Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"The Way(s) of the Master" from the Shepherd's Conference 2012: An Appreciation and An Observation

At this year's Shepherd's Conference, Jesse Johnson (adjunct professor of evangelism at the Master's Seminary) gave an address: a large part of which was dedicated to a critique of the Way of the Master method of evangelism. [I listened to Johnson's address on-line today; the address may be heard HERE.]

The critique was focused on two main points. One of the points involved the idea that the Way of the Master can become an overly-scripted "cookie cutter" approach to evangelism. On this point, Johnson strove for accuracy and balance in his critique, noting that having something like a script may be beneficial to those who are new at and thus nervous about sharing their faith, and saying that-- to some degree-- the leadership of Way of the Master does not intend their approach to result in everyone speaking the same words regardless of the situation. I appreciated this critique inasmuch as it is easy for Christians to fall into a "cookie cutter" approach, disregarding the fact that the examples of evangelism in the New Testament do not use the same words each time. When witnessing, we must all take seriously the person before us, and his particular circumstances.

The other point of the critique focused on the use of the 10 Commandments as a summary of God's Moral Law in order to confront non-Christians with their sin. Johnson believes that this use of the 10 Commandments is improper, because the 10 Commandments were only given to national Israel and not to the Gentiles. As to this point of critique, I would simply like to observe that the Way of the Master style of evangelism, with its particular use of the 10 Commandments, is much more readily compatible with Reformed belief than with Dispensationalism or so-called "New Covenant Theology." For example: as soon as a witness begins asking a non-Christian about the 10 Commandments, he has implied that the 4th Commandment is still-- in some sense-- in effect.

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