Thursday, March 23, 2006

Theologically-Fuelled Evangelism

Because of my reformed theological views I often get branded (out of ignorance I might add) a hyper-calvinist. Primitive Baptist theology has a deep heritage here in south Georgia. Many in my hometown view reformed theology as equal to hyper-calvinism. Thus, it very much baffles them when I tell them I am a Reformed Baptist Evangelist.

Much to my dismay, those of us in the reformed faith have been branded hypocrites following an evangelistic message. Many of us spend many hours a week in devoted study of theology and Scripture. Yet when we stand on the soap box in the open air and give a message for the Lord, we often fumble our way through applying our theology in a practical appeal to sinners. Many of us dare to slip into the realm of decisional regeneration and tell men to choose Christ above their alcohol and sexual addictions as if they had the free-will to do so.

I want to offer you the following quote by J.I. Packer and urge you to equip yourselves for the work of soul winning:

Evangelism and theology for the most part go separate ways, and the result is great loss for both. When theology is not held on course by the demands of evangelistic communication, it grows abstract and speculative, wayward in method, theoretical in interest and irresponsible in stance. When evangelism is not fertilized, fed and controlled by theology, it becomes a stylized performance seeking its effect through manipulative skills rather than the power of vision and the force of truth. Both theology and evangelism are then, in one important sense, unreal, false to their own God-given nature; for all true theology has an evangelistic thrust, and all true evangelism is theology in action. - J.I. Packer


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