Lessons one to ten from Ummah

-

English
22 Pages
Read an excerpt
Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more

Description

  • cours - matière potentielle : insha allah
  • exposé
  • expression écrite
LESSON ONE: The Alphabet Here are a few points to remember about the Arabic Alphabet:  Arabic is written from right to left  There are 29 characters of the Arabic alphabet  It is extremely important to include all dots and the number and placement of dots can change the sound of the letter and therefore the meaning of word. In English we may forget to dot the I or cross the T but we can not do this in Arabic.
  • later lesson insha allah
  • haadha
  • moon letters
  • man haadha
  • muslim
  • letters
  • following words
  • arabic
  • lesson
  • letter

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Reads 19
Language English
Report a problem

Peter Adkins M.A in Evangelism Studies
Unit 8 The Practice of Evangelism
Question 3
Explore the criteria by which evangelistic projects should be evaluated.
! Evangelistic projects could be described as intentional activities with the goal
of bringing people into the Kingdom of God, or to bring the kingdom of God to
people.
! The first question to be asked in evaluating any evangelistic project is to ask
why the project undertaken in the first place? While evangelism may be driven by
shrinking church attendance, the need for funds, social problems, imposed by
denominational headquarters, or ‘just because it’s about time we had a mission’, the
1scriptures present far higher motives. Was a desire for God’s glory preeminent,
rather than numerical success or church growth? Was there concern for those apart
1 One of Gavin Reid’s aims for mission England in 1984, Reid G, To Reach a Nation (London: Hodder
and Stoughton, 1987) p.55 It is also a theme found repeatedly in scripture. As the message of God’s
grace reaches more and more people it causes thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (2 Cor
4:15) God’s glory is revealed in Christ, illuminating darkened minds and hearts. (2 Cor 4:6) This
motive looks forward to the day when every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father. (Phil 2:10,11)
12 3 4 5from Christ, who as Green points out are eternally lost, enslaved, blinded, and
6 7under God’s wrath, which Bosch describes as Paul’s motivation to lead people to
salvation, adoption, redemption, justification and knowledge of God. Was this
motivation strong enough to cause Christians to invite their family and friends to
the event? Was there a sense of the divine obligation and responsibility that Paul
8experienced? ‘Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade
9men.’ Was there a motivation of gratitude, overflowing from a personal experience
10of the grace and love of God? Verkuyl adds an eschatological motive, the longing
for the Kingdom and the ‘throbbing desire to gather all people united under the one
11Head, Jesus Christ...’ Evangelism that does not, however imperfectly, spring from
2 Green M, Evangelism in the Early Church (Crowborough: Highland Books, 1984)pp. 287-309
3 Luke 19:10 ‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.’
4 Galatians 4:8 ‘Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are
not gods.’
5 2 Corinthians 4:4 ‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see
the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.’
6 1 Thessalonians 1:10 ‘..and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus,
who rescues us from the coming wrath.’
7 Bosch D, Transforming Mission (Maryknoll:Orbis, 1997) p.134,135
8 1 Corinthians 9:16 ‘Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel’
9 2 Corinthians 5:11 Green describes this fear not as ‘the craven fear of the underdog, but the loving
fear of a friend and trusted servant who dreads disappointing his beloved Master.’ Green M,
Evangelism in the Early Church.. p.297
10 Romans 5:5 ‘God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given
us.’2 Corinthians 5:14 ‘For Christ's love compels us’ Acts 4:20 ‘We cannot keep from speaking about
what we have seen and heard.’
11 Verkuyl J, Contemporary Missiology (Grand Rapids: W.Eerdmans 1978) p.167
2such motives, is liable to fall into either serious methodological or ethical problems
12such as those outlined by Verkuyl.
! One fruit of successful evangelism is a larger church, yet the church growth
movement has been accused of promoting denominational self-aggrandisement.
