JeremiahCry Ministries

The Gospel By Paul Washer

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Evangelism, Then and Now

Evangelism, Then and Now

Quoting Joel Beeke . . .

Puritans and modern evangelists both use persuasive argument in evangelism, but the content of those arguments differs. Modern evangelists do not believe that the necessity of holiness is a suitable subject for the unconverted, so they do not present the gospel as a divine remedy for corrupt and impotent sinners. Puritans, by contrast, believed that the best news in the world for sinners who are truly convicted of sin is that deliverance from the power of sin is possible through faith in Christ. Such sinners need more than forgiveness or pardon; they want sin to be put to death in themselves forever. They want to live for the glory of God. They want to be holy as God is holy. They want to be conformed to the character of the Father, the image of the Son, and the mind of the Spirit.

Joseph Alleine distinguished between true and false converts in this manner: "When [false converts] have as much as will save them, as they suppose, they look no farther, and so show themselves short of true grace, which always sets men aspiring to perfection (Phil 3:13)." An important mark of saving faith, then, is that a convert not only wants to be delivered from the corruption of sin, but that he also hungers and thirsts after righteousness and holiness.

Modern evangelism has lost sight of that motive.
Holiness is treated as something separate from salvation.Thus [today's] message that seeks to convince people to embrace Christ is generally an appeal to self-interest.


Puritan Evangelism: A Biblical Approach

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