Monday, December 15, 2008

Did You Know? 3.0

An updated version of "Did You Know?" (3.0) has been released. This excellent video helps you grasp the magnitude of change that is occurring through globalization and the technology that fuels the information age.



What difference does this make?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The James Ossuary -- WOW or WHAT?

Okay, this is intriguing. It is the case of the "James Ossuary" -- an ancient (or not so ancient...or, wait, yes ancient) ossuary (that is, receptacle for holding the bones of the dead) that had the inscription "James, Son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus" inscribed upon it.

First, there was great interest in the astounding archaeological find. WOW! The implications.

Then it was declared to be a Fraud by the Israeli Antiquities Authority. Bummer. But even fraudulent cases make good stories. Right?

But now, get this. It is the IAA that appears to have been playing loose with the evidence. They have been embarrassed in the court case over the ossuary.

So now we are back to "WOW, this is an astounding piece of evidence!" And we've added the drama around it of, "HMMM... Someone doesn't want this evidence to be recognized for what it is." Any correlation to Matthew 28:11-15?

One must extend kudos to the Israeli court system that won't accept scientific hanky panky with the facts.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Freethinkers & Faithfulness: An Improbable Friendship

Just read an encouraging article, "Freethought & Faithfulness: An Improbable Friendship" from the Rocktown Weekly and Andrew Jenner. Jenner chronicles the amiable and constructive interaction between Campus Crusade for Christ believers and the Freethinkers of JMU.

Christian believers have been viewed as intolerant and combative. This is evidence that it doesn't have to be that way.

Way to go all you freethinking & believing Duke Dawgs!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Spiritual Spectrum

I just received a request for a graph I've used in illustrating the spiritual spectrum of our audiences. These are general categories that expand and contract dependent on audience we are reaching out to.


The general explanation is that while we are doing outreach...
  • We’ll discover Christians – some who are Connected to a community of believers and growing. Some who are Unconnected.
  • We’ll discover Seekers – who are searching for God in their spiritual journey.
  • There are individuals who are Open – they are not actively seeking God, but they are generally open, if approached appropriately, if in a safe environment.
  • The greatest majority may be the Indifferent. For them it is just not on their radar screen, they aren’t thinking much about it, because it seems irrelevant to how they live.
  • Another group is the Resistant . Their resistance is rooted in world-views and beliefs that conflict with the gospel.
  • Finally, there are the Hostile. Their hostility could flow out of strong beliefs that conflict with the gospel, but often it flows emotional issues like bad experiences in their past.
All of them need others to enter into their journeys and help them along. But before we can help show them the way to Jesus (the Guide) or get beyond their obstacles (the Builder), or encourage them to keep following Christ (the Mentor), we have to discover where they are at.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Near Christianity

What is the "Gospel of the Kingdom"? That question caught my attention in 1994 as I prepared to teach an Institute of Biblical Studies in Hungary on "The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ."

Jesus proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom throughout Galilee (Matthew 4:23) and Paul seemed quite comfortable spending two years in Rome proclaiming it. Yet, at that point, if I tried to articulate it myself, well, I wasn't sure what all I would have said.

I found most helpful the writing of George E. Ladd, in particular his book by that name, The Gospel of the Kingdom: Scriptural Studies in Kingdom of God, and his A Theology of the New Testament, which has been one of my favorite references through the years. There were other works I dipped into, including Mortimer Arias' Announcing the Reign of God.

But I have found it intriguing that in the years since, more and more voices have been speaking out loud regarding the gospel of the kingdom. Perhaps they were before I simply hadn't heard them. But now it seems quite common, so that young seminarians in the course I teach, might think of the gospel as first and foremost the gospel of the kingdom. (Not all, of course, but some.) This seems quite different than what was true in previous decades. (Okay, I date myself with such a statement.)

Here is a recent expression, from Breakpoint Ministries, entitled "Near Christianity."

