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#40440 Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:23 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
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Pilgrim Offline OP
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The questions of 'What is the Gospel?' and 'How should it be proclaimed?' are perennial ones and ones which bears serious thought and hopefully here, discussion. There are quite a number of articles on this subject on The Highway found here: Evangelism.

One of the more popular "models" used by churches, Reformed and non-Reformed, has been and continues to be Evangelism Explosion, originally written by James D. Kennedy in 1962 to deal with a decreasing church membership issue at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. After implementing this program the church membership rose from 246 to 3,134 in 1974. As one of the certified EE trainer's has written, EE is akin to the "Romans Road" or "Four Spiritual Laws" methodology. In other words, EE is "seeker friendly". There is also a new branch to the EE program called, "YouthEE", which you can read about here: On Understanding Generations.

My present interest, this being a forum which consists mainly of those professing to adhere to the Reformed Faith, is multifarious which takes the form of the following questions open for discussion:

  • Are you familiar with the "Evangelism Explosion" program?
  • Do you use EE? Why? - If you don't, Why not? (pros & cons)
  • Are you familiar with the new "YouthEE" program aimed at reaching 'GenX'?
  • How does EE fare compared to the Gospel of the Bible, Reformers and Puritans? Do you see a difference? If so what differences do you perceive?
  • On a broader aspect, what are your thoughts on "Culturalization"?

It is hoped that these questions will spark some informative and edifying discussion. It is not necessary to deal with all of the questions above, i.e., you are certainly permitted to take one or more that you want to discuss. Given the scope of the questions, it would be helpful if you would make the subject of your reply consistent with the question(s) you desire to answer so as to make following replies easier to follow. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Oh, just in case you aren't familiar with Evangelism Explosion, you can read about it here: Home of EE International. And for an online presentation of EE go here: Steps to Life.

In His grace,

[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 710
Pilgrim said:

  • How does EE fare compared to the Gospel of the Bible, Reformers and Puritans? Do you see a difference? If so what differences do you perceive?

My first church taught decisional regeneration and used the book "Evangelism Explosion" by the late D. James Kennedy in a disipleship class. Their heart was in the right place but their communication of the Gospel flawed i.e. God loves you, Christ died for you and now it's up to you to use the power of your will to receive Him. Kennedy although a Prysbyterian and having one hair forty-five feet long weaved across the top of his head in my opinion was not reformed in his soteriology (the study of how God saves an individual whom He has chosen).

The quote below is from an article found HERE states that "our message must be the same"

"Each person we meet is different and is living in different circumstances, thus our approach will vary. BUT our message must be the same. . . ." [/i]

and that is the "BIBLICAL MESSAGE" contained in the the first four of the traditional six loci (topics) of Reformed dogmatics, the doctrines of God, man, Christ, salvation, church, and last things.

Our job is to be salt and light and to show Christ like love by telling the world

- The truth about God
- The truth about man
- The truth about Christ
- and the truth about Salvation

Now if you will excuse me I must continue writing a "Great American Novel" and hopefully a more accomplished/qualified writer will respond.

Have a good "Lords Day"

HYPER-EVANGELISM written in 1874 nothing new

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 33
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 33
This is a fascinating topic, Pilgrim, because one way or the other I'm convinced that several of the core issues involved here are precisely what I've been dealing with at the individual level and as I've told everyone here before I'm in my early 30's.

I'm not qualified to speak on this based on my amateur status w/ the Bible to date, Pilgrim, but I will say this-I think that any present day church sceme designed to cator to the youth generations, the mentality is horribly wrong. I think that if we're in a time and age when people my age feel entitled to walk into a church and tell the elders what type of music they're going to have and/or expect rewards from the church like Starbuck's coupons and/or gas cards for "Doing good things" that Jesus Himself demanded of us to come from the heart itself in loving obedience to Him, this is remarkably dangerous ground because Christian humility itself is at stake here.

I'm going to return in a few days to comment on this further but in the meantime here again I will say in 100% truth that I've deeply treasured this experience w/ the Calvinist theology because it helped me find the heart's place in the childhood scene itself whereby I had the distinct gift of having grown up in a very small farming community at a specific point in time when the majority of the city's residents were senior aged, the majority of whom would have experienced things like the Great Depression, etc, and thus the distinct truth I realize now is that the reason I loved these little people so much was because of that place of the heart's humility in Him.

