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Evangelism in the 21 st Century David Schoen Eden Theological Seminary.

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Presentation on theme: "Evangelism in the 21 st Century David Schoen Eden Theological Seminary."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evangelism in the 21 st Century David Schoen Eden Theological Seminary

2 Evangelism in the 21 st Century –What do you think when you hear the word Evangelism?

3 Evangelism in the 21 st Century Biblical Understanding of Evangelism –Evangel eu good aggelion tiding, news gospelgood news, good word, good tidings, gospel of Gods realm, gospel of God, gospel of Christ, gospel of peace –Evangelize euaggelizioTo preach, to declare Bring glad tidings, preach the gospel –Evangelist euaggelistes, advocate of the good news, ambassador aggel, angel, messenger –Evangelism - of the good news, embodiment (living out) of the evangel

4 Evangelism in the 21 st Century Biblical Understanding of Evangelism Small Group Bible Study –John 2:35-51 –Matthew 28:16-20 –Acts 1:6-11 –Jeremiah 1:6-9 –Acts 8:26-35

5 Evangelism in the 21 st Century Biblical Perspectives on Evangelism –Walter Brueggemann Group Discussion –What stood out to you as an aha? –What challenged you? –What questions would you ask? –How did Brueggemann define evangelism?

6 Evangelism in the 21 st Century Biblical Perspectives on Evangelism –Walter Brueggemann Evangelism is doing the texts again. –evangelical task of the church to invite people into this daring drama and revolutionary conversation Evangelism is no mere survival technique. It is a world concern. Evangel is Message of Gods alternative world. Not just a question of good news, its what do we do with the good news. –We are ultimately the tellers, the hearers and the livers.

7 Evangelism in the 21 st Century Biblical Perspectives on Evangelism –Walter Brueggemann Audience for Evangelism –Outsiders become Insiders –Forgetters Made Rememberers –Beloved Children become belief-ful adults Main issue for the U.S. church is to recover the nerve (courage and freedom) to say boldy and straightforwardly that the embrace of the evangel is pervasively transformative.

8 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism Small Group Discussion –Evangelism Definitions What are the primary foci of definitions? How do they vary? Which definition speaks to you? How will you define evangelism?

9 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism Jesus ministry –Gospel was about the realm of God among us New Testament/Apostolic/Early Church –Evangelism is act of obedience- Go Forth. –Focus on the world into which church was called –Church was called as sign and instrument of Gods realm –Gods reign recognized in Jesus life, death and resurrection –Jesus becomes the message

10 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism Jesus ministry –Gospel was about the realm of God among us New Testament/Apostolic/Early Church –Evangelism is act of obedience- Go Forth. –Focus on the world into which church was called –Church was called as sign and instrument of Gods realm –Gods reign recognized in Jesus life, death and resurrection –Jesus becomes the message

11 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism Christendom (after Constantine) –From apostles to Priests (Early Church to Empire) –Church and culture are one, –Place and birth define Christian identity Mission of church and kingdom was to ensure that every person within boundaries of the kingdom is part of a local congregation. The task and authority of priests is the administration of sacraments and standing in church and culture Church exists to serve the religious needs of members and kingdom Evangelism became outreach to whatever place was out of kingdom/culture

12 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism Celtic Evangelism In The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West... Again, George Hunter writes about the difference between what he describes as the evangelism approach in Roman and Celtic Christianity.

13 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism Roman Model Celtic Model Presentation Fellowship Decision Ministry and Conversation Fellowship Belief, Invitation to Commitment

14 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism Celtic Evangelism Christianity is more caught than taught! As Professor Robin Gill observes, belonging comes before believing. For this reason, evangelism is about helping people to belong so that they can believe.

15 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism From Priests to Pedagogues (Reformation) Church remained the static server of religious grace and power within Christian society Reformers did challenged and reform the priestly understanding of ministry to create a more pedagogical identity for the clergy. Teaching and preaching, the oversight of right doctrine and proper administration of the sacraments became the normative form of protestant leadership Proclamation and teaching became the task of leadership and sign of authority Some radical reformers and free church movements tried to create alternative organic communities based on neither the priestly or pastoral, but lay led leadership

16 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism From Pedagogues to Professional Enlightenment to Modernity Scientific competence pressured church –Preachers became professionals The Leader as Counselor The Leader as Manager The Leader as Technician The Leader as Evangelist

17 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism From Pedagogues to Professional (Enlightenment to Modernity) Religion became positive science, a formula for making people and world better Revivals –Great Awakening, Wesleyan, Finney, Moody, Sunday, Graham –Rule of God (good) realized in personal experience –Absent is idea of community –Eschatology (hope) is based on future not present Social Gospel –Rule of God realized in social order –Rule of God (good) realized in social context –Absent is idea of individual –Eschatology (hope) is based in present context

18 Evangelism in the 21 st Century History and Theology of Evangelism From Pedagogues to Professional –Enlightenment to Modernity Evangelism becomes professionally and institutionally driven Church growth movement –growth of church around the world –a church in every new community