Wagner acknowledges that ‘Behind growth statistics in general is the need for
13discernment as to what kind of growth is taking place.’ How many exciting, large
scale evangelistic events, have increased church numbers but disguised the fact that
14only transfer growth has occurred. Colquhoun cites Cooks’ defence of “counting
heads” in the Greater London Crusade of 1954, seeing a Biblical precedent in Acts
152:41, and 4:4, yet he is cautious in claiming all these as converts, preferring the
word “inquirers”. Reid is also not afraid of numbers, recording one of the goals of
16Mission England was ‘To bring large numbers of people to personal faith in Christ.’
The records show that from 100,000 inquirers, ‘56 per cent of all who went forward
were ‘accepting Christ’ for the first time. They were stating they held no faith and no
17commitment before that moment.’ These answers give some indication of success,
12 Ibid pp.168-175 Problems such as Colonialism, Imperialism, Ecclesiastical Colonialism and the
Cultural Motive, imposing upon the recipients of the gospel the culture of the missionary.
13 Wagner P, Church Growth and the Whole Gospel (Europe: Marc, 1981) p.10
14 Colquhoun F, Harringay Story (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1955) p.231
15 Ibid. p.233
16 Reid G, To Reach.. p.55
17 Ibid. p.62
3further verified by the fact that fifty nine percent of them were still in contact with
the churches they had been referred to twelve months later. This committed church
membership (and hopefully discipleship), gives a far more accurate indication of
evangelistic success. As Wagner rightly says, ‘The intent of the kingdom style of
gospel preaching is to make disciples for the king... Part of the commitment of
18becoming a true disciple is a commitment to the body of Christ.’
! Wagner acknowledges criticisms of those using numerical growth as a
measure of evangelistic success. They ‘often use man’s and not God’s arithmetic as a
19measure of growth’ or exhibit an ‘evangelistic triumphalism of a concern for
20numbers’. Wagner recognises the underlying concern of these criticisms is to avoid
21‘cheap grace or a commercialized gospel’ yet he agrees with McGavran who stated
that ‘The church is made up of countable people and there is nothing particularly
22spiritual in not counting them.’ Wagner acknowledges that ‘the church cannot be
identified with the kingdom of God one-on-one...The kingdom creates the church
not vice versa. But the church bears witness to the kingdom and is an instrument of
18 Wagner P, p.11
19 Weber H, ‘Gods Arithmetic’ Frontier 6 (Winter 1963)p.298 cit. Wagner P, Church Growth.. p. 61
20 Kirk J, “The Kingdom of God and the Church in Contemporary Protestantism and Catholicism,” in
Let the Earth Hear His Voice Douglas J, (Ed) (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1975) p.1080
cit. Wagner P, p.61
21 Wagner P, p.61
22 Ibid.
423 24the kingdom.’ While Davies warns against using numerical church growth rather
than Kingdom growth as a measure of success, we need to be cautious in separating
the wheat from the weeds before the
appointed time. Wagner agrees with Fries and Costas ‘that kingdom growth is the
ultimate task, while church growth is a penultimate task within the evangelistic
25 26mandate.’ If ‘the goal of added numbers must not be absolutized’, is there some
other way to measure Kingdom growth? One way is to ask whether our evangelism
has effectively engaged with the culture of the hearers in bringing about change in
belief and behaviour. This depends on the method and content used to
communicate the gospel. Gustafson asks ‘does the method include the
communication of the good news of Jesus Christ accurately, clearly, and concisely,
giving the gospel the best hearing possible, in hopes that it might have its greatest
27impact.’ Opinions vary greatly as to what actually constitutes the ‘gospel’, Klaiber
23 Wagner P, p.9
24 ‘to define the goal of mission as church growth is to indulge in an ecclesiastical narrowing of the
concept of the kingdom of God.’ J.D. Davies ‘Church growth: A critique’ International Review of
Missions 57 no.267 (July 1968) p.293. cit. Wagner p.11
25 Wagner P,.p. 59
26Young J, ‘The Place and Importance of Numerical Church Growth’ Theological Perspectives on
Church Growth Conn H, (Ed) Nutley, NJ.:Presbyterian and Reformed, 1976) p.262 cit. Wagner P, p.62
27Gustafson D, ‘Creating and Critiquing Evangelistic Methods’ Journal of the Academy for
Evangelism in Theological Education Vol. 112 pp.69-76 (p.72) These criteria can be found in Acts
18:25 ‘He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervour and taught
about Jesus accurately...’ and Colossians 4: 3,4 ‘And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for
our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I
may proclaim it clearly, as I should.’
