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Sunday, January 21, 2007

New Insights

As mentioned before Christy and I are taking a course called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (local link). Here are some insights from the reading:

This verse came up in almost all the reading as the proclamation of God's plan: Genesis 12:1-3
1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.

2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

As seeds of Abraham through faith in Jesus Christ, the only way the earth's family will be blessed is we go to them with the gospel.

God calls us to:
1) Proclaim His plan to the nations (Gen 12:1-3);
2) Participate in His priesthood as agents of blessing to all the nations (Exodus 19:4-6); and
3) to prove His purpose to bless all the nations (Psalm 67)

Finally, we don't have to proof text the Bible to prove God's purpose of evangelization. The Bible:
1) Gives us the mandate for world evangelization. Jesus came to the nation of Israel but proclaimed something bigger with the Great Commission.
2) Provides the message for world evangelization. The Gospel is presented as one Gospel but is diverse enough to be understood by all. We have to engage in a struggle to relate the given gospel (Bible) to any situation.
3) Is a model for world evangelization. Not necessarily the Old Testament wars that the Crusades tried, but provides a model of love and humbly seeking to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity, in order to become servants of others (Lausanne Covenant). Christ came in the flesh and became part of our culture.
4) Power for world evangelization. "Preaching the Gospel, far from being unnecessary, is indispensable. It is the God-appointed means by which the prince of darkness is defeated and the light comes streaming into people's hearts. There is power in God's gospel - His power for salvation" Makes me think of the hymn, "Power, power, wonder working power."

I like how John Stott finishes his article: "Let us not consume all our energies arguing about the Word of God; let's start using it. It will prove its divine origin by its divine power. Let's let it loose in the world! If only every Christian missionary and evangelist proclaimed the biblical gospel with faithfulness and sensitivity, and every Christian preacher were a faithful expositor of God's Word! Then God would display His saving power. "
"Lets heed its summons, grasp its message, follow its directions, and trust its power.

This week's articles are:
John Stott. The Living God is a Missionary God. Taken from You Can Tell the World. 1979. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA.
Walter Kaiser, Jr. Israel's Missionary Call. Adapted from a presentation at Trinity Evangelical Divinty School, Ill, May 14, 1981.
Stanley Ellisen. Everyone's Question: What is God Trying to Do? from Biography of a Great Planet. Chapter 2, 1975. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois.
John Stott. The Bible in World Evangelization. Adapted from a presentation at the Consultation on World Evangelization at Pattaya, Thailand in June 1980.

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