“Christian” Nations and Evangelism

jesus-america

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Been listening to Mark Dever talk about evangelism in a 3-part series. So far it has been uncomfortably convicting. The talks are from the Desiring God 2009 Conference for Pastors at John Piper’s church in Minneapolis.

In the second part, “The Pastor and Evangelism” Dever shares an exchange he had with a Muslim friend, Bilam (sp?), while they were both at Cambridge.

Bilam commented on how corrupt this “Christian country” was of Great Britain, and I just quickly, sort of on the side, said “Britain is not a Christian country. I mean, you can’t really have Christian countries.”

Well Bilam, a very sharp friend, said very quickly, “Well, thats the problem with Christianity, you don’t have a full social, political vision of the world. We as Muslims know how to pattern society.”

And so I wasn’t prepared for that kind of argument right then. I just responded:

“Look honestly Bilam that’s because I think Christianity has a more realistic portrayal of human nature. We understand that force and coercion cannot finally bring about the change that needs to happen in people.”

Islam has an understanding of people that we’re basically good. Islam has an understanding of people that they can put a sword to our throats and make us a sufficiently good Muslim.

Well we don’t understand that with Christianity. You can’t really expand Christianity with the sword. That’s the problem with considering Europe “‘Christian”.

Friends, Europe has largely never been evangelized. It’s an unevangelized place. There have been places where the Protestant gospel broke forth and maybe some of the early monks had the Gospel right, but basically you have Charlemagne with the sword sticking it to the necks of a German tribe saying “in the river or you die.”

And that’s how Europe was “evangelized.”

But friends that’s not Christianity and that’s not what we do even on a mental sense, when we share the Gospel.

Good stuff.

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The Power of God’s Word

My journey to faith in Christ from unbelief involved, of course, a supernatural act of God by which He, through the power of the finished work of Christ, resurrected a dead mind, soul, and heart. This was done through His Word in my specific case, for others it is different, such as the Apostle Paul whose conversion was spectacular.

As an unbeliever, I did what might be the worst thing one in the depraved state can do: Pick up a Bible. My motives were not good ones for I sought to find things with which I could destroy or hinder the faith of another who kept pestering me with her crazy Christ talk.

It was through His Word that God convicted, convinced me and captured me into new life. I recap the conversion experience as it happened in my particular case because listening to the message given by Pastor Mark Dever at New Attitude 2008 took me back to this pivotal point in my life.

Dever has a similar experience, as he tells it,

[I] denied the reliability of the Bible. I would informally argue with Christians and through continued study I became somebody who by God’s grace, believes in the reliability of the Bible.

The power of God to take a heart of stone and bring it roaring to life so that the creature that has been born-again may be enabled to taste and see that the LORD indeed is good, and glorify Him through a redeemed life.

Click on the link below to listen to Pastor Dever’s message,
The Authority of Scripture