528‘s description of it as ‘elementary talk of God’ seems appropriate. Clear definitions
29of evangelism, such as that of the Lausanne Covenant, provide a framework by
which to evaluate our evangelism,
30 31while adding cautions that will help avoid offering cheap grace’. Abraham goes
further in his description, including creation, the uniqueness of humanity, a
diagnosis of what went wrong, a prescription of the solution in Jesus, a vision of the
future and a vision for living. Paul was very clear about one thing ‘..we do not
32preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord’. Not only do we need to ask whether
the message had sufficient content to enable the listeners to make an informed
response, but did it address every aspect of people’s personalities
‘appealing to them rationally, emotionally and volitionally, with the goal of
33persuading them to receive Christ as Lord and Savior’
! Abraham states ‘all we do in evangelism should be guided by the intention to
34bring people into the reign of God on earth’, and he indicates one aspect of this
28Klaiber W, p.203 ‘the basic lines of the message of the gospel are presented and drawn into the
content of a person’s life today’
29’To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the
dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins
and the liberating gift of the Spirit to all who repent and believe..’ Stott J, (Ed) Making Christ Known
(Carlisle: Paternoster Press,1996) p.20
30 ‘In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship.’Ibid.
31Abraham W, Art of ... pp. 44-46
322 Corinthians 4: 5
33 Gustafson D, p.72 see also 2 Cor. 5:11: ‘Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to
persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.’
Acts 18: 4: ‘Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.’
34 Abraham W, Art of ... p.61
6entry into the kingdom is the moral dimension. By what moral criteria could we
evaluate entry into the kingdom? Many are cautious in this regard, wanting to
35avoid cultural impositions of the past. Newbigin believes it may not necessarily be
spelled out by the evangelist. In every time and place the ethical crisis bought by
the gospel is affected by culture and world view and may be very different from
36what Wagner describes as guilt-oriented Western culture.
37 Wagner agrees with Yoders’ description of a ‘scale of moral priority issues, some of
which are indispensable and others dispensable...’, yet states that ‘no generalized list
of them can ever be compiled. In each specific evangelistic event the precise “moral
curriculum” must be discerned by the evangelist on the terms of the receptors, not
38 39from a predetermined list of sins.’ Abraham’s expectation of moral change is
broader and difficult to measure, but primarily includes loving God and our
40neighbour as an indication of new life. Mc Gavran sees the change both
negatively: turning from false gods, and positively: when individuals are united
around Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and believe themselves to be members of His
35 We must ‘listen to the witness of converts as much as to that of evangelists. If we do so we shall
find that in many instances the impact of the life and teaching of Jesus has led the convert to
understand the ethical content of conversion in a way markedly different from the way it was
presented by the missionary.’ Newbigin L, The Open Secret (London: SPCK,1995) p.136
36 Wagner P, p.141
37 Yoder J, ‘Church Growth Issues in Theological perspective’ in The Challenge of Church Growth
Shenk W, (Ed) (Elkhart: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 1973) p.36 cit. Wagner p.143
38 Wagner P, p.143
39 Abraham W, Art of .. p.62
40 Mc Gavran’s description of discipling from Bridges of God (New York: Friendship Press, 1955) p.
14 cit. Wagner P, p. 131
7Church. If expectations are too generalised however, and we tread too sensitively in
seeking to avoid any impure moral cultural impositions, what do we call people to
repent of?
41It is interesting to note that evangelist J. John has seen a great response in recent
missions based around a positive presentation of the Ten Commandments as values
to live by rather than “thou shalt nots”. His administrator suggests ‘they do not
compromise the hard-hitting 'moral absolutes,' they are not watered down - they
present the gospel of Christ in a culturally relevant way that is very challenging to
42both Christians and the unchurched alike.’ These comments suggest that without
appropriate moral direction, our evangelism is deficient.
