Why Make the Case for Christianity, If God Is in Control?

I’ve written a Christian apologetics book that makes the case for making the case. I argue that Christians ought to embrace a more evidential, thoughtful faith and accept their duty to become Christian case-makers. Many people, after reading the book and thinking about this call to become better case makers, have asked, “If God calls His chosen, can’t He achieve this without any case-making effort on our part?” I also pondered this question as a new Christian, and I think the following analogy is helpful, although certainly imperfect.

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What's New? The Lausanne Global Analysis Publication

“To deliver strategic and credible information and insight from an international network of evangelical analysts so that Christian leaders will be equipped for the task of world evangelization.”

A new publication was released today from the Lausanne Movement with the underlying purpose of the statement above. Some of the titles found in the first issue include Where Next for the Arab Spring?, People and Their Religions on the Move and Choosing to be Salt & Light: Can the Church in India be a Model in the Fight for Anti-Corruption?

The Lausanne Global Analysis will be released every other month. Publisher of the LGA and Chairman of the Lausanne Movement Doug Birdsall writes that the LGA is the result of a “gap between the massive amount of information that surrounds us 24/7, and the ability to process that information and access credible analysis from an evangelical perspective.” You can read more about Dr. Birdsall’s publisher’s note here.

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Miraculous Movements

Jerry Trousdale is Director of International Ministries for CityTeam International, an organization he joined in 2005. Jerry co-founded Final Command Ministries, an organization dedicated to establishing church planting movements among Muslim people groups. 

In his new book, Miraculous Movements, Jerry recounts an amazing change taking place within Muslim communities where the truth of Jesus Christ is turning around the lives of many thousands of Muslims. This close look at what the Lord is doing to spread the gospel highlights the key scriptural principles that help Christian reach out in love to share the gospel in their own community and around the world. 

Jerry answered Five Questions about CityTeam, its ministry to Muslims and Miraculous Movements.

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A John Stott Tribute Video

Billy Graham responded to the recent death of Evangelist John Stott by saying, "The evangelical world has lost one of its greatest spokesmen, and I have lost one of my close personal friends and advisors. I look forward to seeing him again when I go to Heaven."

This video tribute to John Stott provides a glimpse into his life and and ministry. 

 

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Cape Town 2010: A Short Documentary

I enjoyed getting a glimpse into what all took place at the 2010 Lausanne Congress gathering and I hope you do too. 

Release of The Cape Town Commitment

Rev Dr Doug Birdsall, Executive Chair of The Lausanne Movement, said: 'In advance of the Congress we gathered a group of senior theologians, drawn from each continent, to compile a clear and engaging declaration of belief. With this as our basis, we wrestled with some of the toughest issues imaginable - within the Church, in global mission strategy, and in the public arena. The Cape Town Commitment's Call to Action, coming out of those discussions in South Africa, is our roadmap for the next ten years.'

Dr. Birdsall is quoted here referencing The Cape Town Commitment, the third document of its kind. Before the Cape Town Commitment,   The Manila Manifesto  was written after a global Lausanne movement conference was conducted in Manila, Philippines in 1989.  Prior to the Manila gathering, the first global conference was held in 1974 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Out of that gathering, where some 2,300 people attended representing 150 nations came the first document of its kind called The Lausanne Covenant

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The Effectiveness of Imperfect Evangelism

In a world of “experts” and “expert opinions” do you ever shrink back in your evangelistic efforts because you do not perceive yourself an “expert” in Christianity?  Do we need to be?  Today we have experts at Best Buy for your new television.  At Apple computer stores there might be a computer expert to fix your problems.  There is an expert salesperson for your car, expert lawyers, politicians, doctors, food critics, psychologists, sports radio or television experts, mechanics, and an array of financial advisors.  In fact we are so used to living in the company of experts, we’ll sometimes say after our point is made, “But I’m no expert, so what do I know?”

There are two examples I would like to share where God’s strength was made perfect in weakness.   The first is the conversion story of Frank Pastore, and the second is the evangelistic efforts of Moody Bible Institute professor Dr. Michael Rydelnik.

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I Can't Think Of A Better Word, Sorry

In a world where Christians, in the name of holiness, arrogantly distance themselves from everything "secular"......and like the Pharisees, can't figure out what it means to be "in" the world but not "of" it........

In a world where Christians, in the name of holiness, arrogantly stand back and bash non-Christians for living like, well, non-Christians......

We need to check these actions and attitudes with the scriptures.  I have a word I sometimes use to describe this type of activity.  But I want to warn you, this could be bad.  I only use this word in conversations where people know my heart and theological convictions.  Posting it publicly like this could get me in trouble.  I don't mean to be rash by using this word, but I honestly cannot think of one that better describes this type of activity by the very people that are supposed to be following the example of Christ.

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What Epiphany Shows Us About Evangelism

The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the manifestation of Our Lord to all people. He came that we might know him – that all might know him, everywhere. Epiphany calls us to a renewed understanding that mission and evangelism are not incidental add-ons to the Gospel, but rather the unfolding of Jesus’ work from the very beginning.

Epiphany reminds us that we do not “own” Jesus. He is not church property, to protect from contact with a messy world.

But even more than that, Epiphany reminds us that Jesus is not just an idea to tell people about, but a Person to encounter.

We can’t make people know Christ by dumping information on them, or by rhetorically maneuvering them into a corner, or by “winning” an argument about who Christ is, or by promising lots of fun and self-help and personal fulfillment.

Knowledge, Wisdom AND Character

“An atheist from Berkeley is here.”  The youth pastor’s statement caught me off guard.  I was sitting in a church lobby, reviewing notes for a talk I was about to give.  My first thought was, “What atheist in their right mind would drive from Berkeley to attend a youth apologetics conference in the Inland Empire?”  

Seeing my puzzled look the youth pastor offered more.  “His name is Tim.  He’s right over there.”  I glanced in the direction he pointed and recognized Tim immediately.  I had met Tim, a recent graduate from U.C. Berkeley, two years ago on one of our mission trips.  He had participated in a couple of our joint events with Berkeley’s atheist student club, S.A.N.E. (Students for A Non-religious Ethos), over the last few years.  I hadn’t seen Tim for more than a year and now here he was, attending an apologetics conference where I was speaking.  

At the break, Tim made his way to my resource table.  “Tim!” I exclaimed.  Tim smiled and appeared genuinely happy to see me.  Indeed, as he approached I grabbed his hand for a firm shake but additionally, he leaned in for a hug.  I was glad to embrace him, realizing this hug was no small gesture.  Often, when we imagine interactions between atheists and Christians we envision warfare, not friendship.  But despite our opposing views about Christianity, Tim is made in God’s image.  Tim is an intrinsically valuable human being deserving dignity and respect, not an enemy to be vanquished.

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