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Good material in here. Glad to see you talking about evangelism, and missiology, rather than theology. We need theology but too much theology is killing our ability to do evangelism in many places. Have you read as many books on communication science / evangelism / apologetics / missiology as you have read on theology? But, Dave, I don't understand why Tim Keller has captured your imagination so much. He isn't doing anything new.Ravi Zacharias, Amy Orr-Ewing, etc, have been doing this stuff for ages. But, you haven't raved about them? What is going on?
I've commended Amy Orr-Ewing muchly in the past, and she's on my blogroll! Ravi I've not really looked at. Keller currently is the person I'm reading, alongside John Frame. You can be Ravi's fanboy if you want to!Theology should drive mission, if it's not doing so it's probably bad theology. That's why I like Keller - he is theologically/gospel driven. The stuff that is killing persuasive evangelism isn't 'too much theology' is bad theology.My apologetics reading orbits around Orr-Ewing, Sire, Keller, Andrew Wilson, Frame, Carson, Lowman, some upstart called Price, Craig, Lewis, Hybels, Kandiah, Baucham, Piper, Strobel, Barr to name a handful.It's probably true that I've done more theology blogging of late - but I've tried to mix in apologetics by blogging around lunchbars i've been asked to do, my series on 'the necessity of atheism' amongs others.
Bish, Thanks for the heads up - this is really excellent!Love his explanation of the 'grace narrative'Matt
I disagree I think its both too much theology and bad theology...but then I might define too much theology, as bad theology, but it is a bit different - if you see what I mean. Too much of a good thing (good theology) can be a bad thing too. Studying good theology is enjoyable - even addictive? - but that can be an idolatory. I was thinking back to the other day, when sometimes we (the CU) would book a room in the Students Union and put on an event, then someone would say, "prayer is important" and before you know it all the Christians, were at a prayer meeting instead of meeting non-Christians at the event. We'd find ourselves gripped by a special holiness and desire to pray (or perhaps sometimes) at times when we could be meeting non-Christians. Crazy days!If I start to miss opportunities that God is opening to engage with peoples questions. If I would rather get into a holy huddle around Wayne Grudem (whom I deeply respect), rather than getting out there and talking to people about their questions, as well as giving them logical and practical answers to their questions.You also know that I think that bad theology - the simple / foolish gospel only approach - is also a real barrier to getting more persuasive biblical evangelism happening.Anyway, I'd better get back to Grudem
Another video - Tim Keller at Google
"The prayer is important so let's pray instead of meet people" is good theology out of context isn't it.... it's great at the start of the day in a mission week but when we've prayed we've prayed... God has heard and it's time for action. Which is theology too. True theology that thwarts mission ceases to be good theology I'd think - it'd be messed up emphasis... and so actual becomes false teaching... Probably, in the situation you cite, someone - you or I perhaps - should have corrected and rebuked...