What do you think of the authors summary of the gospel of the Kingdom? What about the implications and applications he makes to the contemporary Christian culture in the US?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mr Jenner -- An Official Video of his Life Story

On Jan 28th of this year, I posted a blog on Mr. Frank Jenner and his amazing witness. Today, I received a comment upon it, notifying me of an new video of his life story and amazing witness. It is worth publishing anew...

Friday, October 31, 2008

On the Road with Atheism

Christianity Today has provided a news report (from Nate Wilson) for Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson debates at King's College (more to come) and transcripts previous on-line debate:

Is Christianity Good for the World?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mission Misconceptions

"Missional" has become a favorite term among leaders in the 21st Century church. But what is becoming of "Missions". Stan Guthrie identifies six misconceptions regarding missions in a brief article in Christianity Today on-line, entitled: "Missionary Myths".

The six misconceptions are:
"There are pressing needs right here."
"Short-termers can do it."
"Let the nationals do it."
"The task has been completed."
"Maybe there are other ways to God."
"Missionaries have been poor witnesses of the gospel."
What do you say about these?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Gospel & Disciple-making

I recently completed an article entitled (in pre-published form, "The Design of Discipleship".) In it, I explore the biblical foundations for discipleship, disciple-making and spiritual multiplication. In one section, I reflect on the gospel and disciple-making, including the following paragraph:
The other essential ingredient for a healthy growth environment is the gospel. In its simplest form (what you might call, the essence), the gospel is the good news about Jesus—who he is and what he has done. (See for instance, 1 Corinthians 15:1-5; compare Luke 24:45-48.) It is through this gospel that you came to know and experience Jesus as your Savior and Lord by faith (Romans 1:16, 17). But the Christian life doesn’t start with the gospel and then graduate to something else, to some deeper truth. No, you don’t move on; you go deeper and experience more. The gospel, in its fullness, is the whole truth about Jesus and all that his salvation and kingdom has for us. It is like a vein of gold, the deeper you go the richer you become, not because you are finding something else, but because you are experiencing something more. So, whether the gospel is summarized in its essence through a brief booklet like, Would You Like to Know God Personally? or expounded in its fullness through Paul’s theologically rich letter to the Romans, it is transforming message through which we encounter Jesus Christ our Lord. In the gospel, we find Christ to be the only solution for our fallen condition—our brokenness, sin and shame. In the gospel, we discover Christ to be our life and through his Spirit to be the power we need to live that life. Jesus transforms us, and he does so with his gospel. Therefore, making disciples means helping others to understand and experience the gospel.
Thoughts?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

DNA & Tracking Origins

I have had a mild interest in DNA lately, as many (including myself) have spoken of the DNA of ministry -- those fundamental truths, principles or practices that shape life and guide reproduction. There are some fascinating analogies and parallels between actual DNA and what ministry leaders dub "DNA".

So here is a fascinating article from science:

Person's Geographic Origins Located from DNA

Makes the mind wander...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Paul's Gospel and Caesar's Empire

I am currently reading on-line a fascinating article:

Paul's Gospel and Caesar's Empire
By N.T. Wright

http://www.ctinquiry.org/publications/wright.htm
If Paul's answer to Caesar is the empire of Jesus, what is an empire
under the rule of this new lord? How does Paul's gospel line up with Caesar's empire?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Après Lewis - Insightful Glance at Modern Apologetic Books

Mere Christianity has been a standard for Christian witness for decades. Has a new work arisen in its tradition? David Skeel muses on the current offerings in Après Lewis. (Thanks to Eric who brought this article to my attention.)

Short Film - Emerging Strategy

Over the last two years an exciting new approach to stimulating deep, spiritual conversations has been developing around the use of short films, now downloadable for iPods. This approach has been field testing on a variety of US and International summer projects this summer. Initial feedback has been very (VERY) encouraging. We'll be posting more about this in the days to come. For now, just want you to know that the short films are available for only $1.99 a download. Choose your best five, and it is still under $10. The most commonly used one has been Over the last two years an exciting new approach to stimulating deep, spiritual conversations has been developing around the use of . This approach has been field testing on a variety of US and International summer projects this summer. Initial feedback has been very (VERY) encouraging. We'll be posting more about this in the days to come. For now, just want you to know that the short films are available for only $1.99 a download. Choose your best five, and it is still under $10. The most commonly used one has been LaBusqueda.

