Contend Earnestly: Celtic vs Roman Way of Evangelism

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Celtic vs Roman Way of Evangelism

I'm currently reading one of my pastor's (he's becoming a good friend just before he leaves the country) books. The book is authored by Mike Gunn and it's called, "Gospel and Culture: Reaching the Nations With God's Glory." Once he gets it edited and made ready for sale...I'll give you more information. But, I have to say, it is very good, and like Mike's sermons, packs a lot in a few pages. I wanted to give you a quick taste. This is part 3 in a header called, "How Do We Change?" from the chapter, "What is Culture?"

We must be "all things to all people" (1 Corinthians 9:19-27; Acts 16:3; 18:18, Galatians 2) and see ourselves as Leslie Newbigin described us as the "hermeneutic of the Gospel." Meaning that it is the people of God that ultimately interpret the gospel to others that do not understand the Gospel (Matthew 5:16). When we approach the Gospel the "Celtic Way," verses the "Roman Way," which sees people not as "marks" to convert, but as "pre-Christians" waiting to be revealed to by God, we will become servants of the culture instead of its enemy.

Working like this helps us work hard not to import our culture, but it is our story that lifts up the name of Christ, the only name under heaven by which men are saved (Acts 4:12). When we love and serve the people, then they will begin to understand the grace of God, and witness the truth of forgiveness and sacrificial love in the people of God. As we apply the "Celtic Way" of evangelism, "People are called to come and see the transformed lives of God's people before they are called to repent of sins and to trust in God."(1) Literally, aspects of the culture can be redeemed as the people of God share in them, and utilize them for the glory of God. The following chart is adapted from George Hunter's, "The Celtic Way of Evangelism" and Mark Driscoll's "Radical Reformission" helps us see the process.

Traditional Evangelism

(Believe in Jesus then belong to the church)

Gospel info is presented

Hearers are called to make a decision about Christ

If an affirmative decision is made, the person is welcomed into the church.

Friendship is extended to the person

The convert is trained for service in ministry by being separated from culture

Celtic Way of Evangelism

(Belong to the church then believe in Jesus)

A genuine spiritual friendship between a Christian and a non-Christian is built

The non-Christian sees authentic faith and ministry lived openly and participates in it

The Gospel is naturally present in word and deed within the friendship

The non-Christian's conversion to Jesus follows his/hers conversion to Christian friendship and the church

The church celebrates the conversion of their friend


Books Mentioned:


Donny said...

I've been listening to Mike Gunn preach for years via podcast and I was hoping he'd get around to putting a book together. Very excited to pick up a copy when it comes out...

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