19 Evangelism in the 21 st Century Post Modern World(A new worldview coming into being) currently a difficult mix Maintenance of Christian tradition, –servicing churched peoples needs –perform the religious chaplaincy of culture Missional movement/theology –Return to Missio Dei of apostolic age, gospel and culture movement –Return to go forth, because thats who God calls us to be sent Communities shaped and excited by missional identity, church finds identity and joy in mission/outreach ministries –Gods called out, sent out people –Ecclesiology and missiology merge, purpose of the church is to serve Gods mission –Mission starts at front door, wraps around the world and come back –Evangelism is central to Gods mission Critique of Missio Deito much doing, not being Church as sign and instrument of Gods reign

20 Evangelism in the 21 st Century

21 Logic of Evangelism Evangelism raises very fundamental questions What the essence of Christianity is concerning: –conversion, faith, and repentance; –the nature of the gospel, –the nature of the reign of God, –the place of the reign in the ministry of Jesus –the nature of baptism and of Christian initiation, –The relationship between the intellect and the emotions in Christian commitment –the faith of the early centuries expressed in the modern world –the place of Christianity in a multi-faith world

22 Logic of Evangelism Abraham begin theological review with Ministry of Jesus and Gospel Begins with Eschatology (hope) of Jesus Message –Jesus proclaims a Gospel of Gods Realm –The rule of God was present and still to come to fulfillment –Gods future hope is realized in the present in lives and in world –Gods rule is seen and known in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus –Gods realm is still to come in fulfillment

23 Logic of Evangelism Message and Ministry of Evangelism Proclamation is a message of the rule of God, –the present and still to come activity of God into the world –seen and known in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Return to the message work of the apostles which he said was more than proclamation –Formation into the community of Gods reign –Nurture of new beings –Living in a new world where injustice is out of date

24 Logic of Evangelism Abrahams Definition of Evangelism Evangelism is that set of intentional activities which is governed by the goal of initiating people into the kingdom (realm) of God for the first time. A recovery of apostolic teaching and spirit, seeing evangelism as intimately related to the coming reign of God. To be initiated into the rule of god is to encounter a transcendent reality that has entered history and to find oneself drawn up into the ultimate purposes of God for history and creation.

25 Logic of Evangelism Evangelism includes but cannot be collapse into admittance into some religious institution, It is distinct from psychological and social formation that takes place when one embrace a specific cosmic or historical narrative. Cannot be reduced to acquisition of some creed or body of knowledge that is intellectually mastered More than appropriation of a particular moral vision Distinct from certain rites and ceremonies Goes far beyond some spiritual or emotional experiences, even positive Cannot drained into activism that seeks to change the world for the better

26 Logic of Evangelism Whose involved in evangelism –Triune God – primary agent –The church –Evangelist –The person evangelized Evangelism calls for multiple agents, it is never a solo performance It is more like farming and educating than raising ones arms or blowing a kiss

27 Logic of Evangelism Abrahams definition seeks to be response to: Revival Movement –Proclamation with little idea of community –Individualization of Gospel –Eschatology (hope) is based on future not present –Justice witness absent

28 Logic of Evangelism Abrahams definition seeks to be response to: Church Growth Movement –Church growth about research not theology –Based on homogeneous demographics –Personal invitation instead of confrontation –Focus on numbers and institution survival –Focused on church membership not discipleship –Diminishes focus on Justice

29 Logic of Evangelism Evangelism involves: –Proclamation –Basic instruction –Prayer –Ensuring that those who respond are brought to baptism or confirmation –Acts of mercy, patient conversation, stern rebuke, mass meetings –Sharing ones personal spiritual pilgrimage or an act of silence, listening –Ministering special rites of exorcism, catechesis, laying on hands –Mass media or small groups

30 Logic of Evangelism Evangelism involves: –Proclamation –Basic instruction –Prayer –Ensuring that those who respond are brought to baptism or confirmation –Acts of mercy, patient conversation, stern rebuke, mass meetings –Sharing ones personal spiritual pilgrimage or an act of silence, listening –Ministering special rites of exorcism, catechesis, laying on hands –Mass media or small groups

31 Logic of Evangelism What makes the actions of evangelism is that they are part of a process governed by the goal of initiating people into the realm of God. Unless such acts are intimately related to a process of intentionally bringing people into the realm of God they are something other than or less than evangelism.

32 Logic of Evangelism Critiques of Abrahams definition and work –Too much like Christian Education –Jones critique –Realm of God confined to Church –Evangelism can be harmful

33 Logic of Evangelism Abrahams re-definition and work Evangelism is that set of intentional activities governed by the goal of initiating persons into Christian discipleship in response to the reign of God for the first time. Jones redefinition Evangelism is that set of loving, intentional activities governed by the goal of initiating persons into Christian discipleship in response to the reign of God.

34 Evangelism Definitions One beggar telling another beggar where there is food. Evangelical task of the church to invite people into this daring drama and revolutionary conversation. Evangelism is helping people belong so that they can believe. Evangelism is that set of intentional activities governed by the goal of initiating persons into Christian discipleship in response to the reign of God for the first time. Evangelism is that set of loving, intentional activities governed by the goal of initiating persons into Christian discipleship in response to the reign of God.

35 Evangelism in the 21 st Century –How do you respond to the evangelism definitions? –What is your definition of evangelism for your ministry and discipleship?


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