half.

iggy

47   John Hughes    
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Back on topic. I find it difficult that anyone would disagree with the quote provided. Orothoparaxy proves orthodoxy. But what gets me is that many emergents feel they are the first to discover this fact. Folks, this has been a problem since Year One, Day One. :

James 1:22 – But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

1 John 3:17 – But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Titus 1:16 – They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

On the other hand anyone that denies that good works are key ingredent to a balanced Christian walk is, in fact, deceived.

And defense of orthodoxy in and of itself is certainly not an end all.

James 1:27 – Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

48   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:33 pm

But what gets me is that many emergents feel they are the first to discover this fact.

No, we only claim to have rediscovered it…

iggy

49   IWanthetruth    
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:35 pm

I like the Dr. Seuss version. Come on gentlemen.

Wow! I have been thinking about starting a small home church, not me but a call by the Holy Spirit. Now

I think I ought to have second thoughts. So much disagreement on version, translation, paraphrase. Afraid to use anything thinking I am giving the wrong information and being apostate or un-sound in doctorine.

50   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Back on topic. I find it difficult that anyone would disagree with the quote provided. Orothoparaxy proves orthodoxy. But what gets me is that many emergents feel they are the first to discover this fact. Folks, this has been a problem since Year One, Day One. :

I don’t think that. I just think that many people who are associated with or sympathetic to the “movement” come from churches where being a Christian meant little more than saying a prayer at an altar call or mentally agreeing that “God has a plan for my life”. Churches that didn’t really expect God to really change people’s lives or told us that being a Christian was really synonymous with a materialistic American lifestyle. In fact that’s a sign that God loves us.

So no, I don’t think “Emergents” think they were the first to discover it. I just think a lot of Evangelicals had forgotten it.

51   IWanthetruth    
September 2nd, 2008 at 7:36 pm

I just think a lot of Evangelicals had forgotten it.

Amen… I have to say gentlemen. I have been a worship leader for the past 20+ years and somewhere along the line I just got to comfortable being on the platform leading. I almost forgot what it was all about. I am not saying this is bad but I got too used to being a part of the “team” that presented Christ to the masses and then when an alter call is given and hands raise, “there I did my job.”

I forgot that I was to do that out there also, in the streets, at the restuarant, on the job, in my neighborhood.

52   John Hughes    
September 2nd, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Phil: So no, I don’t think “Emergents” think they were the first to discover it. I just think a lot of Evangelicals had forgotten it.

I agree, my point is that the “problem” has been around from the beginning. It seems to go in cycles. Again I believe in balance and moderation.

53   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 2nd, 2008 at 8:29 pm

John,

You wrote: “Jerry: “The Message” is not a translation it is a paraphrase. There is a significant distinction between the two. ”

You should read Peterson’s book Eat This Book which explains his rationale for the translation. It’s very insightful. He translated from Greek and Hebrew; he did not paraphrase from English.

Also, someone said above that he translated the Message ‘for his kids’, and that is simply not true. He translated the bible for his congregation when he was still in a local pastorate.

To All: The OP has nothing to do with Bible translations. I guess Chris P got what he wanted though, didn’t he? We are not talking about Haugen’s point.

“Go everywhere preaching the Gospel, use words if necessary.”

jerry

54   John Hughes    
September 2nd, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Jerry,

Paraphrase, metaphrase, translation or what ever it still has some serious problems IMO no matter what the motive.

“Go everywhere preaching the Gospel, use words if necessary.”

A catchy phrase, but in the final analysis the wisdom of men and not of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. God uses the foolishness of preaching to save the lost. Obviously good works goes hand in hand with the Gospel, but good works are not the Gospel. However, it does not have to be an either/or proposition as our good works are to draw glory to God and perhaps make people more willing to listen. There is a place for the “obnoxious” street evangelist, the caring neighbor or co-worker and even the occasional tele-evengelist or two becuase God’s word does not return void and it’s power is not dependant on the vessel.

55   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 1:51 am

John,

Look at what the verse you quoted states:

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. God uses the foolishness of preaching to save the lost.

If it be our preaching then it is our works that save others… yet it is not our works…

Look at this in the bigger context.

Romans 10:14. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15. And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
16. But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
17. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
18. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
19. Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
20. And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21. But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
Romans 11

1. I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.
2. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah–how he appealed to God against Israel:
3. “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me” ?
4. And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
5. So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
6. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

Notice that Paul builds a case and is saying that it is not our preaching? It is only by Grace is the summation of Paul’s argument… Paul contrasts mans preaching with the understanding that the Israelites heard God but did not respond. So faith is not by hearing, it comes by grace and through faith. It comes by believing on Jesus not just hearing… it is hearing and responding.