What amazes me about the Bible, over and over again we can see that so much of this always boils down to selflessness and humility vs selfishness and pride. Faith and the response to His grace is the ultimate solution here of course, but yet I think it's very crucial the average seeker can understand specifically what that means.

Perhaps then what so much of this is about is not to question whether or not the overwhelming current Body would enjoy that hour long moment together watching a "Little House" rerun but whether or not today's youth understand in the least bit the life itself and what it took for Charles and Caroline and the kids to be the type of people they were.

If a person finds the humility of the Christian life itself existing at a stronger level in the one message/theme over portions of the ideology present here in today's world, I think one would be highly concerned about the current state of affairs.

If there has been a single truth to surface from this Bible experience personally, Pilgrim, it is the importance of adhering to His Word to the best of our ability even when the soul doesn't necessarily want to obey. Compromising on this simple truth, one can certainly argue, is what's led to all of the chaos before us.

Last edited by olpo25; Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:16 PM.
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 710
olpo25 said:
. . . as I've told everyone here before I'm in my early 30's.

. . . I'm not qualified to speak on this based on my amateur status w/ the Bible to date,

Just so you know, I recently celebrated my 21st anniversary of my 30th birthday and am also of amateur status.


Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 23
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 23
I clicked on the link you had Pilgrim-On Generations something or other.

I started to read and was immediately alarmed by the phrase 'trust relationship'!

why is it that I get queasy when I hear or read that a believer must have
a 'trust relationship' to have the 'right' to proclaim the Gospel?

when did that creep into the mindset of evangelism?

I participated in the EE when I was young. Way back in the '70's.
I went with our church group and knocked on doors and
told (lied to) people that I was taking a religious survey and would they....

We felt that if we really did tally the answers to the questions we could get away with it.

I never felt very comfortable with THAT part.

But I thought it was totally cool at the time to give people the 'gospel' this way.

It seemed ok to give them the gospel this way because I
did trust that the Lord was either going to let
a seed be planted for later on, or at that
moment the person would 'accept Jesus'.

I think I liked the presentation if for no other reason
but that it got a discussion going.

Looking back with a reformed belief now I see this with an understanding that the EE had good intentions behind it.
It's just wrong to think that we can 'close the deal' with a special prayer.

Also, wanted to say this.

we don't have to have a 'trust relationship' to share the Gospel.

They should trust God, not necessarily us.

They need to respond to and trust His Spirit working faith in them, if He is.

They don't need to trust us, the stranger.

Just the Words of eternal life as they come out of our mouths.

Cursed is the man who puts his trust in man.
(I forget where that is atm.)

I know I am glad I quit trusting the Priests in the Catholic Church. I put my trust in Him!

Jude 3
...contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
Joined: Apr 2001
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Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life
Needs to get a Life
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I agree with you about the trust part, trust in people has nothing to do with it.

However, I will say that I know of an evangelist to the native community that said that in many cases, you can't even say anything about the Gospel, until they see you are willing to help them. For instance, he was able to present the Gospel when he actually helped first nation’s people in things like mending nets, loading/unloading fishing boats and other things of that nature.
I have witnessed first hand how he has gained a lot of respect from the First Nations community up and down the coast of British Columbia.
I consider it an honor to be considered a friend of his.


Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 33
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 33
I've learned a lot from all of your comments here this past week,all of you-William, Tom and Readin-thank you so much to all.

I have somewhat self elected Pilgrim and my dear Reformist friend, Joe, as my church elders despite not knowing either of the two personally. I couldn't ever love my local senior pastor more yet the soul itself seems to trust both Pilgrim and my friend Joe to an overwhelming extent from the standpoint of the Christian walk.

I will continue to stick around here to learn from all of you and am highly greatful for the opportunity. Jesus Himself knows that I will give this life in full to the point of death itself for Him, but here to date my Biblical understanding is quite limited and thus I'll stick at this until I get it right for Him through faith itself. There's been some type of battle within here in this place of faith itself from the standpoint of maintaining "Faith in faith," and that would be an understatement, but yet the heart's love for Jesus the person has been as powerful as anything could ever be from the beginning and thus I promise to stick this out.

I want nothing more but to bring this back into line for Jesus from the standpoint of the humility factor, the mindset of which is probably a bit more reflective among those having gone before us and/or in my own case, my present day elders like Pilgrim and Joe that continue to adhere to His Word in full measure despite the present day age and its countless influences w/ the technology and the way that this has changed our society.

