Tell the Truth by Will Metzger discussion

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    [​IMG]

    This thread is for those that HAVE this book, or have read this book. This book is the best I have read for Calvinist/Reformed evangelists. Its been endorsed by John MacArthur, Mark Dever, Paul Washer, Ernest Reisinger, and many other reformed leaders. I own the 3rd edition of the book. This thread is for discussing the content of the book. If you can't figure out the difference between Arminian and Reformed evangelism then this discussion is not for you, but reading the book SLOWLY I see comments all the time indicating a Reformed viewpoint.

    Book Endorsements

    “A very good book just got better. Twenty years ago Tell the Truth moved us so deeply that we brought Will Metzger to our church for a seminar on glad-hearted, God-centered evangelism. Now updated and with powerful new sections on sovereign grace and whole-souled worship, this book soars with a fresh passion for the supremacy of God in truth-driven evangelism. May God use it to move thousands to make much of Christ among the perishing.”
    — John Piper, author of Desiring God

    “An outstanding tool for those who long to reach their campus or community with the gospel of grace.”
    — Dr. David G. Sinclair Sr., former campus minister and senior pastor

    “This new edition has made a good book even better. You must have it!”
    — Rev. Ernie Reisinger, Southern Baptist pastor, evangelist and author

    “This is one of the best and most useful books on evangelism for ordinary Christians. Will Metzger has drawn upon a lifetime of personal ministry to write a biblically based, theologically sound, practically relevant book on how to share the gospel. Tell the Truth will help you--yes, even you!--learn how to develop an evangelistic way of life. Instead of relying on manipulative, man-centered methods of evangelism, Metzger explains how to introduce people to Jesus Christ in a way that glorifies God.”
    — Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College

    “Christianity is for sharing, and Christians who love their neighbor want to do that persuasively. Pizzazz-free and nonmanipulative, Metzger's training manual on helping people to care about truth and face the truth about Jesus is first class of its kind.”
    — J. I. Packer, Board of Governors Professor of Theology, Regent College, and author of Knowing God

    “I am delighted that Will Metzger is a theologian-evangelist. His book, Tell the Truth, has long been a personal favorite of mine and required reading in my evangelism classes. Metzger cuts through much of the theological confusion surrounding evangelism and the gospel message and sets forth biblical and practical wisdom in an easily understood and applied manner.

    “I am delighted he has revised and updated this significant work and commend it to you as essential reading for anyone involved in evangelism.”
    — Timothy Beougher, Ph.D., Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism and associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

    "I would highly recommend this book for individuals and churches to use in order to recover a gospel that centers on God and wants to see gospel growth.
    - Mark Combs, markcombs1978.wordpress.com, May 17, 2007

    Great Table from the book

    http://www.the-highway.com/2views_Metzger.html
     
    #1 evangelist6589, Aug 24, 2014
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  2. JonC

    JonC
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    I do, of course, agree that the author is Reformed. Where I am not sure I follow you is in the definitions of "Arminian and Reformed evangelism." As I attend neither an Arminian or Reformed church, what I am interested in is how "Reformed evangelism" differs from other evangelism. If you could help me there, I'd appreciate it. The book does look promising.
     
  3. evangelist6589

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    Well Arminian usually rely on the sinners prayer and man based evangelism tactics such as what the author states in the table on pages 36-37. This is a good comparison between Arminian and Reformed evangelism. On page 37 the author mentions that Lordship Salvation is necessary for salvation in a God Centered evangelism tactic, while not necessary in an Arminian evangelism tactic. Saving faith always entails REPENTANCE which is a topic that many Arminian ignore.

    Also turn to page 30 of your book. Metzger gives an excellent Quote by Martyn Lloyd Jones.

    I am also reading through an Arminian book on evangelism called Out of Commission by Paul Chapel. He sometimes gives himself credit for bringing a soul to salvation. Arminian often are very bent on results and seek evangelism that brings results and gets decisions. Reformed are not this way since they see that evangelism glorifies God, and evangelism is the work of God to bring the results and its not us. So this means that some can be very faithful to witnessing and not see a single convert in their life. This does happen, although not ideal, but it does happen, and the Reformed evangelist may be successful in Gods eyes because he stayed faithful to his calling, despite the results.

    Reformed trust in God's SOVEREIGNTY in SALVATION, and the Holiness and Glorification of God. Reformed will preach on God's JUSTICE and JUDGMENT, while many Arminian preach God Loves You, and do what they can to get decisions. I also will preach God Loves You, but only to those that are humble by the Holy Spirits effectual calling.
     
    #3 evangelist6589, Aug 24, 2014
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  4. evangelist6589

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    Audience you may jump in if you have questions about the book. But I do not want WinMan or someone else attempting to derail this thread.
     
  5. Rippon

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    Winman has joined the banned.
     