Most read this passage and miss Paul is contrasting a human argument with what God is doing. So our preaching does not save anyone, it is hearing the word and doing it as the Gentiles are doing and that is what Paul is pointing out…

To summarize Paul’s argument:

Israelites hear and do not respond to God’s calling.

Gentiles hear and respond… and are saved by Grace.

Faith does not come by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Faith comes by believe and responding to the Grace of God.

Now, that does not mean we do not preach… as Paul also states it is the foolishness of Christ we preach… we preach a dead man raised to life and somehow people believe by the power of God… not us.

iggy

56   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 8:46 am

Iggy, there have been many times I cannot follow your logic. This is one of them.

Paul: Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Iggy: Faith does not,/b> come by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Faith comes by believe and responding to the Grace of God. blockquote>

Faith is not some etherial, supernatural **substance** like WOF teaches (not that you are saying that). Faith simply means “trust in and reliance on”.

Preaching (i.e., sharing of the Gospel) is the **means** God uses. The truth of Jesus is proclaimed/shared/preached. People believe and then add faith (i.e., lean on) this body of truth they have heard about Jesus and then God saves (i.e., regenerates them). Preaching/sharing Christ is the means God uses.

Iggy: If it be our preaching then it is our works that save others

That is a non sequitor. No one is saying that.

1 Corinthians 1:21 – For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

Iggy: So faith is not by hearing, it comes by grace and through faith. It comes by believing on Jesus not just hearing… it is hearing and responding.

Faith comes through faith???? You have convoluted many streams of thought here Iggy. Salvation is **given** by grace (i.e., unmerited favor), it (salvation) is **appropriated** through belief + faith which **comes** by hearing the Gospel message about Jesus and is **effected** by the regeneration by the Holy Spirit.

“How can they believe in One whom they have not heard?”

57   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 8:50 am

IWanthetruth,
You said,

I have been thinking about starting a small home church, not me but a call by the Holy Spirit. Now I think I ought to have second thoughts.

Be obedient to the Spirit, brother. You can trust His guidance. I say “GO!”

Shalom

58   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 8:50 am

Let’s try this again with the proper HTML coding.

Iggy, there have been many times I cannot follow your logic. This is one of them.

Paul: Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Iggy: Faith does not come by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Faith comes by believe and responding to the Grace of God.

Faith is not some etherial, supernatural **substance** like WOF teaches (not that you are saying that). Faith simply means “trust in and reliance on”.

Preaching (i.e., sharing of the Gospel) is the **means** God uses. The truth of Jesus is proclaimed/shared/preached. People believe and then add faith (i.e., lean on) this body of truth they have heard about Jesus and then God saves (i.e., regenerates them). Preaching/sharing Christ is the means God uses.

Iggy: If it be our preaching then it is our works that save others

That is a non sequitor. No one is saying that.

1 Corinthians 1:21 – For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

Iggy: So faith is not by hearing, it comes by grace and through faith. It comes by believing on Jesus not just hearing… it is hearing and responding.

Faith comes through faith???? You have convoluted many streams of thought here Iggy. Salvation is **given** by grace (i.e., unmerited favor), it (salvation) is **appropriated** through belief + faith which **comes** by hearing the Gospel message about Jesus and is **effected** by the regeneration by the Holy Spirit.

“How can they believe in One whom they have not heard?”

59   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 9:18 am

Iggy,

You directly contradict what the Word of God says:

Romans 10:14. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15. And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
16. But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
17. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Then you say:

Faith does not come by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Faith comes by believe and responding to the Grace of God.

This is a direct contradiction! The Message does not even botch it this bad! Yes, salvation is by grace. Our preaching is what we are commanded to do, and the hearing aspect is more than physical, it is agreeing with what the Word of God says about Jesus, salvation, our need (sin) etc.

And I might add, folks that the social Gospel is not the Gospel unless the Gospel is preached. Without the good news being preached, it is just a good work that any Jew, Gentile, Muslim, or athiest can do to assuage his conscience. That is what Rick Warren is banking on with the PEACE plan.

60   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 9:46 am

And I might add, folks that the social Gospel is not the Gospel unless the Gospel is preached. Without the good news being preached, it is just a good work that any Jew, Gentile, Muslim, or athiest can do to assuage his conscience. That is what Rick Warren is banking on with the PEACE plan.

PB,
Well first of all, let’s put that passage in Romans back in its original context. Paul is talking very specifically about how God’s plan of salvation is for Jews and Gentiles. He is making the point that the Jews have been given the message all throughout their history so they have no excuse for not believing in Christ.

Paul isn’t saying that preaching is the only way to salvation – indeed that doesn’t even jibe with the rest of the Scriptural narrative. There are plenty of people who came to Christ without listening to any preaching.

Now preaching isn’t bad, and it is necessary, but it’s not the only way. The Gospel isn’t just words. It’s a holistic lifestyle that includes our actions and our words.