! Is it possible then, to assess evangelistic projects by measuring conversions?
We must be cautious in too readily claiming ‘converts’ of those who profess Christ,
for can anyone really know the moment of their conversion? As Toon points out...’
no one can definitely state when he or she was internally born again by the Spirit,
because this internal divine action is secret and invisible. All that a person can
43testify to is his/her change of life in obedience to Jesus Christ’. How quickly can
41"The Ten Commandments have, perhaps, never been better understood." Sunday Mercury
June 25th 2000 “Preaching phenomenon J.John has been pulling in the crowds at Coventry Cathedral
to hear his views of the Ten Commandments. Last night's session was the most amazing of all."
Coventry Evening Telegraph Wednesday July 5th 2000 (taken from from Philo Trust Web site)
www.philo.ndirect.co.uk 5/5/01
42 E.mail from J. John’s administrator Katherine Draper 4/5/01
43 Toon P. About Turn (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1987) p.106
844we expect this outward change to occur? Engle suggests each person comes to
Christ through a series of stages, from ignorance of the Christian faith, to an
awareness of personal need, leading to a decision to accept Christ, growth in
Christian character eventually becoming a reproducer of disciples. Similarly, Finney
45 46found that 62% of people come to faith gradually. Wagner cites Hiebert’s
‘centered set’ view, which defines converts as those moving towards Christ rather
than those fitting a certain rigid set of beliefs or behaviour. This ‘process’ approach
in evangelism has the advantage of creating less of an ‘us and them’ mentality and
tends to be inclusive rather than exclusive. Effective evangelistic projects must take
into account this research. Moving disciples on in their faith journey, helping people
belong before they believe, and bringing people one step closer to the point of
decision are all valid aims of evangelism, as long as they don’t exclude the challenge
for people to make an immediate response of repentance, faith and commitment to
Christ. There is, however, a definite trend away from ‘crisis’ large scale, crusade-type
evangelism, ‘which confronts individuals with the challenge of the Gospel and
47demands an immediate response’, to more of a process-style evangelism which
48may contain points of crisis within it. Hill points out some contrasts between the
44 Engle J, What’s Gone Wrong With the Harvest cit. Ratz C,Tillapaugh F, Augsburger M, Mastering
Outreach and Evangelism (Portland: Multnomah, 1990) pp.104,105
45 Finney J, Finding Faith Today (Stonehill Green:British and Foreign Bible Society, 1992) pp.24,25
46 Wagner P, p.158 ,159
47 Hill M, ‘End of an Era’ Church Growth Digest Summer 1995 Issue 4 pp.1-3 p.1
48 Ibid. p.2
9content of ‘crisis’ and ‘process’ style evangelism. The former method contains an
authoritative, impersonal message, often highlighting doctrines of God’s holiness,
sin and the need to turn to Christ in repentance and faith. The latter is more
dialogical, low key, personal and often containing a highly individualised message,
addressing personal needs. Should we leave behind ‘crisis’ style evangelism
altogether in our desire to be culturally relevant to this post-modern age, suspicious
of authoritative truth statements and more comfortable with dialogue, personal
testimony and individual experience? If we do opt for the latter, are we in danger of
neglecting doctrines such as God’s holiness, sin, and repentance? J.John’s approach
mentioned earlier suggests there is no reason why we still cannot do both. While
there are certain benefits of large scale crisis evangelism, such as public attention
49being captured by advertising and numbers of churches working together and
pooling gifts, there seems to be a strong trend, at least in westernised countries, to
move to a more low key, relational programme of evangelism. Has ‘crisis’
evangelism had its day? Surely the success of large-scale, evangelistic projects like
Mission England are reason enough not to depart completely from this style of
evangelism, but as George Lings notes, the aptly named ‘Living Proof’ community is
demonstrating a new way of mission (or is it an old way revisited?) that we should
49 Gavin Reid found 93% of the public in Bristol were aware Billy Graham was about to speak at the
meetings of mission England. Reid G To Reach.. p.57
10