10 February 2010

Law and Gospel, an Important Distinction in Evangelism

From Monergism

Much of Evangelicalism in America today has drifted from the authority of Scripture in many ways. One of the most dangerous ways is in the area of evangelism. Because of their desire for cultural relevance and a sincere desire to reach as many as people as possible for Christ, many Evangelicals have altered the gospel message to be as positive and attractive as possible. They seek to be relevant to the interests and desires of the unbeliever at the expense of biblical truth.

Sadly, this desire for relevance and acceptability has led them into the error of the old modernists or liberals--that is, a willingness to jettison biblical truth for the sake of relevance, respectability, and acceptance with a culture of unbelief. No doubt most of these Evangelicals would confess to high standards of orthodoxy including the inspiration and authority of Scripture. But in practice they have unwittingly become what some are calling the "new liberals."(1) As the interests of "unchurched Harry" have become more prominent in their thinking, the positive aspects of the gospel have been emphasized: peace, love, joy, fulfillment, practical help with everything from balancing your checkbook to finding a mate, and eternal life to boot! At the same time the perceived "negative" aspects (judgment, wrath, sin, self-denial, Lordship of Christ, tribulation, persecution) have been downplayed or neglected and in some cases even flatly denied.

One of the most important aspects of the gospel message that has been omitted is the centrality of the person of God. If God is even part of the modern evangelistic message, He is often presented as nothing more than a loving Father who is patiently waiting to be accepted so He can bless people and make them happy on their own terms.

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1 comment:

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