Changed Life: Mosab Hassan Yousef

My excellent co-worker, Holly, drew my attention to this -- the story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas leader who years ago found Christ as his Savior and Lord and is now speaking openly about it. If you only have two minutes, watch the video. If you five, read the interview. Very enlightening.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Dialogue between McGrath & Dawkins

Having drawn attention to Plantinga's article on Naturalism & Evolution, it brings to mind another "discussion."  

Want to listen in to a dialogue (an uncut version) between two intellectual "giants"?  Here you go...

The Root of Evil


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Conference on Post Christian Spiritualites

I was just sent this....
Trinity is cosponsoring with a Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization Issue Group a conference on 16-19 October at our campus entitled Trinity Consultation on Post-Christendom Spiritualities.  The aim of the conference is to address the issues of declining Christianity in the West and emerging spiritualities embodied in contemporary Paganism, Western Esotericism and other religious cults.
In our day of increasing religious pluralism manifested not only in the world religions in the West, but in the 3,000 plus religious cults, this conference would be an excellent opportunity for those preparing for ministry in the US or Europe.  Because we feel it is such an important conference, the registration of $60 is nominal (food is additional).  This price is well worth the event considering the speakers who are coming (Craig Blomberg, Gerald McDermott, James Chancellor and several others).  You can see more information at www.tiu.edu/postchristendomconference. 

Evolution & Naturalism: Oil & Water

I have just come across this article by Plantinga... The beginning (all the further I have had time to read) looks intriguing -- enough that I will note it before I complete it:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Challenges of Research

I recently stumbled across this on the the Pew Research known as the US Religious Landscape Survey. Fascinating...


I had not been to GetReligion.org site before. Have to do some exploring there. This was a good post...  At least for those who appreciate research and its challenges. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Missional Church - A Definition

"So a working definition of missional church is a community of God's people that defines itself, and organizes its life around, its real purpose of being an agent of God's mission to the world. In other words, the church's true and authentic organizing principle is missions."
Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways, pg 82

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Missional Quotes

"The Church is by nature missionary to the extent that, if it ceases to be missionary, it has not just failed in one of its tasks, it has ceased being Church."
What is Mission?: Theological Explorations by J. Andrew Kirk, 2000, p. 30.

"A mission focus looks first at those who are outside the church before it ever looks at the internal needs of the church."
Invading Secular Space by Martin Robinson & Dwight Smith, 2003, p. 167.
"Remember, you are never more like God than when you are living in relationships with God's people and working in partnerships for the re-creation and redemption of God's world."
A Theology as Big as the City, by Ray Bakke, p. 35

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

God is Not Dead Yet

Makes you glad, doesn't it. Not that I was worried, but it is encouraging that the Philosophers are continuing to conclude that his existence is philosophically sound. Read more with the Christianity Today article: 

Monday, July 7, 2008

Diagram Man

I was once introduced to an audience as "Diagram Man." I guess my reputation among my coworkers is that I can't think without creating a sketch. My journal, my Bible studies, everything ends up in a sketch. So I was delighted to be made aware of this Fast Company article -- Hooray for sketches:

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/124/the-napkin-sketch.html?page=1%2C0

BTW - don't do what the first commenters did and miss the sketches. Click on the company name to see their sketch.

Now you see why I like the Four Circles gospel (below).

The Four Circles - A Gospel Presentation

James Choung has developed a gospel presentation using Four Circles. He writes:
Here's an attempt to explain the Christian faith... in three minutes. (It was tough, but I was asked to do it.) Clearly, many details will be left out in such a short amount of time. Let me know what you think.
It was recently featured in Christianity Today:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/july/11.31.html

But if you would like to see James in action his videos are on YouTube. Well worth watching.