In some ways, some Evangelicals remind me of Simon the Sorcerer. They are looking for the magic formula or method that will give them the power to have God do what they want. If only it were that easy. There’s no magic bullet. Sharing the Gospel is like farming – hard, gritty work.

61   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 9:56 am

Phil,

I agree that sharing the Gospel is hard. I agree that the Jews heard it for 4000 years until the time of Christ in types, shadows, and direct prophesies. But Paul is talking to people who 1. Didn’t get it (the Jews) and 2. Never heard it (Gentiles) in this passage, which is really chapter 9-11.

This is the whole context: The Jews are stuck on gaining righteousness through works; grace through faith in Christ alone is a HUGE stumbling block. Now they are on the outside looking in at the gentiles, who have trusted by faith. They responded to the preaching of the message.

BTW, where does Paul demonstrate that we should participate in humanitarian efforts? THE BRETHREN! When people are pagans and Jews, Paul preaches to them. He collects money from Christians to give to the brethren. His social agenda is for the brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering.

If the social gospel types would actually do a Bible study, I think they would find very little directed social action in the scripture outside of ones own group. The Jews helped other Jews, The Christians helped other Christians. They did not use social action as a carrot to outsiders to prove they were Christians.

62   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 9:58 am

Phil – you bring up a good point. Jesus said our good works are a light that men see and glorify our Father in heaven. Also, Paul says we should be ready to answer those who ask us about our hope, presumably because of our lfestyle.

That doesn’t discount or even diminish words, the lives we lead enhance and frame the gospel which must be told and communicated. Many people have seen the life of a Christian who they new was a believer, but did not understand the gospel. One day they asked and were shared the gospel, but the fields were plowed by a believer’s life.

63   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 10:01 am

“They did not use social action as a carrot to outsiders ”

John – Jesus did.

64   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 10:12 am

If the social gospel types would actually do a Bible study, I think they would find very little directed social action in the scripture outside of ones own group. The Jews helped other Jews, The Christians helped other Christians. They did not use social action as a carrot to outsiders to prove they were Christians.

PB,
Well, first of all, a large portion of the early Christians were poor, powerless, and oppressed. The fact that they were helping one another only makes sense.

Also, if you view helping the poor as a carrot, you really don’t understand Scripture. God’s heart is for the fatherless and the widow, the helpless, and the oppressed. Paul would have understood this. To Paul, being a Christian was an extension of being a Jew. In fact, it was the fulfillment of God’s plan laid out in the Torah. He would have understood that God’s desire was to have His people care for the poor and oppressed as decribed in Deuteronomy 15:

If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

When you juxtapose this with what Jesus said about who we are to consider as our neighbor, it quickly becomes clear that God expects us to offer help to the poor and oppressed regardless of whether or not they’re Christians. The Gospel is social by definition.

65   IWanthetruth    
September 3rd, 2008 at 10:28 am

#57 Nathaniel,

Thanks for the comment. I have a 864 sq ft garage that is being used for minumal storage with a shop that I have been thinking of converting to a studio guest quarters/office.

I am thinking we could start with canvasing the neighborhood to see if I could invite and get maybe 6 families to come to a bi-weekly bible study and then as the group grows, redo the garage and make it more like a small meeting place (add heat/cooling, a little carpet, 4 ft band, on the edges, flooring that can be cleaned really well from oil (I’ll still need to park the cars in there during the winter, it snows here, etc. etc.)

Anyway it’s a thought. I will only do it if the Lord leads. Thanks for the encouragement.

66   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 10:31 am

Phil: There are plenty of people who came to Christ without listening to any preaching.

Chapter and verse please. No one gets saved without hearing the gospel by either reading it themselves (in which the written word preaches), by hearing it from others (by which a person preaches), or by direct relevation from God (by which God preaches).

And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?

I don’t think PB or anyone is saying the “preaching” has to be from a pulpit by a preacher. Anyone who shares the gospel is preaching, i.e, proclaiming the gospel. When did all these words get redefined?

Now preaching isn’t bad, and it is necessary, but it’s not the only way. The Gospel isn’t just words. It’s a holistic lifestyle that includes our actions and our words.

The Gospel is the good news of God’s redemptive story which culminated in the cross and which was validated by the resurrection. That redemptive story is communicated in words, written or spoken.

The “Gospel” is not a lifestyle. A lifestyle results from the Gospel, but it is not the Gospel. It results in actions. Its acceptance by an individual is validated by actions. Actions may point to it and demonstrate the results of it, but the Gospel cannot be communicated in actions in the strict definition of the word as it is a report of God’s redemption story.

I understand the sentiment but it’s not accurate.

67   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 10:39 am

John – I believe Phil was making a distinction between formal preaching and just sharing. He isn’t saying a person can be saved without the gospel in some form.

