Monday, July 31, 2006

Evangelism and Theology

"Evangelism and theology for the most part go separate ways, and the result is great loss for both. When theology is not held on course by the demands of evangelistic communcation, it grows abstract and speculative, wayward in method, theoretical in interest and irresponsible in stance. When evangelism is not fertilized, fed and controlled by theology, it becomes a stylized performance seeking its effect through manipulative skills rather than the power of vision and the force of truth. Both theology and evangelism are then, in one important sense, unreal, false to their own God-given nature; for all true theology has an evangelistic thrust, and all true evangelism is theology in action. "- J.I. Packer


It is invigorating to hear someone present the gospel. But sometimes I whince while enduring a "fingernails to the chalkboard" theology. God surely uses imperfect people to tell His story. Nevertheless, let us make an honest effort to study theology so that we do not misrepresent the Lord. If theology seems boring, it is probably just the communicators. Sometimes you must get past the presenter to enjoy the ideas they struggle to communicate.


Mary said...

Have you heard of Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology book? Excellent resource...very in depth. He speaks easily enough so it doesn't go over one's head, yet he doesn't "dumb" anything down. Our Sunday school teachers (more of a tag team)use it and it's been incredible.

Craver Vii said...

I don't have that book. (But if anyone out there has an extra copy...) Right now, my small group is 16 sessions into a 60-session course on Systematic Theology taught by RC Sproul. Good stuff!
Additionally, we swap theology CD's to play in the car. For my birthday, my buddy got me 4 biographies, and so far, I've heard BB Warfield and John Knox.
And you know I like to recommend and lend books and CD's...especially if they have to do with evangelism, creation, or salvation by grace.