Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tuesday morning evangelistic smack-down, ii

1. Quotes for "Preaching and Proclamation" from the Disturbing Dane.
"It is absolutely unethical when one is so busy communicating that he forgets to be what he teaches."

"The reason why preachers are so eager to preach in a chock-full church is that if they were to say what they have to say in an empty room they would become anxious and afraid, for they would notice that it pertains to themselves."

"The person who is going to preach ought to live his Christian ideas in daily life. Then he, too, will have eloquence enough." (Soren Kierkegaard, Provocations)

2. This one kind of makes you wonder why we're not having revival. Lack of humility, perhaps?
Most pastors are supremely confident in their abilities to teach, make disciples and lead. Pastors express the greatest degree of confidence in their capability as an “effective Bible teacher” (98% of pastors said this phrase accurately described them). More than nine out of every 10 pastors also feel that they are an “effective leader” and a similar proportion believe they are “driven by a clear sense of vision.” More than eight out of 10 claim to be an “effective disciple maker.” Another favorable perception maintained by pastors is that they are “deeply involved in the community” – a label embraced by seven out of 10 leaders. (barna.org)

3. Picking up on that discipleship theme: "The International Consultation on Discipleship (1999, 450 church leaders from 54 countries met in England) published a document entitled "The International Consultation on Discipleship...the lack of Christian formation among conservatives churches is a worldwide phenomenon. The International Consulation bemoans Christians who are 'not different from the culture around them' and Christians who are 'not living lives of biblical purity, integrity and holiness.' This has 'resulted in a lack of power in the church to impact our cultures." (Ancient-Future Evangelism, Robert Webber))

So...who has the wrong perspective here? Is it Barna's preachers or the ICD? I think...that we know.

4. Henry Clay Morrison founded Asbury Theological Seminary. Morrison told how he had broken the law when he was a youth. He ended up in court, sitting next to a burly, blue-uniformed police officer who held him in custody. The judge on the bench called Morrison's case. The judge then turned to the prosecuting attorney and asked,
"Does he have a defender?"

The prosecuting attorney said, "No, your honor. He doesn't have a lawyer to defend him."

The judge said, "He must have a defense." He looked down a a group of young lawyers in the court room, pointed to one and called him by namne, then said, "You be his defender."

"So I sat there in the deock, next to the uniformed policeman," Morrison said. "That young attorney walked over and sat down next to me. He asked me, 'Are you guilty? Did you really do what they said you did?'

"Oh,' I told him, 'I did a lot more than they arrested me for!'

"The young lawyer said, 'Well, then, the best thing you can do is throw youself on the mercy of the court.'"

Morrison said, "There was something so winsome about that young lawyer that when he said, 'You had better throw yourself on the mercy of the court,' I felt confident in him. I thought that, if he was going to do the 'throwing,' I was willing for him to throw me anywhere. He was my only hope.

"So the attorney said to the judge, 'Your honor, my client pleads guilty.'

"Then something extraordinary happened. The attorney continued by saying, 'Father, if you will just turn this young man over to me and let me take care of him, I will see that he never appears in your court again.'"

Hencry Clay Morrison said, "I heard that word, Father, and thought, Can it be? I looked at the judge and knew it was true. My defense lawyer was the judge's son, so I knew everything was going to be all right."

"You know, this didn't happen in the county court; it was in a little Methodist church. The uniformed officer was the Holy Ghost, who held me under conviction. And the young lawyer was the eternal Son of God." (Dennis Kinlaw, We Live as Christ)

5. May of 1738. Wesley's conversion. But Albert Outler says that if he had died before 1739, we would not know his name. It was Wesley's "embarrassed descent" into field preaching that would change the world. April 2, 1739:
Mon. 2 - At four in the afternoon I submitted to be more vile, and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation, speaking form a little eminence in a ground adjoining to the city, to about three thousand people. The scripture on which I spoke was this (is it possible anyone should be ignorant that it is fulfilled in every true Minister of Christ?), "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted; to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
Albert Outler says this: "It was Wesley's belated success as an evangelist that finally made him into an assured believer." (Outler, Evangelism and Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit)

6. Good blog: paradoxology


At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

Yeah, I read those statistics on the "marvelous" discipling and teaching abilities of pastors....and wondered..."then why this great disconnect between attendance and maturity within the church?"

I've always had this theory, too, about pastors and arrogance...and that comes from someone who was a pastor's kid and who is married to a pastor. (A wonderful husband and father, btw.)

Why would you surmise that there is this "arrogance" problem?

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Matt Friedeman said...


I wonder if its not this "called of God" thing...if we are called...we must be good (or something like that). For my own part, I think the only thing holding my church back is my preaching and leadership! Well, that and a bunch of other things...


At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Holly said...

Hmmm...I wondered the same thing about being "called of God." Thanks.


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