It is noted that Helen Keller was a Christian without ever hearing or seeing the gospel. The gospel truth can be shared by flannel graph, play, movie, CD, preaching, sharing, tract, sign language, and other forms of communication.

68   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 10:44 am

Chapter and verse please. No one gets saved without hearing the gospel by either reading it themselves (in which the written word preaches), by hearing it from others (by which a person preaches), or by direct relevation from God (by which God preaches).

John,
Well, it sounds like you’re redefining “preaching” to cover a broad range of communication. I think the generally accepted definition of preaching is a public proclamation of some sort. It’s generally not thought of as a one on one conversation. I’m not saying the message of the Gospel doesn’t need to be communicated somehow. No one just learns it by osmosis.

I do stand by my comment about the Gospel being a lifestyle, though. If it’s not something you live, your actions will actually betray your words and make them meaningless. As stated in James 2:

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Just as Jesus taught by proclaiming and demonstrating, and so should we. The truth of the Gospel is that Kingdom of God is at hand, and we share it by telling people that fact and by demonstrating it’s true.

69   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Rick: The gospel truth can be shared by flannel graph, play, movie, CD, preaching, sharing, tract, sign language, and other forms of communication.

Agreed and to my point. But it cannot be communicated by a lifestyle. It can be enhanced, hindered, validated, denied, etc., by a lifestyle, but it cannot be communicated by a lifestyle technically speaking.

The Gospel (and all of God’s word for that matter) stands alone. It is empowered by the Holy Spirit. The reason I won’t let this “go” and am continually drilling down on the technical definition of the Gospel is that in certain quarters the pendulum has swung too far and hince we get “preach the Gospel. Use words if necessary”. Which is a pithy statement but very inaccurate. Can/does a lifestyle observed affect the Gospel? Of course it can either positively or negatively. But again, the Christian Lifestyle results from the Gospel, but is not technically a part of it.

It’s cliche but a winsome Mormon can affect if the Mormon false gospel is received favorably or not. Same with Christianity. We should all live out the faith we profess for many reasons one of which is for being a witness to the power of the Gospel. I am not denying that. But that living out of the faith is not the Gospel.

70   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 12:08 pm

We should all live out the faith we profess for many reasons one of which is for being a witness to the power of the Gospel. I am not denying that. But that living out of the faith is not the Gospel.

But if you are truly living out your faith, you will speak when led by the Holy Spirit. What I’m against is the people who hand someone a tract and feel they are “spreading the Gospel”. No, they’re just filling up landfills.

If you are telling people God loves them, but aren’t demonstrating in some way, you aren’t really giving them the whole Gospel.

It’s like Rick pointed out earlier. Jesus didn’t just stay in heaven and tell us we were forgiven. He came to earth, lived and died to prove it.

71   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Phil, I am not denying the overriding sentiment of what you are saying but when you say:

What I’m against is the people who hand someone a tract and feel they are “spreading the Gospel”. No, they’re just filling up landfills.

to me that is denying the power of the Gospel and is a terrible thing to say. It is the Gospel itself via the empowering of the Holy Spirit (in concert with the communicated word) that effects, not the medium. You are concentrating on the medium to the detriment of the power of the Gospel itself.

Yes millions of people have been saved by the winsome lifestyle evangelism of caring Christians living in community with the unsaved, but millions of people have also been saved by a Gospel tract given out or left in a public space by total strangers. Millions have been save by God-gifted evangelists who are basically complete strangers to those who believe as a result of their proclamantion. Millions have been saved from the anonymous placement of Bibles in hotels or handed out on street corners, etc. Have you forgotten that? Again, it is the Holy Spirit who effects/empowers the Gospel, not the lifestyle example (either good or ill) of the human sharer.

I don’t understand all the hate for handing out tracts or street-corner evangelism. For no matter what the methodolgy Jesus is being preached/shared. God can use a jerk just like he can use a caring, considerate person like you because the power is in the Holy Spirit energized Gospel and not us. We plant, others water, but it is God who gives the growth. I don’t understand the “my way or no way” attitude, sorry.

72   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Phil,

If you are telling people God loves them, but aren’t demonstrating in some way, you aren’t really giving them the whole Gospel.

No, if you are **only** telling them “God loves you” and don’t tell them about sin, judgement, and repentance in addition to God’s love, mercy, grace and forgiveness, you aren’t really giving them the whole Gospel. If you don’t demonstrate God’s love in your life it just shows you to be a hypocrite. The Gospel stands on its own.

73   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I don’t understand all the hate for handing out tracts or street-corner evangelism. For no matter what the methodolgy Jesus is being preached/shared. God can use a jerk just like he can use a caring, considerate person like you because the power is in the Holy Spirit energized Gospel and not us. We plant, others water, but it is God who gives the growth. I don’t understand the “my way or no way” attitude, sorry.