You can also download this to your iPod from http://www.jameschoung.net/2007/09/17/the-big-story/

He has two upcoming books: "True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In" and "Based on a True Story," published by InterVarsity Press and available at Amazon. I have not seen either.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The State of the Gospel

Do you have 35 minutes to invest in updating your awareness of Great Commission progress?

This worth your time -- money back guaranteed. Okay, I'm not taking a risk, since the web is free. But you're not risking time either, IF you are interested in the Great Commission, missions and the spread of the gospel. This is good. Very good!

It is the report on "The State of the Gospel" that Jason Mandryk gave at the 2006 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Malaysia, a gathering of over 500 younger leaders from 110 nations.

I will definite use this in my upcoming Evangelism & Mission class. It's a valuable overview! Kudos to Jason!!!

BTW - If you are not familiar with Mr Mandryk, he is notable for his part with Patrick Johnstone in providing praying world Christians, Operation World, one of the all-time most valuable mission resources. Why do I say that? Because it has stimulated and informed significant Great Commission intercession. More kudos!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Religion in America

Earlier this year, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public life in America began releasing reports from the extensive U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. This is a treasure chest of research data, from which numerous gems of insight will be drawn (I trust) in the days ahead.  For instance, about 7 in 10 religiously affiliated Americans would "agree with the statement that many religions – not just their own – can lead to eternal life." The implication: Americans, while very religious, aren't very dogmatic. 

So what are the implications of this for witness? Does it mean people are generally open to consider other ideas? Or would you find most people settled in the own view, but not wanting to express a view that implies others are wrong? Is this the flowering of our tolerance? Or the fruit of pervasive relativism?  

How do we understand and grapple with such realities. Perhaps time will permit deeper explorations into the Pew findings in the days ahead...

But then again, it is a busy summer schedule. We'll see.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The American Dream

The latest Barna report is out and interesting. It features the results of a study of what American's want most in life. It is worth the read (and a little reflection) for the implications for ministry (and outreach) in particular:

http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrowPreview&BarnaUpdateID=301

"... having good physical health (listed by 85%), living with a high degree of integrity (also 85%), having one marriage partner for life (80%), having a clear purpose for living (77%), having a close relationship with God (75%), and having close, personal friendships (74%)".

Friday, May 30, 2008

IVY Jungle Note: Studying Christianity & Culture

Do you get the Campus Update from IVY Jungle? It is a monthly summary of college related news; student issues, etc.

Here is a sample from the latest edition:
Studying Christianity and Culture: Christian Smith, author of Soul Searching has launched a new minor at the University of North Carolina focused on Christianity and Culture. He pushed for the program in part because he believes that students cannot understand western culture without an adequate understanding of Christianity in general and evangelicalism in particular. He also noticed that many incoming freshmen who claimed to be Christians often understood little of their faith. He coined the phrase "moralistic therapeutic deism" to describe the faith he saw in many teenagers in which God exists primarily to make them feel good, but has little impact on their lives. He faults the church which has bought into a culture of excitement and relevance at the expense of the gospel. (Kairos Journal May 8, 2008)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Summer Missions -- Article from World Magazine

World Mag published an article on Short-term Missions. About half-way through it features our WSN projects:

http://www.worldmag.com/articles/14059

Here is a report from Tony A. on our summer projects:

As of May 15, we have at least 3496 students and staff participating in summer projects.

US Projects: 2175 (1745 students; 430 staff and volunteers)

International Projects: 1321 (1113 students; 208 staff and volunteers)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

CoJourner in Action

One of the privileges of campus ministry is the students one gets to work with. For me, one of those I have been privileged to know is Matt Penland. Here is a glimpse into his life and ministry:

http://www.ccci.org/training/evangelism/cojourners/overview-model.aspx

His life and ministry has been a model of CoJourners.

CoJourner On-line

The Campus Crusade for Christ website has begun a series on "Rethinking Evangelism" based on CoJourners. (Thanks, Evangeline.)

