The clip below is a short interview with NT Wright. He’s an incredible scholar, writer, and theologian. He is being asked some fantastic questions about the gospel – his answers are great – really worth a listen, twice! I love how he talks about how each generation has to wrestle with the Bible – we have to “chew it through afresh,” because culture is always changing. We have to stay true to scripture (dive into it even more), but contextualize it for our times.
Evangelism strategies from the 50s and 60s addressed the culture of that time. They may not have the same impact today as they once did. Quoting scripture or talk of sin and hell will do little in a culture that no longer lives under a biblical framework. In fact, attempts at such apologetics are usually met with hostility. They push people away, rather than draw them in with Christ’s love and grace.
That said, the Christian message will always be distasteful to many – always has been. But this doesn’t mean we keep using outdated and/or incomplete methods of evangelism. We need to find new ways to engage with existing narratives (e.g, relativism, subjectivity, pluralism, spirituality) so we can reveal the ultimate narrative.
A more complete picture of the gospel is needed. The message of the kingdom (and what this means), fulfilled promises (and what this means), God’s grace (and what this means), Jesus’ life, teachings, miracles, death and resurrection, as well as backing this up with our good deeds and good living, will provide a more complete picture.
For example, how, as Christians, are we helping the poor? Sure we have food drives, pantries, and a variety of resources – these are wonderful! But what about the poor in spirit? For example, the LGBT community is often persecuted rather than loved by the Church – this is not worthy of our calling. We must maintain our moral conviction, but extend love, grace, and compassion – like Jesus did with the woman at the well.
Enjoy the video….
Thanks for reading,
NT Wright Interview