Well, I think a lot of those “methods” can actually harden people’s hearts to the Gospel. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe “millions” have come to Christ through tracts and random Bibles in corners, at least not in the US.

The fact is that the medium is tied into the message. That’s why Paul said the Corinthians were “living epistles”. If the message existed apart from the medium, it would seem the very presence of the Church on earth becomes a moot point.

Ironically, what I’m speaking against is the whole “my way ot no way” attitude. I grew in an environment where the motivation to evangelize always came from fear and guilt. It was like, “if you aren’t telling your friends at school they’re bound for Hell, you’re not really their friend” or “how many people have talked about Jesus to today?”. In the end, I think that a very, very unhealthy way to live. It creates little legalistic Christians who are motivated by external things rather than just by an intimate relationship with God.

You see, John, you’re going to have a very hard time convincing me that evangelicalism as usual is the way to go. I’ve lived in my whole life and I’ve seen it’s fruit in my life and the lives of my friends. For a large part, we are still dealing with the baggage of the guilt and fear piled on us. I have seen the joy that comes from living a more holistic Christian life, and I won’t go back.

74   jose    
September 3rd, 2008 at 1:41 pm

i’ve been doing tract evangelism for almost 10years.
Am I doing it all wrong Phil?

75   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 1:43 pm

i’ve been doing tract evangelism for almost 10years.
Am I doing it all wrong Phil?

Probably…

76   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 1:46 pm

To quote the late Mitch Hedberg, “When someone hands you a flyer, it’s like they’re saying ‘here, you throw this away.’ “

77   jose    
September 3rd, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Would you like to meet my friend who also does tract evangelism and our buddies who got saved by a tract?

78   jose    
September 3rd, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Last year alone a total of 479 people came to know christ through this type of evangelism.
I would disagree with you. Let’s continue fillign up the landfills.

79   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Wow, Jose, do you go to an Assembly of God church? Those are the only ones I know that keep such tight track of numbers.

I assume they filled out some form for you, or something. Call me a skeptic if you will, but I am highly suspicious whenever someone starts throwing around stats like that at me. From my own experience doing “evangelism” at Spring Break events and such, I’ve found that a lot of people will sign anything to get you out of their face.

I’m not saying God can’t use different ways to reach people, but I just don’t think the ends justifies the means.

80   jose    
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:00 pm

How else can you disciple new converts who on the street confess jesus christ as their lord and saviour? DO you have a better way of getting their info?
I actually have no denomination.

“I’m not saying God can’t use different ways to reach people, but I just don’t think the ends justifies the means.”

Don’t back tract from your orginal statement.

“What I’m against is the people who hand someone a tract and feel they are “spreading the Gospel”. No, they’re just filling up landfills.”

81   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:09 pm

John,

You keep harping on my quotation of the statement: “Go everywhere preaching the gospel, use words if necessary.” I don’t know why. This statement is not given to force a dichotomy between ’saying’ and ‘doing’ but to show, rather, how the two go together. You might recall that in an earlier reply, I mentioned that “I don’t think ’saying’ and ‘doing’ are mutually exclusive. I do happen to think that much ’saying,’ however orthodox, is rendered unorthodox by the not ‘doing’ of people”

The point of Haugen’s comment is that when one is exclusive of the other we may justifiable question ‘the other.’ I hear some of those television preachers preaching a great gospel, but then I hear stories about the way they live and conduct themselves. It makes me question their entire story. On the other hand, I never heard, say, Mother Teresa preach a single verse, but I have little doubt about why she did what she did–even if she had her own doubts.

The comment says this: “Go everywhere preaching the Gospel; use words if necessary.” The point is not to exclude words, but rather to point to what Phil is generously calling a ‘lifestyle.’ And, to be sure, it echoes the words of Jesus perfectly: “You are the light of the world. A City on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Taken at face value, Jesus’ words do not seem to be saying anything at all about ‘talking’ or ‘hearing’ or ‘preaching’. Rather he specifically uses words like ‘deeds’ and ‘good’ and ’see’ and ‘before others.’ This makes me think that perhaps there is something more to be said about this gospel lifestyle–this ‘putting on Christ’–than some have lead us to believe. If I put on Christ, won’t others see?

Kind of reminds me of when Jesus was on the cross (Mark’s Gospel account). And a Roman centurion saw him there. Mark says it this way: “And when the Centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God.’ (Mark 15:39)

Sort of makes me think of those early martyrs who died at the hands of the Romans–and said nothing at all except ‘Jesus is Lord.’ I wonder if their courage made any impression on their killers?

Just some thoughts.
jerry

82   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:15 pm

How else can you disciple new converts who on the street confess jesus christ as their lord and saviour? DO you have a better way of getting their info?

