Evangelism and Reformed theology

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by RON35951, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. RON35951

    RON35951
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    My question is concerning "Evangelism Explosion" a witnessing tool developed and promoted heavily by Dr. D. James Kennedy. "Evangelism Explosion" uses modern marketing techniques to reach a decision for Christ. If a person doesn't give a favorible response on the first attempt then the evangelist explains the Gospel in a different manor and again presses for a decision. The evangelist may make several attempts to get the person to make a confession of faith.

    This seems contridictory to reformed theology as I understand it. Dr. Kennedy certainly has a better understanding of reformed theology than I do, but isn't it the Holy Spirits job to convict the sinner and bring him to Christ? Isn't it the Evangelists responsibility to teach the Gospel and call the sinner to repentance without the sales pitch? It seems to me that "EE" goes much farther than Christ ever went in trying to compel the sinner to repentance. By applying "peer pressure", many evangelists may be unwittingly telling people they are saved that did not make a true conversion.

    John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

    John 6:44-45 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

    Am I wrong?
     
  2. Wes Outwest

    Wes Outwest
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    Evangelism is the ART OF PERSUASION! Methods vary.

    It is not our role to "thump-em into submission" but rather to persuade by whatever practical means you have at your disposal. AND, it may be an oft repeated task with the same individual.

    If you believe in Jesus Christ, then behave as Jesus behaved, and "they" will see Jesus in you, and be either drawn or repelled. You can do the persuading with those who are drawn, and those who are not drawn are not yours to persuade.

    Evangelism is simple, someone sows the seeds of faith wherever they fall, another waters the ground, and still others reap the harvest. At times you are the sower, at other times the waterer, and you may also be fortunate to be the reaper. Evangelism is simple, just talk about Jesus to anyone who will listen wherever you are, but know the truth and tell the truth. The truth takes hold of the heart!
     
  3. RON35951

    RON35951
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    Wes said
    "Evangelism is simple, just talk about Jesus to anyone who will listen wherever you are, but know the truth and tell the truth. The truth takes hold of the heart!"

    Amen, I certainly agree with this statement.

    What I am getting at is this- "Evangelism Explosion" seems to contradict, at least my understanding of, the teachings of Calvinism.

    "EE" may not be familiar to many on this board, but has become a very popular witnessing tool in the last several years. It was developed by Dr D. James Kennedy many years ago. Dr Kennedy is the Pastor in the PCA( Presbyterian Church of America)denomination,so I would assume he is a Calvinist.

    I was hoping that some of the calvinists on this board might be familiar with "EE" and help me get a better understanding. I just don't understand why some one that believes in election would use such a pushy witnessing tool.
     
  4. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Ron35951;
    Yes you are wrong. Better than anything any teacher has ever tried. Repetition is by far the best teaching tool ever devised. Even Christ told the disciples over and over again never the less they still didn't believe until they inspected him after the resurrection.

    Think about it they were with Him for 3 years and although they were told they still didn't believe until Thomas touched him and placed his hand in the Lords side. Did you think that Thomas was the only one who didn't believe?
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  5. Wes Outwest

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    Evangelism must be for Christ, not for Calvin or Arminius! Dr. Kennedy know's that and PRACTICES it.

    It's only our convoluted understandings of "calvinism" and "Arminianism" that makes the Evengelism of the world next to impossible! It is because we do not do what we are supposed to do that the commission of Jesus to the Apostles is not proceeding more rapidly.

    I believe that if you were face to face with both Arminius and Calvin, they would both tell you Dr. Kennedy's methods are correct!
     
  6. RON35951

    RON35951
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    The Disciples had already decided to follow him. He was teaching them. They may not have had a clear understanding but they were following Christ.

    Remember the Rich young ruler, Christ told him that he still lacked one thing, sell all he had and follow Him. When the young man left Christ did not beg him or ask him to reconsider. He let him leave. Christ made people aware that there was a price to pay to be his disciple, " Take up your cross and follow me". He did not give a sales pitch or badger anyone.

    Would you follow someone you did not believe in? The disciples left thier homes and thier livelihood to follow Christ. How can you say they did not believe. They did not understand and followed anyway, this is a real faith.
     
  7. Wes Outwest

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    No, I would not follow anyone that I did not believe in. But we are not talking of one single unbeliever doing evangelism. We are talking about everyday believers in Jesus, telling others about their faith in Jesus, that is planting seed of faith. We are talking about encouraging the one-anothers, that is watering the crop. And, we are talking about harvesting those souls by helping them to confirm their faith in God through confession, normally public confession. "if you confess me before man I will confess you before the Father in heaven."

    I did not say the Apostles did not believe. They were the first to confess Jesus to be the son of God, as the savior of the world, THAT IS FAITH!
     
  8. Kiffen

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    Hi Ron,

    I am a Calvinist but am not that familiar with EE except that I know it used to be a door to door evangelistic program but has been modified somewhat. I know in my own personal experience in witnessing that if the persom does not understand I will re explain it. That is not necessarily a sales pitch but maybe help bring clarity.

    Here is a EE outline at http://members.aol.com/ALeeHead/ChristianArticle/ee/ee-home.htm

    My only 2 objections I see is...I have never liked using a repeat after me Sinner's Prayer which EE does...and a objection concerning Rev. 3:20 which really is not referring to Salvation though EE uses it in that way.