  6. JonC

    JonC
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    Let’s just look at the book and the distinctiveness of “Reformed evangelism,” how you see the method prescribed by Metzger to be for Reformed churches only. I do not think that we need to stereotype, characterize, and misrepresent other opinions to accomplish this task. Outlandish statements such as Arminians “ignore repentance” is just as valid as saying “Calvinists think it ungodly to evangelize.” Perhaps both have happened in “some” circles (certainly the latter in nineteenth century America), but they do not speak of the groups as a whole.

    I will point out your error regarding the chart on pages 36-37. Metzger is pointing out “man centered” vs. “God centered” evangelism….NOT “Arminian vs. Reformed evangelism.” You are making that connection based on your own biases.

    The quote by Jones is a good one…I’d also note that the supreme object of SALVATION is to glorify God, not to save man. I have not read Paul Chapel’s book, but remember that Paul (the Apostle, not Chapel) also took credit for being used by God to lead others to Christ.

    Anyway, most of this post deals with characterizations of undefined “Arminian” churches…not how “Reformed evangelism” is separate from non-Reformed evangelism. Let’s try to keep it to the book and that topic (perhaps it will help not to bear false witness against fellow believers).
     
  7. JonC

    JonC
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    He's on the banned-wagon?
     
  8. evangelist6589

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    Do you not read many books? I have a number of Non-Cal evangelism books in my library and see the pattern for man based evangelism in most of them. It you say you do not read books but only the Bible I will ask why you bought this book?

    Anyways let's get on topic with the book. Do you have any good quotes or page numbers to turn too? What chapter are you on?

    Let's try not to derail this into another CAL VS. Armin Debate thanks..
     
  9. JonC

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    No, John. Unfortunately I have not mastered the art of literacy.

    I think your vision is influenced by your presuppositions.

    I thought there would be pictures inside…but all I found were letter groups (literate folk call ‘em “words”).

    Yes, please, let’s get on topic with the book.

    I found: “Instead of sending his Son, why didn’t God just send a tract?” a bit amusing. (pg. 24).

    I'll have more to contribute as I get a little further or farther in the book (it's a test...pick one :smilewinkgrin:)
     
  10. evangelist6589

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    Conversations with people is always the goal in evangelism. Taking someone out to lunch and meeting their needs physical and spiritual is the goal of evangelism. However due to the thousands that walk the streets in DT denver I can't speak with everyone.

    But I personally feel better by actually reasoning with a lost soul about his destiny over passing out a tract.
     
  11. JonC

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    I also agree with the emphasis Metzger places on “communication evangelism” (Ch 13). He looks at the way Jesus ministered (creating “short relationships) and offers suggestions to guide conversations. This is, BTW, “friendship evangelism” in its ideal form (Metzger criticizes “relationship evangelism,” but what he offers is actually what “relationship evangelism” was intended to be…his criticism is that this type of evangelism often fails to communicate the gospel). But I do like his focus being on communication, and the evangelist actively listening and engaging the person he is trying to reach. He does seem rather critical of passing out tracts.

    Here is another area where I think Metzger makes a good observation:

    “In witnessing we must be emotional” (pg 101).

    I like the author’s balance…too often emotional services are rejected because of the effects of emotionally driven but substance deprived sermons. But emotionless evangelism is just as dangerous as a gospel-less hyper emotional discourse in the pulpit. His balance is “emotions led by truth.”
    All in all, John, I do like this book…although I will say that there seems to be little if anything here that I have not read elsewhere (at least once, probably many times).

    But I still do not understand how this "method" is restricted to Reformed. It is clear the author is Reformed, and the reasoning behind some of his comments reflects his theology. But this is also the exact method advocated by many non-Reformed churches (Arminian churches…as you’d say).
     
  12. evangelist6589

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    You read the book that fast? Let's go through each chapter and not jump around nor take things out of context. So far Metzger has been critical of bad tracts as he made examples but I strongly doubt he would be critical of Biblical tracts such as the one produced by Grace To You, ones by John Piper, and Paul Washer. These tracts seem to reflect a more Reformed evangelism theology.

    Washer himself likes this book and even he likes good gospel tracts. Grace to you highly endorses this book and they produce gospel tracts.
     
    #12 evangelist6589, Aug 24, 2014
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  13. evangelist6589

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    Bye the way John this is my fault but I need to tell what page I am on and that is page 55. I am reading this book intently slowly and trying to highlight and meditate on his words and look up the verses he cites. I am not speed reading this particular book. I save that exercise for books on textual criticism and the like. But subjects I am passionate about I read slowly.

    Another mistake is that I should have also suggested you read the book Todays Evangelism: By Reisinger as that may be a good prerequisite for this book. That book ties in the five points of Calvinism and why they are vital in evangelism.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. JonC

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    I don't think he is critical of tracts themselves, but perhaps just handing them out without interaction. I found the story of rolling them up so they can be tossed into car windows funny.

    I am reading it more slowly now. My "method" on these types of books is a quick "read" followed by a slower and more complete re-read. That's just me.
     