Well, that’s what I’m saying, someone giving you their name doesn’t really mean much I’ve found. It’s their continued following after Christ that is important. Of course the first step is important, but the steps that follow are just as important. I just don’t see much in the way of long-term fruit from non-relational forms of evangelism.

Don’t back tract from your orginal statement.

I’m not backtracking at all. God can use all sorts of things to bring people to Christ. He, unlike us, is not tied to a particular method of doing things. But just because He uses something to save some, doesn’t automatically mean that method is ordained. For example, I know of people who came to Christ because their spouse was killed in a car accident. That doesn’t mean God prefers car accidents as a way of spreading the Gospel.

Look, I don’t doubt the motivations of people handing out tracts. I don’t doubt the motivation of street preachers (most of the time). I just would like people to take a step back and consider some of the unintended consequences of their methods and how they are portraying God.

83   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Phil,

I went to a Cleveland Browns game one time a few years ago. (Thankfully, the Steelers won.) Some folks were, bless their hearts, handing out ‘tracts.’ The street, the sidewalk, the trashcan were red from all the discarded paper laying around the stadium.

I agree, God can use any way he wants and I’m sure someone, somewhere has been saved because God’s word was written on paper. But if you look at tract passing out as a means to filling landfills, I look at it as a means of saying, “Here, I don’t want to be involved in your life or talk to you personally, but have a piece of paper.”

Reminds me of the time a Eunuch was reading the Gospel by himself and had no idea what he was reading until someone went up to him and made personal contact with him. Remember that story. Tracts aren’t useless if they have two sets of hands holding on to them.

I’d rather buy someone a coke and talk all day than pass out an anonymous, ridiculous, don’t get to close to me piece of paper.

But that’s me and these are my personal thoughts. If it works for Jose, then have at it.

jerry

84   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Jerry,

You’re correct I was “harping”. But at least I admitted it!

Phil,

Paul often went down to the river or marketplace to share with strangers. Was that wrong? (I also have it on good authority that he handed out tracts. They were little clay tablets with pithy heirogliphics and such). :-)

85   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:42 pm

I just don’t see much in the way of long-term fruit from non-relational forms of evangelism.

You mean like Rick Freuh’s conversion story? You can’t necessarily make a universal extrapolation from personal experience.

Oh wait, perhaps Rick is not such a good example. Never mind.

86   nc    
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:43 pm

hmmm…

I wonder what Jack Chick would have done with those clay tablets…

;)

87   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:44 pm

The main thing I learned from Jack Chick tracts growing up was Christians have big muscles and beat people up.

88   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:46 pm

I wonder what Jack Chick would have done with those clay tablets…

Probably some anti-Catholic propaganda comparing the Pope to Domitian…

89   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Jerry: I’d rather buy someone a coke and talk all day than pass out an anonymous, ridiculous, don’t get to close to me piece of paper.

Yes, I’m sure Jose would not talk with anyone who came back to him after reading the track he passed out earlier!

Jose, you keep doin’ just what God has called you to do — plant the seed and trust God to cause the increase.

Jerry, you also keep doin’ just what God has called you to do.

May God bless both of your efforts!

90   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:53 pm

I know I always enjoyed it when people would leave me a tract instead of a tip after they ran me like a dog and lectured me for working on a Sunday. I especially liked the one’s that look like money but you open them and they say, “DISSAPOINTED! Don’t be when you die”

91   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:55 pm

John,
Below your quote from Jerry, he did add

But that’s me and these are my personal thoughts. If it works for Jose, then have at it.

92   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 2:59 pm

I know I always enjoyed it when people would leave me a tract instead of a tip after they ran me like a dog and lectured me for working on a Sunday. I especially liked the one’s that look like money but you open them and they say, “DISSAPOINTED! Don’t be when you die”

Why do you hate the Gospel, Joe?

93   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Joe,
It did strike me as odd that the church in which I grew up prohibited its members to work on Sunday. And yet we went to restaurants or pizzerias or grocery stores or gas stations afterwards.

There was one instance in particular where one person regularly talked to the owner of the grocery store about how he should be working on Sundays, while he was there on Sunday buying stuff.

94   nc    
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:04 pm

re: The main thing I learned from Jack Chick tracts growing up was Christians have big muscles and beat people up.

Ah, but you forgot “don’t be gay or catholic”.

95   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:08 pm

That may be what you learned. But I envied those biceps.

;)

96   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Who is Jack Chick?

97   nc    
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Joe,

RE: the money tract.

Are you serious?!?!?
That’s what it said?!

What kind of–I can’t even say all the words that describe them–would make that kind of insensitive, ham handed garbage!??!

That makes me so mad.

98   nc    
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Nathanael…

you’re funny.

Like your blog, too.

99   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Thanks.

Jerry,
Here’s the link to their website.