Here is the intro:

http://www.ccci.org/training/evangelism/cojourners/overview-intro.aspx

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Morning News

But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:13 (ESV)

I awoke this morning. It was the same world as yesterday. Oh, some things had changed (apparently) from a quick glance at the newspaper; at least enough we could have some “news”. But even with the change, it was the same. Front page: politicians failed to approve legislation that many (some?) felt important for the region. Some were for it; some against it – nothing new about that. Scandal cost another notable his job. Young people mess up their lives and future by doing dumb (and illegal) things. I wonder if they had a clue of what this would cost them. Adults play games and get paid millions for it (calling it sports, of course.) There is plenty to write about. But the news isn’t really new. It’s really “olds”, for nothing has really changed.

But then my mind wanders forward, ahead by years, maybe decades, maybe centuries, maybe millennia, I’m not quite sure. But somewhere in the future, everything will change, really change. There will be new heavens and a new earth and the morning news (or “olds”) will be quite different, for there righteousness will dwell. Everything will be aligned rightly – no evil or scandals, no wars or crimes, no winners and losers, no misplaced priorities, no broken promises or vows, no abuse or neglect, no peace accords negotiated because peace will reign, no negative campaign advertising, no… The list continues as my mind wanders.

Will this be boring? After all, what captures our attention and generally fills our news today is the very stuff that won’t be in that future. Will it be boring? Only if experiencing and enjoying what your heart has always longed for could be boring. Are moments of true, pure love boring? Then would an eternity of complete, unadulterated love be so? Can joy ever grow old; or life without stress; or relationships without offenses?

As I remember it, as I reflect on it, I know it is worth waiting for. In the meantime, I will read the news. But as I do, perhaps it will remind me of a better world, a better time, a better place. I won’t look for it in the morning news. No, it is too big for that and too abrupt. But I’ll be looking for it, nonetheless. I have Someone’s word on it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

European Evangelism - What is bearing fruit?

I was recently asked what evangelism approaches in Europe (East or West) that I was familiar with which were demonstrating some level of fruitfulness. Here was my quick list:
  • Story of Soul – for an outreach meeting
  • Soularium in initiative evangelism
  • Short Film Festivals as an event
  • CoJourners: Conversational Evangelism as a lifestyle
  • Battle of the Bands; utilizing both local and Christian bands
  • English Speaking Camps – especially for High School students
  • EQ Seminars – especially for student leaders
  • Life@Large revised for Italy as The Story within The Story

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Transformation: A Renewed Mind

Under God's economy, nothing really changes until our minds do. Transformation is the the fruit of a changed outlook. First our minds are renewed, and then we are transformed, and then everything is different, even if it stays the same.

Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God (pg 33)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Gospel for the Jews: A Dialogue

There has been a fascinating exchange at Christianity Today's website between editor, Stan Guthrie, and Rabbi Yehiel Poupko. Reading it may help you deepen your understanding and appreciation of the sensitive issues related to gospel conversations with Jewish individuals. Read Guthrie's column first:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/march/31.76.html

Then consider Poupko and Guthrie's exchange regarding it:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/aprilweb-only/114-33.0.html?start=1#beginning

For a more indepth read of an Evangelical view of the matters, here is The Gospel and The Jewish People: An Evangelical Statement.

Satisfied Prayer Experience

This is up at Godsquad.com. It has proven to be a very effective means of leading a small (or large) group through an prayer experience focused on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. I have led groups from 10-4000 using this. Perhaps it will be helpful to you...

http://www.godsquad.com/prayer/satisfied.htm

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

One Question for God

Here is a creative outreach from a campus ministry...

Amid a sea of orange and blue T-shirts, campaign signs, fliers and Student Government candidates at Turlington Plaza on the University of Florida campus this week, there stood two 8-foot-tall white signs that boldly asked, "What is the one question you would ask God?"

"It really makes you stop and think," said Ryan Arens, a UF freshman and journalism major. "It's a really unique way to look at faith."

Scribbled all over the signs in black Sharpie were questions like, "Why give us free will?" and "When will the end come?" and even "What happened to the dinosaurs?"


