Theology Pub: Tonight – 7pm – Saskatoon Inn

Theology Pub: Tonight – 7pm – Saskatoon Inn

The topic is evangelism.  I searched through some scriptures to find insights in to early church evangelism.  For an example of contemporary evangelism check out the 4 Spiritual Laws. All scriptures below are from the RSV.

Paul coming to Corinth 1Cor 2

1When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; 4and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Paul comes to Thessalonica 1Thess 2

4For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you; 5for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit; 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedo’nia and in Acha’ia. 8For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedo’nia and Acha’ia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.

Peter in Jerusalmen Acts 2

 37Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

Paul in Ephesus Acts 19

8And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God; 9but when some were stubborn and disbelieved, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the hall of Tyran’nus. 10This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
 11And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.

Paul In Athens Acts 17

22So Paul, standing in the middle of the Are-op’agus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, `To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. 26And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, 27that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, 28for `In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your poets have said, `For we are indeed his offspring.’
 29Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. 30The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.”
 32Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33So Paul went out from among them. 34But some men joined him and believed, among them Dionys’ius the Are-op’agite and a woman named Dam’aris and others with them.

King Agrippa/Festus Acts 26

12“Thus I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining round me and those who journeyed with me. 14And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, `Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.’ 15And I said, `Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, `I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles–to whom I send you 18to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
 19“Wherefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but declared first to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and perform deeds worthy of their repentance. 21For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23that the Christ must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to the people and to the Gentiles.”
 24And as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are mad; your great learning is turning you mad.” 25But Paul said, “I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth. 26For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time you think to make me a Christian!” 29And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am–except for these chains.”


  1. #1 by Randall on March 25, 2004 - 9:56 am

    Is that tonight already??

    Shoot, I really wanted to be at that one…

    I don’t remember which “Program” it was that began, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life…”

    But that line has been running through my brain since I spoke with an old college friend. She followed God faithfully, and all she got was a life full of misery and heartache. She got sold a bill of goods.

    I HATE IT when we tell people that Jesus will give them a good life, like he’s some kind of good luck charm.

    So can we at least cut that crap already? Can we cut out the memorized lines and lovely cliches designed for maximum impact?

    Instead of hit and run evangelism, can we start living with these people so that we become a part of God’s wonderful plan for them.

    Community, caring, communication, support, love.

    That’s God’s wonderful plan.

    Ok, I feel better now.

  2. #2 by robbymac on March 25, 2004 - 12:18 pm

    Preach it, Randall. You might find it interesting that the line you quoted is the opening line of the Four Spiritual Laws!

    Are people still using this thing? Or stuff similar to it? I haven’t run into these kind of tracts since the late 80’s but maybe I’ve been sheltered…

    Except for once in the mid-90’s, in Victoria, where some old guy shoved a tract into my hand down near the Causeway — I was mostly upset that he didn’t even try to talk with me or look me in the eye, just shoved the paper into my hand and kept on going.

    I wanted to catch up to him and slap him silly (metaphorically speaking, of course), but thought it would be even less productive than him shoving the tract into my hand in the first place.

    I like your phrase “hit and run evangelism” — I used to call these forays “church field trips” for much the same reason. Incarnational Christianity, if lived consistently, could actually make the word “evangelism” (as we’ve known it, anyway) obsolete.

  3. #3 by becky on March 25, 2004 - 2:52 pm

    Doh, it’s tonight? I’m going to the Homestar Runner presentation at school tonight, but I’ll be there in spirit. Next time the pub comes ’round, I’ll make an appearance.

    I hope it goes well! Especially talking about that first passage you’ve mentioned. You know I’ve got ideas on it, already.

  4. #4 by Jadon on March 25, 2004 - 4:51 pm

  5. #5 by Randall on March 25, 2004 - 5:28 pm

    Whoa, hold on there,

    there’s a Homestar Runner presentation tonight too??

    Glad I’m not in town, that could be a hard one to call!

    But I suppose the words Strong and Bad will be used at the Pub too.

  6. #6 by caro on March 25, 2004 - 7:37 pm

    I just heard about this (7:30pm Thursday) from Mark Trew and wish I’d known about it before. It’s a topic I feel strongly about so I think this would’ve been interesting.

    I agree with Randall above. I think that we gloss over the sacrificial aspect of Christianity far too much — when we “evangelize” and even when we talk amongst ourselves. It’s no wonder Christians bail when things get rough, it’s not what they signed up for! Plus, if we tell people that God has a wonderful life for them what does it say when things get bad? That they haven’t been a good Christian? That God is punishing them? That’s completely wrong and backwards!

    I could go on and on but I’ll leave it at that . . .

  7. #7 by Nathan P on March 26, 2004 - 3:04 pm

    This is the only reason I loathe working evenings… other than that, I love my job. Wish I could be there. Keep the blogs full-up with your pub notes for me, eh?

Comments are closed.