Critique of The Way of the Master

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John of Japan, Jan 5, 2017.

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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    This book (2006) is a big improvement on Ray Comfort's Hell's Best Kept Secret (1989). I will say at the start that this book, and I suppose his training program (on DVDs) would make a person into a witness for Christ. I do thank the Lord for that, as Paul was grateful for anyone who preached the Gospel, even insincerely (see Phil. 1:12-18; not that Comfort is insincere).

    Having said that, the previous book has made me wary of Comfort. Here are some of the problems with that first book, which I reviewed here on the BB: obsessing on the Law without defining it (the Decalogue? the OT? What?), his Charismatic beliefs (he recommended tongues), his poor hermeneutics (allegorical interpretation), his failure to define and emphasize the Gospel (for him the Law always comes first), and so forth. These are the things I'll be looking for in this book.
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    First of all, Comfort once again fails to prove his central point, that the Law must be preached before you get to the Gospel. He emphasizes this over and over. However, once again he simply uses proof texts instead of a systematic Biblical proof. A systematic study would be easy to do with today's software. Acts is where most evangelism occurs in the NT, and John is the book written specifically for salvation, but he examines these books very little. He is all about "What did Jesus do?" That's fine, but he doesn't even do a systematic study of evangelism in the Gospels.

    Something else sticks in my craw. He quotes many old time preachers to prove his point, but he often misrepresents them as teaching just like he does when they do not. At one point he says that he got his belief about the law and evangelism from Spurgeon, and he has many quotes from Spurgeon, but looking at The Soul Winner by "the prince of preachers," Spurgeon did not teach at all like Comfort does about the law. In his 4th chapter, "Sermons Likely to Win Souls," Spurgeon barely mentions the law as just one possible subject (p. 97 in my copy). Then, in the 8th chapter, "How to Win Souls for Christ," Spurgeon does not say that you must use the law. In fact, I can't find the law anywhere in the chapter. Comfort may not mean to be, but he is deceptive in quoting Spurgeon as someone who taught that the law must always be used, which is Comfort's teaching.

    Again, he often quotes D. L. Moody to back up his position, but Moody did not teach what Comfort does. In The Joy of Soul Winning, R. A. Torrey tells how Moody taught him as a young student to win souls, and there is nothing about the law there: "At the appointed place and time Mr. Moody hurried in, gave us a few texts of Scripture to use, all of which I have forgotten, but then he said something that I have never forgotten, and that was, 'Gentlemen, go at it!' I went at it right there in his inquiry rooms, and I have been at it ever since" (p. 68). Comfort is disingenuous to use Moody as one who taught Comfort's use of the law.
     
  3. Yeshua1

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    His insistence on h Law being given is strange, as the NT seems to have us instead focuson the Cross/resurection of Jesus to five to others!

    He likes to use Spurgeon, yet does not like how he applied soul winning from the Bible...

    His charasmatic views are also a concern, as why bring up tongues an HG Baptism?
    He is a fellow brothr in Christ, and is fired up to see persons get saved, and ironic that one into Holy Spirit Charasmatic doctrines watsto use Law and not HIM for conversion?
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Our missions pastor just got back from his latest trip to Africa, where at great personal sacrifice (9 days of trekking in the bush) he helped in a training session as part of a wonderful church planting movement with close to 30 churches being planted in the African bush. Now I've been to the same country as a Bible translation consultant for a translation for that movement, and I know the method of evangelism used--I have their chart right here before me. It does not have the law, but it does teach about sin and that it is rebellion against God, and it teaches that there is a real, literal Hell. It is an excellent method, and hundreds of Africans have been won to Christ by it.

    In his report last night, we saw on the screen an African man whose pig had died, a terrible tragedy in that bush culture. He turned to witchcraft and demonism to help him, and was ensnared by the devil. However, another African led him to Christ--not using the law, but giving the plain Gospel. We then saw on the screen this man baptized, and then saw him weeping and singing with everyone as they burned his items used for witchcraft. Folks, that is the power of the Gospel and the Word and the Holy Spirit (three sources of power that Comfort does not specifically teach, since he only emphasizes the power of the law). That's real! That's revival!
     