Read the full story...

http://www.gainesvillesun.com/article/20080301/NEWS/803010325/1007/NEWS&source=RSS

Monday, March 3, 2008

A More Robust Gospel

I have to get back to this later for comment...

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/march/13.36.html

Missional Reading

Want a good primer on Missional readings? Look this one over...

http://blindbeggar.org/?page_id=381

Thanks to the blind beggar!

Two "Powerful" Truths

I have found that:

1. Every person’s life is a story worth telling. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

2. Every person is on a spiritual journey. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Those two statements are worth their weight in gold (actually, words don’t weigh much, do they?) But the point remains; they can stimulate some profound “exploration” for the CoJourner.

The first leads to a simple: “Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What you are studying? Etc.” General conversation enables you to get to know another person.

The second enables you to enter into their spiritual journey. “Tell me more about your experience. What was your religious background growing up? For you was it positive or negative? Etc.”

After listening, ask permission to share some of your life and experience. “Can I tell you a little of my experience?” (That is the opportunity for a brief “faith story” or example of how Christ is transforming your life and experience.)

Or, “Can I show you something that really helps me understand how to experience a personal relationship with God?” (This is the opportunity to share gospel truth with simplicity and clarity.)

Two simple statements; two simple truths. Together they can shape profound spiritual conversations.

Friday, February 22, 2008

ER Discovers the Flaw of Postmodernism

Here is an interesting video...

Soularium Update - II

Just received this...

Soularium is taking France by storm! :) We have tested this tool locally with staff and students in Toulouse, France and has been great! There have been dozens of people mobilized to share their faith through initiative evangelism, discussion groups, and other ways that we are using it. Students have said that it gives them confidence because it is so easy to transition into spiritual conversations with people and they see that God can use them to share about Jesus with people! We shared our experience at our national conference over Christmas and now several cities have used or are planning to use Soularium as a method to engage students in conversation. Thanks!

More encouraging news. Third print run is now in production...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Soularium Update

Soularium continues to spread without effort. This photographic image-based, conversational tool is creating engaging dialogue enjoyed by believers and outsiders alike. It is an amazing Explorer tool (for those who know the CoJourner paradigm). The first two production runs are sold out now, without anymore than one e-mail announcing its completion. Requests are pouring in for more -- both in the US and Internationally.

One story from this week...

A co-worker's daughter (who is a university student) told her dad that this semester she has been using it and has seen 12 people come to Christ through it. She said that she's having the same types of conversations she has always done in evangelism but Soularium has opened doors like nothing else has done.

That is exciting!

BTW - the next production run becomes available in two weeks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What Would Jesus Deconstruct?

Having read a review of Caputo's book, What Would Jesus Deconstruct...

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/februaryweb-only/107-12.0.html

I find myself asking, what would Jesus deconstruct about 21st century evangelism?

Hmm...

Worth pondering.

Friday, February 1, 2008

CoJourner: The Ultimate Explorer Commercial

Okay, the commercial says all it takes is a box of kleenex and a good listener to have significant conversations. Maybe really all it takes is a good listener. But how much more a good listener with the genuine love of Christ in his heart. Watch this...



or this...



But now for the rest of the story...

It turns out that it takes a little more than a listening ear and a box of kleenex. It takes the prospect of $200 if your footage is used in the commercial -- as revealed by our friends at Greenpeace:



So, now I'm even more convinced (from observation and personal experience) that what it really takes is a listening ear and the genuine love of Christ in your heart.

(Kleenex commercials are another media image manipulation. Our witness should never be...)

But it does make me wonder, what would happen if we put a couch on a college campus coupled with a genuinely caring, listening ear? Anyone want to try and let me know what happens?

PS - I really like the song by Starrfadu: Let it Out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsAMcpV6S8g&feature=related

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mr. Jenner (not Genor) -- the Video

This is an edit of the original posting below. If you read Heather's comment, you will want to watch this video of the amazing story of Frank Jenner...



