Second Thoughts About Evangelism?

Wycliffe College professor John Bowen’s book, Evangelism for ‘Normal’ People, was published in 2002. Since then it has sold 10,000 copies.evangelismnormalppl The  book is used as a textbook in several Canadian seminaries. But 2002 is a long time ago. Here’s what the author thinks now.

-By John Bowen

The Gospel is always bigger: I think my appreciation for the sheer bigness of the Gospel has increased. I would go further, and say that the Gospel should actually be the starting point for all of our theology. Some think the starting point for theology should be the mission of God (the “missio dei”) but surely the only way we know that God has a mission to redeem the world is because of Jesus’ announcement of the Gospel! The Gospel is the key to understanding what a Christian is (an apprentice of Jesus in the mission of God), what church is (the community of apprentices where the Gospel is spoken and lived out), what worship is (our hearts’ response to the Gospel), and (of course) what evangelism is (inviting others to respond to the Gospel). The Gospel is absolutely key.

These days, I am reluctant to say anything about evangelism until we have talked about the Gospel. Until there is passion for the Gospel—the evangel—there will be no healthy evangelism.

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Reasons to Read the Bible Well

-By Patricia Paddey

When Faith Today asked me to submit something for this space related to “How to Read the Bible Well,” I said yes. And then I considered backing out.

The more I thought about what to write, the more I reckoned maybe I’d already said all I had to say on the subject. Part of that feeling is no doubt rooted in insecurity.

I’m no expert on reading the Bible well. I’ve read it almost my entire life, but somehow, I tell myself, if I’d been reading it well all those years, my life would be in better shape by now. I’d be some sort of super Christian today. My faith would be stronger, more resilient. My service would be more energetic and fruitful. My sins and failures would be fewer and farther between.

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What They Miss Most in Canada

-By Debra Fieguth

From Sep/Oct 2014 p.36
David Tarus came from Kenya to Hamilton, Ont., to study at McMaster Divinity College. He is married to Jeane and they have a son, Berur Keitany.

Education is a value I cherish, but would I be willing to give up my home, my country, my extended family, my culture, for several years in order to get a higher degree?

That’s a sacrifice many theological scholars make when they come to Canada to pursue master’s level or doctoral degrees. Canada is a great place, we all know that, but, let’s face it, it’s a tad colder than the countries most of these scholars come from.

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The Silver Lining

– By Rick Hiemstra

Bible Reading“I don’t want any more of those the-church-is-in-decline stats” a ministry leader recently told me. “I want to know what is working.” In many ways the Canadian Bible Engagement Study data is more the-church-is-in-decline-stats, but it also says what is working.

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Why I Will Never Be Head of the WEA

Geoff TunnicliffeI will never, ever, ever be head of the World Evangelical Alliance. I know this now. But for a brief second while interviewing outgoing head Geoff Tunnicliffe – the man I am not replacing – I did try to imagine what a dream job it would be.

Connecting with Evangelicals around the world. Making us seem less crazy to people like Alec Baldwin, (Geoff met the actor at a dinner. Baldwin wished him luck in his quest to rehabilitate the reputation of Evangelicals). Having lunch with the most popular Pope ever. Visiting villages and villas, mountain tops and movie sets. Being friends with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett! (Of course, I’m leaving out all the hard stuff).

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Does The Bible Endorse Veganism or Vegetarianism?

– By Lisa Hall Wilson

Health FoodDoes the Bible endorse or condemn a particular eating lifestyle? Veganism over being an omnivore, being a vegetarian over a raw vegan, and there are those considered demi-vegetarian… It seems really complicated, especially when every diet fad and craze pulls out Scripture to back up their lifestyle.

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Why the Bible Sometimes Turns People Nasty

– By Mark Buchanan

2080656MidResI teach a class at Ambrose University on spiritual formation. It’s my favourite class, except for my other classes.

I opened my first session last week by reading some of the story of Stephen from Acts. Here are the sections:

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue… who began to argue with Stephen….

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Treating Blisters on the Soul

– By Arthur Boers

ArthurPaulBoers24 copyBlisters worthy of emergency room attention were not the only result of walking an 800 kilometre pilgrimage. Otherwise I may not have gone more than once on Spain’s Camino de Santiago. I have thrice been a pilgrim on that route and each time I remember three key truths about the spiritual life.

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Faith Today’s New Look

Redesign of Faith Today
Cover redesign

Faith Today is one of Canada’s top Christian magazines, but maintaining excellence – on behalf of you, the reader, and of the God we all serve – requires a regular influx of new life.

The beautiful magazine you now hold owes a lot to top-notch designer Janice Van Eck, who reworked and then polished every inch.

The redesign process also included a lot of editorial brainstorming about what elements should stay in Faith Today and what could go. We discussed, we met, we emailed, we called, we clipped and we cut. And we listened. Janice in particular listened carefully to our friendly debates about how Faith Today could be made better.

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Will They Be Back?

– By Doug Koop

50-somethings Disengaging From the Church

Church DoorI’m writing in broad strokes about a subset of my peer group—people long active in congregational and ministry circles who in later middle age are making the institutional church more of a back-burner item, less of a lifestyle.

For some this represents a full-blown crisis of faith: they can no longer even salute the doctrines that previously bounded their fellowship with other believers. Their erstwhile religion makes little sense to them anymore, and they wonder how they could ever have invested so much heart and soul into anything so fatuous. Many of these are simply disillusioned. A few are bitter.

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