Models of Biblical Evangelism -- By: Paul R. House
SBJT 1:4 (Winter 1997) p. 2
Models of Biblical Evangelism
Paul R. House, editor of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, is Martha and Talmage Rogers Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of seven volumes, and has contributed several articles to journals and collections of essays.
Biblical evangelism is in short supply these days because biblical theology is on the wane. Few pastors are able to articulate the great truths of Scripture. Thus, doctrines such as human depravity, substitutionary atonement, and justification by faith are not well known by lay persons. For many listeners, the gospel amounts to a non-committal mental decision to accept Christ, rather than true repentance from sin and a complete dedication to the one who died for them. It is no wonder, then, that so many churches never see large numbers of their members in worship services, since these members never possessed saving faith in the first place. It is time to re-emphasize a biblical definition of evangelism in hopes that real conversions will result, and that revival and reform can occur in the churches.
Throughout church history the Lord has provided individuals who have been models of evangelism with integrity. These persons have not been sinless, of course, yet they have been examples to their own and succeeding generations. They have shown how evangelism can be done in a biblical manner. They have based their ministries on Christ’s call to go and make disciples, and they challenge us to settle for nothing less than what God would have us do to share the gospel with a lost world. My own models for evangelism are Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Carl F. H. Henry, and Billy Graham. These men have not agreed on every doctrinal issue, nor have they shared the same vocation. Each one in his own way, however, sets an example today’s church needs to emulate.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones served as pastor of Westminster Chapel in London from 1938–1968. For three decades he preached expository and doctrinal sermons in that place. Above all, though, he saw himself as an evangelist. To that end he delivered an evangelistic sermon every Sunday evening in his own church, and presented evangelistic messages throughout Britain in mid-week services. A strong Calvinist, he longed to see revival in Britain so that God might be glorified. His sermons and lectures are still in print, and they are models of exegetical fidelity, doctrinal soundness, and warm-hearted concern for souls.
Carl F. H. Henry has written or edited over thirty books, lectured in colleges, seminaries, and Bible schools around the world, and taught in various institutions. His ministry now spans six decades, and continues to ...
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