Enjoy,
Keith
---------------------------------------

A number of years ago, while speaking at a Billy Graham School of Evangelism, I heard Dr. Roy Fish tell the story of Mr. Genor, a little white haired man, witnessing on George Street in Sydney, Australia.

I have become aware of this video of another sharing the same story (thanks, Dan). There are slight differences from the version I first heard, but essentially it is the same (kind of like the Synoptic Gospels -- same message, slight variation on details.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR8apSr3m9U

I, of course, have at times wondered the accuracy, so went searching and found this...

http://blog.simon-cozens.org/post/print/1309

and even more about Mr. Jenner (not Genor)...

http://jcfish.net/1/StreetTract_S16T03_v1a.html

But the final reference is more formal & official (It's even got Mr. Jenner's picture):

http://www.wordsoflife.co.uk/FrankJenner/FrankJenner.htm

Makes me want to read the book: Jenner of George Street by Raymond Wilson. Better yet, it makes me want to learn from the man God profoundly used!

The God Conversation

I just picked up The God Conversation by J. P. Moreland and Tim Muehlhoff. I have known Tim for years, at least on a casual basis, and I have known of J.P.’s work for probably an equal length of time. So I was with special interest when I heard that they had teamed up on a book together.

But even more intriguing then the author’s, was the title: The God Conversation. Being engaged in equipping believers in conversational witness has instilled a curiosity for new insights, ideas, resources anything that will help. First impression—The God Conversation is likely to be one of those resources I not only profit from myself, but will recommend commonly to those I equip.

Why? In the CoJourner paradigm, the third role we can play in other people’s spiritual journey is that of the Bridge Builder. The Bridge Builder helps those who are stuck on their journey, for whatever reason—intellectual questions, emotional baggage or simply misdirected desires—over and beyond the issues that keep them from coming to Christ. The God Conversation appears to be treasury ideas and illustrations to equip and sharpen Bridge Builders.

I’ll explore more in the days to come…

Resources for (Campus) Ministry

Many ask me what resources we have been involved in developing for Campus Ministry that can be utilized effectively in other contexts. Ah, they are numerous. God has graciously worked through a gifted team to put together a rich assembly of effective resources. Perhaps the best introduction of them is the sixteen page user guide that can be downloaded or viewed here:

http://crupress.campuscrusadeforchrist.com/files/Users%20Guide.pdf

Each is available through:

http://crupress.campuscrusadeforchrist.com/

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Arts & Evangelism: An Enduring Legacy in Music

Here is a wonderful article on the power of Bach's music -- still bearing fruit for God's glory, still changing lives three centuries later.

http://cyberbrethren.typepad.com/cyberbrethren/2008/01/where-bach-was.html

What from the early 21st century will have such enduring value for the kingdom of God?

_______

Feb 12 - A friend just pointed out another article by the same author in First Things:

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=2628&var_recherche=Bach

Reveal: Lessons in Research (for the body of Christ)

Since I dabble in research (really knowing only enough to know I don't really know), I found Dr. Bradley Wright's cautionary analysis of the Willow Creek Association's attention-getting book, Reveal, very insightful.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2008/01/reveal_revisite.html#more

Now I know I really need to know more about research.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Napkin Gospel

As we enter the spiritual journeys of others conversationally, there is often the opportunity to explain the gospel in short and simple ways.

One commonly used approach to sharing the essence of the of the gospel is with the napkin and a basic diagram.

The Napkin Gospel is one example of these from Craig Siebert, of Priority Associates.

What Evangelism Isn't

Mark Dever's book, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, is quoted in a Christianity Today article. Five things that Dever says evangelism is sometimes confused with:

1. Imposition - it is announcing the gospel message, not imposing personal views.
2. Personal Testimony - it is announcing the gospel, not telling one's experience.
3. Social Action and Public Involvment - it is announcing the gospel, not doing good deeds (though obviously the later can prepare the stage for the former.)
4. Apologetics - it is announcing the gospel, not defending the faith (again related, but not the same.)
5. The Results of Witness - it is announcing the gospel, not achieving a desired outcome. (The outcome is not the same as the means.)