Category Archives: Evangelism

How Christian marriages serve the church’s witness

Last year, Gail and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, and we often had occasion during the year to thank the Lord for his kindness to us. We started dating when we were 17 and 18, so we sort of grew up together. We are grateful to have reached this stage of life with good health and the prospect of more years together.     One of the good gifts for which we thank God … Continue reading

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Mission experts speak to the “same God” issue

I was delighted to hear voices from the missionary world speaking to the issue that has become serious in the procedure begun by Wheaton College to terminate the employment of Lrycia Hawkins, because the school thinks that her statement that Muslims and Christians worship the same God conflicts with the school’s faith commitment. In a special edition of the Occasional Bulletin of the Evangelical Missiological Society, 21 mission related experts address the question, “What are … Continue reading

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The gospel of vicarious atonement

Today, I received by email an earnest plea for theological help from someone with whom I have had previous correspondence regarding the doctrine of the atonement. My questioner wrote as follows: I love God with all of my being but I cannot wrap my mind around this concept [penal substitutionary atonement] as it does not make sense to me other than hearing that it satisfies Gods justice.  I know this sounds weird but I cringe … Continue reading

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What can Christian churches expect in China in coming years?

Peter Berger offers a well informed but tentative analysis of the future prospects for Christianity in China, in view of the questions that naturally arise in retrospect of what “seems to be a concerted government effort to clamp down on Christian churches in Wenzhou, the city with the highest percentage of Christians in China.” Berger’s analysis prompts me to pray that God will bring good to Christ’s church, as he directs the affairs of China, … Continue reading

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The major contribution of 19th century Protestant missionaries to the rise of democracy

In secular western societies today, proselityzing missionaries are viewed very negatively, but Robert Woodberry (son of J. Dudley) has demonstrated conclusively, through massive research, that one of (if not the) major contributing factors to the rise of democracy was the work of 19th century Protestant missionaries with a focus on conversion. I find this exciting. The story is told in the cover story of the Jan-Feb/14 issue of Christianity Today, from which I provide a … Continue reading

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The gospel for people who identify themselves by their sexuality

She interrupted the sermon I was preaching. “Excuse me. I don’t mean any disrespect. I’m a lesbian. You’re talking about all of this love and mercy. What does this mean for me?” It was the launch day of our church plant in Long Beach, California. Long Beach has a large LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) population. (Only West Hollywood has a higher LGBT population in Los Angeles.) Our new church was perched on the edge … Continue reading

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Reflections on my cradle conversion

When I was born, my father was interim pastor of a church in Ontario. The congregation understood that my parents were headed for India as missionaries, but in 1944 it was not simple to travel, and they were still developing a support network. Both my mother and father had a passion for getting the good news of the gospel to people who did not know it, and the Lord had given them both a burden … Continue reading

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How recklessly should we sow the seed of God’s Word?

I was stimulated by Louis McBride’s short blog post today, and so I’m sharing the thoughts his post triggered for me. I’d better  clip in the whole of Louis’s post, since it is brief and gives you what fostered my comments. Louis McBride’s post: In reading Kevin Harney’s new book Reckless Faith he offers a perspective on the parable of the sower that I’ve not heard before. He writes,  People who live day-to-day, subsistence farming (like most … Continue reading

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God’s blessing keeps spreading in India – notes from my family’s experience

“It’s a small world,” we often say, as when we get glimpses of the intricate web of connections through which God works graciously in the world. We got one of those glimpses this morning, in communication from my wife Gail’s brother Murray Robinson, who has recently returned from a ministry trip with Tim Challies, in north India. Murray sent us a video clip which triggered a flow of memories.   That video contained a message … Continue reading

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Calvinism and Christian Missions

Michael Horton’s presentation Michael Horton devotes chapter 7 of For Calvinism,  to an inspiring defense of Calvinism against the charge that its doctrines discourage missionary activity and prayer for it. History Horton begins with a historical survey of missionary work by Reformed churches. In the Reformation era, both Lutheran and Reformed churches were landlocked and needed time to develop the missionary personnel which Roman Catholic monastic orders had already been raising for centuries. But Calvin … Continue reading

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