DW: I am hugely relieved that
Like all cultural shifts, there is good and bad. Now the Gospel about spirituality and
DC: 35 years ago, an atheist was a Christian atheist – that is the god they were not believing in. There is massive ignorance of the Bible. Full-orbed Gospel preaching means staring further back. To be honest, I rarely see conversions right away – what I do is the set up for what has to come in the months ahead.
Some of the new generation is so biblically ignorant, that they don’t automatically reject.
JT: What do you do differently?
DC: Depends on how many meetings there are. If I have time, I start with Genesis 1 and 2 and the beginnings. Then try to play out in how we look at life. Then I speak of the god that does not kill rebels. The God who legislates – 10 commandments. The God who becomes a human being then the god who declares sinners just. The God who is very angry. The god who wins. Although it is very rare to get this much time.
DC: There are better things and worse things. There are a lot of good little things.
VB: There are no new objections to the Gospel. The NT writers were dealing with and answering these objections – so we should use these categories. These answers are memorable and authoritative. And hopefully they are impactful.
Example: Revelation – why do you believe the bible. 1
In the front of Above All Earthly Powers, I retell a scene of a fictional country. [You can read that at home.] Theology is about timeless Truth. But it needs to be brought by god’s people into their own particular context. This has become an agitated context! Some missiologists are arguing that people can receive
If I had a critique of expository preaching it is that they too often do not apply the truth of the Word, unpacking it, was enough. Preachers need to do that next step, and make sure that the truth they are preaching intercepts with what is going on inside people’s minds. So line is drawn so clearly, that people know they are being obedient or not.
DC: you should download messages of men who preach well and see conversions. Listen to 8-10 strong ones so you don’t ape just one. Listen to the speakers who are here. Guest services can be held. You work extra hard at explaining everything. Go for user-friendly authenticity.
JP: Feeding the flock of God is the most precious and high calling in the world. “Feed my sheep.” There is always room for growth! Every one of these guys discourages me – so in one sense that is life. It is a great thing to rest in the calling God has given you. There has got to be witness in smaller populations. It is just that we cannot abandon the city! Faithful loving exposition is what you must do. God loves rural people.
DC: There are different degrees of gift. If we are doing something wrong, then we must fix them. On the other hand, I was brought up in French Canada. There were very few churches there. My Dad was faithful through the lean years. God works on another scale. I made a resolution when I was young man to never stop going to small and insignificant works. Be faithful where you are.
JT: On the issue of black and not-so-black. There are many churches that long for greater diversity. How can they bring this about?
VB: The church we just planted in
In some ways we feel called to be missionaries to the not-so-black cities.
DC: Every year I meddle in the lives of a few M.Div. students. Which guys? The ones who can speak to anybody. There are some who seem to be gifted by God to talk to anybody. I want them to be pastors in the city.
DW: I have been extremely grateful to go to
JP: A few words about