100   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Nevermind. I just read this at his website bio:

Right after the book was printed, he was driving down the road, when his eyes were drawn to a group of teens on the sidewalk. Jack remembers, “At the time, I didn’t like teenagers or their rebellion. But, all of a sudden, the power of God hit me and my heart broke and I was overcome with the realization that these teens were probably on their way to hell. With tears pouring down my face, I pulled my car off the road and wrote as fast as I could, as God poured the story into my mind.”

Within 15 minutes, A Demon’s Nightmare was written. After going home and drawing the art, Jack Chick’s very first soul winning gospel tract was completed. God miraculously used the owner of the company Jack worked for to pay for the first printing of this new soul winning book.

(My emphasis)

So, instead of preaching to the teens, he wrote a book about them. See, now that is an example of bad evangelism. I wonder what happened to those hell bound teens who caused him to cry and write a tract?

101   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:36 pm

People hand out “tracts” on 42nd street in New York City. They are invitations, but not for salvation! :roll:

102   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:40 pm

If someone’s faith and trust is in the presenter (hey, this guy is nice and does nice things for me) instead of what is being presented (i.e., the Gospel) then it is misplaced. Even the best of you are human and will fail at some point. Then where will your trainees be if they are looking to you instead of Christ? Both methodologies have their problems. Both can be abused. You cannot ignore the human factor in either (jars of clay anyone?). But again it does not have to be an either/or proposition.

Tacks can be abused. But they can also be used to great gain. The entire Campus Crusade for Christ movement was built around the 4 Spiritual Truths track.

Some people have a zeal for God but lack understanding. Why not take them aside, send them a gentle note, or something to counsel them as was Apollos instead of trashing a whole evangelistic approach?

P.S. Joe, I’m a Christian and I tip very well. :-) If you read the tract a seed was planted in spite of their stupidity. Obviously someone else came along who was more balanced and Christlike and watered it and eventually God caused it to grow and here you are in all your regenerated glory! Praise God!

103   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Jerry: So, instead of preaching to the teens, he wrote a book about them. See, now that is an example of bad evangelism. I wonder what happened to those hell bound teens who caused him to cry and write a tract?

Perphaps he went right back to the same area and handed out the book. Do you know he did not? Why are you so bitter? Again, I don’t understand the hate and judgementalism for those who evangelize differently from your calling.

104   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Handing out tracts is like everything else. It is well intentioned and some are good and some not so good.

Like sermons…

105   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 3:49 pm

John,

Faith is not some etherial, supernatural **substance** like WOF teaches (not that you are saying that). Faith simply means “trust in and reliance on”.

I never said it was like the WOF teach…. faith itself is a gift from God.

My point is that Paul starts using ” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.’ Yet, then states that the Israelites “heard” yet did not “heard” through the “word of Christ”. They still heard but did not respond to the Holy Spirit. Faith does not come from hearing the word… aka our preaching… it comes from hear the word of the Person of Christ in our hearts.

That is why Paul also states:

Romans 8:30. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

It is Jesus who does the calling… by the Power of the Holy Spirit which is a bit ethereal as He is like the wind … “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

iggy

106   John Hughes    
September 3rd, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Faith does not come from hearing the word… aka our preaching… it comes from hear the word of the Person of Christ in our hearts.

Iggy: You seem to be an adherant to the belief that regeneration preceeds faith. I do not believe the Bible teaches that. I belive belief + faith preceeds regeneration.

I also belief the gift refered to in Ephesians 2:8 is in reference to salvation, not to faith (word gender and all) and its a moot point anyway as to each is given a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).

Look, in a nut-shell one hears the Gospel, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, judgment and repentance and calls to the unregenerate (i.e, supernaturally empowers the Gospel message). They accept or reject the call. If they believe (i.e., consider the facts presented as true), and then add faith (i.e, reliance on, trust in) to their belief (Hebrews 4:2; James 2:19) then the Holy Spirit regenerates them.

Or they are regenerated and infused with faith from above and are irresistably drawn and don’t have a choice in the matter. Take your pick.

P.S. If you re-read my post I went to special pains to indicate I did not believe you were expousing WOF theology. :-)

107   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Phil:

If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

Thank you, Phil. You proved my point.

It is towards our Brothers. this giving is not cross cultural.

This giving is in the context of a people group, specifically brothers among the chosen people.

Jesus fed the 5000 in the context of preaching the kingdom of God- The Gospel.

I am not saying we should not help the poor. I am saying that we are to give to the poor, help the needy, the oppressed. But to do so without the context of the Gospel is foolish and unbiblical.

108   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Thank you, Phil. You proved my point.

It is towards our Brothers. this giving is not cross cultural.

This giving is in the context of a people group, specifically brothers among the chosen people.