    I do not however see this outline as being a salesman or peer pressure type technique that was common among Jack Hyles hyper Easy believism 20 years ago and it is my experience that such outlines usually are a general guide rather than a specific one. I wish I knew more the specifics of EE to be able to comment. Maybe you could go in more detail in that I must confess my knowledge of EE is limited or maybe someone else has more knowledge of it.
     
  9. Wes Outwest

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    Do you recite "The Lords Prayer"? Is that NOT a "repeat after me" prayer?

    The reason for "repeat after me Prayers" is that the one confessing Jesus most often does not know what to say to Almighty God. It's like having a lawyer to coach you with what to say in a courtroom before a Judge.

    It's a matter of giving one the words to say in their confession that conveys what is in their heart. How do we know what is in their heart? Because we've been there, done that.

    What is you objection to Revelation 3:20?

    Kiffen, read my posts from the beginning of this topic and you will get the whole essence of EE. A nutshell description is this, it is people telling people about Jesus.
     
  10. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Ron;
    If I liked what I had heard and it seem to make sense to me I would follow Him long enough to staisfy my curiousity.
    The disciples faith wasn't sure. If it were they would have never doubted. They did doubt even though they were told exactly how things would turn out.
    No, real faith is with out doubt. A man who doubts is like a reed in the wind whipping back and forth from one position to another. True faith is unwavering. Even though Peter knew who Christ was he still had his doubts that's why he denied him. Thomas wasn't the only one who wasn't convinced when Christ arose from the dead. They all examined Him.
    Near the end just before the Crusifiction Christ told Peter this.
    Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
    The next sentence Christ spoke was this.
    Luk 22:34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
    The disciple had not been regenerated. because unwavering faith has to come first and they didn't have the Holy Spirit come upon them yet.

    Sometimes it takes men a long time to become convinced, it doesn't usually happen in a split second.
    May Christ Shine His Light On Us All;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  11. johnp.

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    Hello Ron.

    I have not heard of EE before. I am a Calvinist.

    Kiffen's post rings a bell with me. When I was on door to door I tried different approaches with different people. EE seems to be saying that we should concentrate our approach on the approach that nets the most.
    Is that right?
    This approach maybe of some use if a church decides to give their area a blitz. It takes a special gift to interact on a one to one basis with people. I spent years working as a barman, waiter or porter in various bars and hotels honing this talent on the poor punters. The chatty barman the cheeky porter! Great.
    If it is the difference between going out or not going out then I would advise a training session in the use of the most.
    Not that I believe that what we do affects the elect but that it is good to use the tools at hand. And to use those tools as well as we can.

    I would change my technique often trying to find the right and best approach but a right approach and a best approach for the person concerned not the right approach and best approach that nets the most. And that takes skill. A great gift. Lots of fun meeting people.

    I only got this far in that link kiffen.
    If Billy Graham sins at least 20 to 30 or more a day what's he doing the rest of the time?HaHa.
    This is a denial of original sin? We are sin, that is why we sin.

    Any use Ron?

    johnp.
     
  12. RON35951

    RON35951
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    Kiffin and John, Thanks for your input. I had went through "EE" several years ago and did not finish because I felt that it was to pushy. But it may have been the Leader I had, rather than the material.
     
  13. billwald

    billwald
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    Reformed people know that God's elect are out there and all we have to do is announce the Good News and the rest is up to the Holy Spirit. SemiPelagians don't know if anyone will ever "decide" to get saved.
     
  14. Wes Outwest

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    Hogwash!
     
  15. Hardsheller

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    Yelsew,

    So good to have you back.
     
  16. Wes Outwest

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    Bummer! I thought I had the perfect disquise.

    I'm going to have to stop using the word Hogwash!

    Mayby I'll use Pig-swill from now on!....oops another slip up.
     
  17. Kiffen

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    Wes, I have no problem with Liturgical prayers but was just commenting that the Repeat After me prayer is not something I prefer nor is using it found in Scripture or NT Evangelism. I would rather them pray in their own words. I have also found many people years later doubting their salvation because they were not sure they said the prayer right etc...or evenprayed a "Sinner's prayer" and other nonsense. Too me it is too mechanical and has been abused by many evangelists.

    I have never said I knew what was in their hearts one way or the other JUST that a repeat after me Prayer is something that is absent in NT Evangelism. I am not questioning anyone's salvation or their heart. I am questioning methods that can make Evangelism mechanical.

    The Scripture has nothing to do with Salvation. Read it in it's context and the picture is Jesus calling the Church of Laoedecia to repent because they had locked the Lord of the Church - Jesus Christ out of their Church. It is addressed to a Church to repent. In other words using Revelation 3:20 in Evangelism is taking it out of it's proper context.
     
  18. Wes Outwest

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    The Lord's Prayer is not LITURGICAL Prayer, David's prayers are examples of Liturgical prayers. Jesus, in giving us 'the Lord's prayer, gave us an example of How to pray to the Father in Heaven. The sinner's prayer is also an example of how to pray, and it is often the first prayer that a new believer prays. John 17 is also an excellent example of "how to pray".

    If you are the one who has been witnessing to the new believer, you had better have some idea of what is in the person's heart.

    This does not sound to me like a church that has "locked out" the founder and builder of the church, but more like a church crown complacent, and self contented, a church where the Christ wants to enter but does not force himself in.
     

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