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Theology, Evangelism and the Cross…

October 29, 2008

Last week I gave a preview to Sunday’s message (the audio for which is here), which began in Gethsemane and moved into Isaiah 53. In the message, I made the point that the reality of the cross and reflection on Christ’s work strengthen three of the most important works of the church- Exaltation, Edification and Evangelisation. Reflecting and talking about these truths is not just ‘doing’ theology for the sake of theology; instead theology should lead to practical outworkings of some magnitude.

Having just read Packer’s, ‘Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God’ (I’m still kicking myself for not reading it earlier), the ‘theology-practice’ aspect has been on my mind. Speaking primarily in the context of ‘theology-evangelism’, Packer couldn’t have said it better:

“Evangelism and theology for the most part go separate ways, and the result is great loss for both. When theology is not held on course by the demands of evangelistic communcation, it grows abstract and speculative, wayward in method, theoretical in interest and irresponsible in stance. When evangelism is not fertilized, fed and controlled by theology, it becomes a stylized performance seeking its effect through manipulative skills rather than the power of vision and the force of truth. Both theology and evangelism are then, in one important sense, unreal, false to their own God-given nature; for all true theology has an evangelistic thrust, and all true evangelism is theology in action.” – J.I. Packer

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