Category Archives: Evangelism

CHRISTIANITY DEAD IN EUROPE???

PMW 2018-079 by John D. Martin (The Federalist)

Gentry note: This is an encouraging article that notes “there have been increasing signs of a real and sustained Christian revival in Europe, hardly reported and barely noticed in press across the pond.” Of course, we know on the basis of Scripture that this will ultimately be the case, but it is good to see signs of that today.

As we can see from the article, with the growth of Christian belief, we need to promote true Christian training in biblical doctrine. The Great Commission not only promotes faith, but training in that faith.

There is an old joke about a Christian lady who was responding to a friend who believed “God is dead.” This humble believer responded: “I know God is not dead! There is no casket big enough to hold him and I am in the family and haven’t been notified.” God is not dead. Neither is belief in God dead.

“Reports of Christianity’s Death in Europe Have Been Greatly Exaggerated”
by John D. Martin

Since the 2007 publication of Philip Jenkin’s God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam and Europe’s Religious Crisis, observers of religious trends in European culture have been keeping a close eye on developments that might validate his sanguine view that Europe could see a revival in Christian belief. Richard J. Neuhaus, in his review of it in First Things at the time, thought the view was “too roseate.” Continue reading

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THE NATIONS AND THE GREAT COMMISSION

PMW 2018-078 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Introduction

An interested reader sent me a question regarding the Great Commission. The question was two pages long, but I will edit it down to a manageable size. He wrote:

I have a question about a certain verse that I believe you use in a certain way…. The Verse is Matthew 28:19…. My question is this: In what sense do you understand Jesus telling His disciples to “make disciples of all nations?” Can you break that down for me and clarify? I know in the KJV it says to “teach” and that has been discovered by many to be wrong and it seems the better translation is “to make disciples of all nations” I always thought that you believed it meant each particular nation would be through the “preaching of the gospel” would be Christianized. Each nation in a universal but limited sense. Not all but the majority of the people of each nation would be made disciples of Christ through the “things that Jesus taught the disciples”….

[The reader cites a scholarly article he has read on the matter. He notes:] The Aorist Imperative form of this verb lends itself to the expression of a simple activity, like the calling to the commitment to follow Jesus, which each one of the disciples who was listening to this commission had previously done. “Baptizing them” would also be understood by these same disciples as being similar to the individual commitment each of them had to make before they were baptized by John the Baptist (cp. Mark 1:5)….

There is another issue in Matt 28:19-20, and that is how to take the participles – “baptizing and teaching” in relation to the main verb “make disciples”. The commentary you quoted interpreted them as participles of means… “Make disciples of all nations BY baptism and BY instruction.” But the word “by” is added for interpretation and is not in the text.

I hope I have saved the relevant portions of his extended question. And I believe I have. So now, to work! Continue reading

GOSPEL CONFUSION (2)

PMW 2018-001 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a two-part series on the proper presentation of the gospel. This is an important consideration for the truly biblical postmillennial hope. If the gospel is not understood, the method of presentation will be deficient, and the results of preaching will be skewed.

The Nature of Salvation

As A. W. Pink rightly stated: “Salvation is a supernatural work which produces supernatural effects.” [1] The dog returns to his vomit and the swine to the mud, but the believer stands in a new relationship to God (2 Peter 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Of the believer the Scriptures teach that he is chosen to be holy (Ephesians 1:4), obedient (1 Peter 1:2), and to bear fruit (John 15:16). He is ordained to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). He follows Christ (John 10:27). Christ died for him in order to redeem him from iniquity (Titus 2:14), to move him to live in righteousness (1 Peter 2:24), and to cause him to serve without fear in holiness and righteousness (Luke 1:74-75). He is predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This begins with the new birth and is ultimately and perfectly realized in heaven. He is described as a called, chosen, and faithful person (Revelation 17:14). Continue reading

GOSPEL CONFUSION (1)

PMW 2017-104 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Despite confused objections to postmillennialism by many, especially dispensationalists, the postmillennial hope is not rooted in politics. Rather it is rooted in the gospel, which we believe very deeply to be “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). A leading deficiency of the church in modern America is due to its commitment to method over message. And to make matters worse, it does not even understand the message properly. Before we can correct the method, we must understand the message.

The presentation of Christ in modern evangelism leaves much to be desired. Because of this Christian leaders are too often mired down with fruitless, professing Christians. And very often these merely professing Christians end up in leadership positions in the church. Were this not the case, Non-Lordship advocates would not have to respond to Lordship arguments with a pitiful “where is there room for carnal Christians.” [1] As MacArthur complains: “the cheap grace and easy faith of a distorted gospel are ruining the purity of the church. The softening of the New Testament message has brought with it a putrefying inclusivism that in effect sees almost any kind of positive response to Jesus as tantamount to saving faith.” [2] Continue reading

JIHADI WHO TURNED TO JESUS

PMW 2017-074 by Patrick Kingsley (New York Times)

When 22 Christian refugees gathered in the basement of an apartment in Istanbul early on a recent Sunday afternoon, it was quickly clear that this was no ordinary prayer meeting. Several of them had Islamic names. There was an Abdelrahman and even a couple of Mohammads. Strangest of all, they jokingly referred to their host — one of the two Mohammads — as an irhabi. A terrorist.

If Bashir Mohammad took the joke well, it was because there was once some truth to it. Today, Mr. Mohammad, 25, has a cross on his wall and invites other recent converts to weekly Bible readings in his purple-walled living room. Less than four years ago, however, he says he fought on the front lines of the Syrian civil war for the Nusra Front, an offshoot of Al Qaeda. He is, he says, a jihadi who turned to Jesus. Continue reading

PRACTICING POSTMILLENNIALISM (2)

This is the second in a series on the practice of postmillennialism. Too often postmillennialists are theoreticians rather than practitioners. This ought not be! In this article we consider:

Demonstrating Evangelistic Zeal

I have shown how true postmillennial zeal promotes the primacy of the gospel. The cross is foundational to God’s eschatological victory; in fact, the cross guarantees eschatological victory. Correlatively, theonomic postmillennialism also demands that one demonstrate evangelistic and missiological zeal as well. I will now explore this latter ethical implication of optimistic eschatology. Continue reading

PRACTICING POSTMILLENNIALISM (1)

PMT 2017-040 by Jeffery J. Ventrella, J.D.

In this study series, I will addresses a vital, yet often overlooked topic: the ethics of eschatology. Stated simply the pertinent question posed is: If theonomic postmillennialism is true—and it certainly is—then what differences here and now should this conviction make in the lives of Christians and their churches? What should be the character, and what should be the conduct of a professing postmillennialist?

The answer to this question is multi-faceted. At least five ethical implications flow from postmillennial convictions. Theonomic postmillennialism—rightly conceived and practiced—demands our: Continue reading