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  5. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Just seems that Brother Ray would havepeopel get right with God, confessing all known sin and stopping doing it in order to get saved, but Jesu called sick to salvation, as He and the Holy Spirit are the cleaner uppers!
     
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  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I'll talk more later about his pneumatology. He makes a very shocking statement about the fullness of the Spirit in one place.
     
  7. HankD

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    My son (retired Navy Chief) and I have gone out witnessing/evangelizing using the format of the Way of the Master. In my younger days I "played it by ear" when publicly witnessing or door-to-door.

    My sentiments are that indeed the law must come first but in the form of reproval/conviction of sin which is the function of the Holy Spirit in this age.

    IMO, The most we can do as human instruments is to "remind" in effect the encounter that the individual being evangelized has had with the Spirit.

    If the Spirit of God has not dealt with the individual it won't matter one way or the other.
    Will the Spirit then reprove after the individual has a "Way of the Master" confrontation with the law?
    Who knows?

    But then again (bottom line) we don't know who The Spirit is convicting or where they are in the personal revelation of sin.

    So I guess minimally it's a means of an introduction to the Gospel if they are ready to come to the light.

    HankD
     
  8. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    The Gospel is te powe rof God unto salvation, not the Law, correct?
    The pastor there fough aginst spiritual forces without needing Charasmtic Chaos power, correct?
     
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Traditional Pentacostal viewpoint, correct?
     
  10. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Oh for the love of the gremlin!
     
  11. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    So, there is thread creep occurring. Such is life with this kind of matter.
     
  12. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    How can one help but love the style, roominess, and comfort of a Gremlin?

    [​IMG]

    *laugh*
     
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  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Sadly, Ray Comfort opposes any method of evangelism other than his own. He gets in swipes at the Romans Road on pp. 156-157 (which he incorrectly calls the "Roman Road"), the "Four Spiritual Laws" (over and over), and James Kennedy's "Evangelism Explosion" on p. 311. In contrast, I believe that we should be in favor of every method that truly gives the Gospel of Christ, because it is the “power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16, which Comfort never mentions).

    Concerning Kennedy's method, he opposes it as not using the Law, but I have the book and it does use the law. Comfort misrepresents Kennedy's method.

    Concerning the "Four Spiritual Laws," Comfort criticizes this method for not using the law, and for not mentioning Hell. He says that Bill Bright (the author of this method) later felt he had failed in this area (pp. 123--127), but consider: in the book of Acts, nothing whatsoever is said about Hell or the bottomless pit or Hades (often translated Hell) except in Peter's sermon in Acts 2, where he quotes the OT saying that God would not leave Jesus His Son in Hell (Hades). Now I myself do speak of Hell when doing evangelism, but because Acts does not, I can't say it is un-Biblical to leave it out of your presentation. What evangelism in the book of Acts does have quite often, is the resurrection of Christ and our resurrection, something Comfort fails to emphasize.

    In fact, once again Comfort fails to define the Gospel clearly anywhere in the book. He does mention it once, but gets it wrong. In referring to a pastor's letter to him, he writes, "His dilemma was that he was preaching the light of the gospel (Christ's death, burial, and resurrection) without using the Law to awaken his hearers" (p. 100).

    This is wrong a thousand times over! How in the world can you present the Gospel without mentioning the atonement? Christ "died for our sins according to the Scriptures," but Comfort left that out of his statement of the Gospel. I can only hope that this was a very careless oversight, and not Comfort's true doctrine.
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Kind of. I will discuss it more later.
     
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hey, you wanted people to read the book, and I've now done so. ;)
     
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  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Absolutely!
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Almost as good as a Pacer!
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    The Holy Spirit ALONE can open hearts and bring conviction, and He does that thru the Gospel message, not the Law, correct?
     
  19. Yeshua1

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    He does get with Tongues and the fulness of power of Spirit, correct?
     
  20. HankD

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    The knowledge of sin comes via the law.
    When you were saved what were you saved from?

    Romans 3
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    HankD
     
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