And you missed my point about who Jesus said our neighbors were. We shouldn’t treat anyone any differently based on what they believe.

I am not saying we should not help the poor. I am saying that we are to give to the poor, help the needy, the oppressed. But to do so without the context of the Gospel is foolish and unbiblical.

I don’t know how many times I can say it, but giving to the poor, helping the needy, etc. are part of the Gospel. It’s not something that’s just tacked on. Neither proclamation nor demonstration are complete on their own.

109   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 4:53 pm

For the record – everything that everyone says here on this blog PROVES MY POINT! :lol:

110   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 3rd, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Dear John ChisHam,
Please read the WHOLE bible:

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

A guy named Paul to the church in Galatia

111   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
September 3rd, 2008 at 5:18 pm

NC: Yes, that is what they said. Often there was no money with them and they followed a long lecture about how I shouldn’t be serving alcohol. (Rick, I’m not baiting you. I ‘m just saying the way it was)

Rick: Thankfully, God saw fit to bring me to regeneration before I worked in the restaurant business. There are many Christians who tip well. Some even leave tracts (VERY VERY VERY FEW)

112   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 5:20 pm

When I leave a tract in a restaurant I leave at least a 20% tip.

113   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Butif my steak isn’t cooked correctly I curse the waitress out! :lol:

114   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Iggy: You seem to be an adherant to the belief that regeneration preceeds faith. I do not believe the Bible teaches that. I belive belief + faith preceeds regeneration.

I believe regeneration starts at the time we respond in faith and continues until we are resurrected…

which is hte final regeneration.

I do not see it biblical that regeneration precedes faith and is only a one time thing.

Matthew 19: 28. And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Regeneration means “renewal”… Jesus renews our spirit when we come to him in faith and renews our mind as we grow in Him… then at the time of the resurrection Jesus will renew all things…

Behold the old is gone the new has come.

No, this is one of the many reasons I am not a Calvinist.

iggy

115   IWanthetruth    
September 3rd, 2008 at 7:08 pm

I am not saying we should not help the poor. I am saying that we are to give to the poor, help the needy, the oppressed. But to do so without the context of the Gospel is foolish and unbiblical.

My dad was a missionary in Israel. He told me one day that before He could tell them the gospel he had to reach them through their stomachs. It usually gave him opportunity to “show” Christ in action and then gave him opportunity to “tell” of Christ and the cross.

It was the action of the “faith” that caught them and other times it was the “hearing of the faith”

Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Gal 3:5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith–

Gal 3:2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

116   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 7:17 pm

BTW John Chisham,

You did not answer as to how I mocked you… either apologize or point it out…

iggy

117   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
September 3rd, 2008 at 7:47 pm

John,

“Why are you so bitter? Again, I don’t understand the hate and judgementalism for those who evangelize differently from your calling.”

Huh? Oh, wait…Huh?

jerry

118   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Bo Diaz Says:
September 2nd, 2008 at 4:55 pm
The incredible irony of all this is that I guarantee you that PB and Chris P approve of the ESV, in fact it may be their preferred translation if Reformed fanboy heros are any indication. And yet its a bastardized translation in which the “translation” committee took the 1971 version of the RSV and re-translated the bits they disagreed with doctrinely.
Its one thing if a translation committee produces a text in a way you disagree with, another entirely when doctrinal positions determine how you translate. Talk about an abomination, and dishonoring the word of God.
iggy Says:
September 2nd, 2008 at 5:14 pm
Bo,
Oh noez! Now you diddit!
You took the gloves off… what will they do now?
Most likely some snappy comeback that will just be as cwazy!
iggy LOL!

119   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 8:22 pm

PB,

That was not even to you… it was to Calvinist in general…

So, apologize… please.

iggy

120   pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Oh really, even though PB and Chris P were the only ‘Calvinists’ mentioned.

I am actually closer to Arminian than Calvin- But True Arminianism is actually quite close to Calvinism.

Apologize? Why do you care? I believe it was directed at Chris P and I.

Oh Well. I am so sorry Iggy.

121   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 8:50 pm

You agreed with the post… Chris P was who I was talking to. Again I was ignoring you until you stated I was mocking you…

I was mocking Calvinism in general… as Bo started something that would not fit the Calvinist model…

THis thread was fun until you cast you hate into it…

So, if you are closer to Arminiansim… then you should not have seen it as directed at you at all…

So, thank you for your apology… and try to be more civil… and please once again, stop lying about me.

iggy

122   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 3rd, 2008 at 8:53 pm

My point again is that I never mentioned you once PB and yet you attack me for no reason.

Think about that will you? Why are you so full of hate towards me? Is it because I challenge you and most often you can’t or won’t give an answer?

I gave up asking you questions as you either cannot answer or will not as it reveals your weak theology.

So, all I ask is that you stop lying about me…

iggy