  15. evangelist6589

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    In street evangelism places like DT Denver tract distribution and open air is the best way to reach souls with so many walking around. Okay this is not a methods book...


    Read pages 58-70. He makes a strong emphasis on the moral law the 10 commandments in evangelism. However unlike WOTM he also places a huge emphasis on Gods Love. So many these days go on either extreme. Me on one extreme and my wife (whom I just ordered 1000 God Loves You Tracts) on the other extreme. One must have balance and why it's good to do this. Once I open air preached a sermon called God Loves You. I used the moral law and spoke on Hell, but also emphasized Gods Grace and love for sinners.

    Have you read the Book God Loves You by David Jeremiah? I think he does a good job at doing this.
     
  16. JonC

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    I think you are right. The gospel is not "about" God's moral law...although it is necessary to provide a context (or a framework) for the gospel. It includes/implies God's law, but the gospel is about Jesus Christ. Some may exclude the gospel to merely "convict" using the Law....others may exclude the context and never make sense of the gospel. I have not read anything by David Jeremiah, although I do like his sermons (I listen to him often).
     
  17. evangelist6589

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    Get a copy of the book

    God Loves You

    Jeremiah speaks of God's Love, but also speaks of the 10 Commandments. While not as bold as Paul Washer or MacArthur, he seems to balance things with grace. Its important to buy books and read them. We need not be anti-intellectual and think that YouTube is all we need, we need to read books and compare them to scripture and study the scripture in depth. I have a book called Your Mind Matters by John Stott speaking on this topic of the mind. Many just want to be indoctrinated, and not to read books, study the bible in depth and such, but not wise.

    Anyways did you read the pages I mentioned? What did you think?
     
    #17 evangelist6589, Aug 25, 2014
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  18. JonC

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    I typically do not look to these pastors for study materials (evangelism is perhaps an exception for me...although for much of it they - the one's I've read - say basically the same thing). But you do raise a good point, and this is part of the reason I do not like many of the books by pastors (they are experts at their own beliefs, but are sometimes lacking in objectively looking at other views)...many do just want to be indoctrinated without understanding the theologies behind their beliefs. I do...BTW...read. (Just finished, and would recommend, reading "Justification" by N.T. Wright along with Piper's "The Future of Justification." Another you will probably enjoy and learn from is "No Place For Truth" and "God in the Wasteland"...these seem right up your alley. Anyway, back to the topic.

    I did read the pages. I agree that it is vital to frame the gospel within a biblical context...we need to communicate a need for the gospel - the unregenerate man is condemned and under guilt for breaking God's law. What I really liked was the author's explanation. He refrained from referring to God's law as the Law and did not make the erroneous link to Paul's reference as the Law as a "servant escort" to "keep" Israel until the time had come.

    I have attended baptist churches that leaned away from Reformed soteriology by emphasizing human responsibility. I would not say that they presented unbiblical doctrines...they didn't...but they also did not preach what I would consider a comprehensive . Anyway, their "method of evangelism" began with explaining sin and how it separates us from God. Likewise, I remember the old EE (pre-1997) and its focus on natural man's sinful state (EE was probably the most widely used "evangelism program" for the SBC at that time). So I agree with illustrating the sinfulness of man, and the consequence of sin, as a necessary part of evangelism. I think the author made a good presentation of his reasoning.
     
    #18 JonC, Aug 25, 2014
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  19. evangelist6589

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    I will respond to the objective comments on the book at my Mac today. But anyways Pastoral type books are usually not academic with the exception of John MacArthur whose books such as FaithWorks are at the grad level. I am aware of NT WRIGHT and Piper and their books. I had thought about James Whites book on the topic but then again I decided RC SPROULS book on Reformed theology and Whites topic on Justification in his Catholic book would be good enough but maybe I am wrong. Please explain...

    I have No Place for Truth but have yet to read it. Can you explain it? This also looks like a grad level read.

    The only advantages I see to pastor type books is their ease of reading as I see this often in Jeremiah and Lutzer. Although Piper and MacArthur and even Washer can be difficult reads depending on the book.
     
    #19 evangelist6589, Aug 25, 2014
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  20. JonC

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    No Place for Truth (and God in the Wasteland...which I prefer) deal with the Church in the postmodern culture (how the modern worldview conflicts with a biblical worldview, consumerism, etc.). I wouldn't say it is written at a graduate level in that it poses difficulty in reading or comprehension...Wells is very articulate (although sometimes repetitive).

    What I mean by books by pastors are those who look to pastors (like MacArthur) for expertise in areas where they are not experts. I have read many of MacArthur's works...but I do have to say that he does not provide an objective, or sometimes even fair, assessment of views that are not his own. I enjoy many of these works...mostly devotions, but especially their assessments of pastoral issues (Fools Gold was a good one by MacArthur, but his commentaries are more of indoctrination than explanation, for example).
     

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