Thursday, September 17, 2009

John Stott tidbits on Evangelism and the Bible

I read an article titled, “The Bible in World Evangelization” by John Stott this afternoon. There are a couple of tidbits from it that are definitely worth sharing. Here they are:

...the Bible gives us the model for world evangelization. ... The Bible...does not just contain the gospel it is the gospel. Through the Bible God is himself actually evangelizing, that is, communicating the good news to the world. You will recall Paul's statement about Genesis 12:3 that 'the Scripture...preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham' (Gal 3:8; RSV). All Scripture preaches the gospel; God evangelizes through it.

God is not only providing us with the message, He is giving us example after example in Scripture about how to evangelize. And if the Scriptures are God announcing the Gospel, then proclaiming the message of the text, with Christ as its focal point, is wonderful way of evangelizing and preparing the church to evangelize. And in it, God is making His appeal to us and to the world.

Then, Stott makes a point that is often missing in our thinking about apologetics. That is to say, often we do the hard work of showing reasons why Scripture can be trusted, or persuading people to believe it, thinking that if they don't believe it, there is no point in preaching it. In the face of that, we need Stott's reminder:

Let us not consume all our energies arguing about the Word of God; let's start using it. It will prove its divine origin by its divine power. ...So let's seek to repossess it by diligent study and meditation. Let's heed its summons, grasp its message, follow its directions and trust its power. Let's lift up our voices and make it known.

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