Here then, I would sometimes be convinced that because of my age itself, I have an overwhelming level of knowledge and appreciation for the modern state of affairs among those my age, so to speak, if for no other reason than the fact I myself fell into this materialism/self centered pleasure trap in all too many ways prior to this experience w/ the Bible I'm only now coming out of.

Despite all such things, if there's going to ever be a way in this life and/or the opportunity available to help others see the full truth of these core areas in Christ Himself in faith, I will take that effort here once again until the end of this life to wherever it must go at the full cost of personal shame/humility-Jesus Himself would have known that about my soul the day I was born because the lifelong love for Him has been there since I was a child, but here today the underlying source of pressure is that I really do think those like Pilgrim and my dear friend Joe are doing this the right way for Him whereby one of the most treasured friendships I've ever had in this life, the senior pastor at my local EFCA church, here again despite the heart's intense love for both himself and his family, the "Feeling" just isn't right about everything. This doesn't my that my senior pastor friend here locally has neglected his role for Jesus-He couldn't ever mean the best and he has done more for the lost souls in this life that I could have ever dreamed of to date, but yet perhaps the overwhelming feature here is that his urgency isn't as great as my own concerning the current state of affairs.

Perhaps that's not the case for many of you here, either, but at the personal level, there's just too much about the core specifics that don't make sense to me anymore in comparison to the age and time most of you grew up in, and here then again the specific concerns involving the outer influences and the effects such may have on the human response to His grace would seem to be the driving culprit of sorts behind the heart's urgency concerning all such things.

I am of course nothing but an insect in comparison to the Lord Himself and that of His Own power concerning all of this, but yet here again perhaps then so much of this boils down to the personal will and the distinct need to determine precisely what this is all about.

The personal mindset to date is one in line w/ urgency here again, therefore-meaning, the mental portrait is that if something/anything doesn't take place soon to curb off the influences of the modern day society itself among His people, well I just can't sit back and watch this all take place and become something further than what it already has.

The heart itself says that something needs to be done, but I simply don't understand that part of things yet. The only promise that I give Jesus personally is that the moment I figure this out from the standpoint of the personal will, I would imagine that it would be the Calvinists themselves that would have the victory here because I consider you all to be my friends in this, the specific souls most representative of those having gone before us, of the former times.

Here, the EXCLUSIVE thing I'm trying to latch on to and preserve is the humility factor itself in Him. The mindset isn't about proclaiming a specific generation to have been better than this or that one-the sin nature has been there from the beginning, of course.

Nonetheless, this would seem to me to have all but gone too far out of control here in the 21st century life, this to the extent by which so much of this seems to be offically out of control and what I've been keying in on from the beginning is that "Self empowerment" factor that seems so exclusive to the modern generation itself in the sense of its power portrayals in comparison to the historical portrait of the faith and those souls having been part of it.

The gut instinct here in this place is one of protection along the lines of the personal efforts, but I don't understand that part of things just yet. The only thing I understand about myself to date is that I see something substantially different between the Pilgrim's and Dobson's in this world, and here today w/o knowing either of them personally I would, in the blink of the eye itself, grab hold of Pilgrim before Dobson and explain why I did such a thing to Jesus Himself in the next life. In the meantime, however, the confusion level itself prevents me from understanding the heart's testimony itself about this.

Furthermore, despite being a college graduate, the vast majority of those posting here clearly display a level of intelligence well beyond the framework of anything I was ever taught in college. Here then, there is so much yet of what most of you write about I still can't grasp spiritually, and that part then I just don't understand yet, either.

All considered, I just pray and hope that the Lord Himself will make sense of all of this in due time in accordance with His will. In the meantime, I suppose the only thing I have to hold on to is the heart itself, but here too, the personal relationship w/ Christ remains so childlike in nature.

Regarding the soul itself, I couldn't ever possibly be more home with that place in Him but yet if He needs me to do something beyond that and/or continue reading on, so to speak, I'll do that until all of His children are brought home to Him in safety and I'll give this life to see to that.

In the meantime, here again there is such extensive confusion about this I can't begin to describe it, and this presses forth despite what I believe have been genuine prayers concerning such. The only option I suppose is to wait on the Lord Himself, Christ personally, to make sense of the personal experience.

Last edited by olpo25; Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:54 AM.

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