post modern evangelism with Ed Stetzer Wednesday, Mar 28 2007 

if_i_were_to_die1.jpgEd Stetzer, Missiologist and Research Team Director at the North American Mission Board, has just posted an article on The Resurgence about the interplay between evangelism and postmodern culture. As someone with a heart for evangelism and exploring how to best present the Gospel to people in our postmodern culture this article has been very insightful. Ed Stetzer does the research and presents the facts, even the surprising ones, behind culture today then tracks back to how we can use the facts to reach people there they are at. I remember seeing Dr. Stetzer speak at the Reform and Resurge Conference last year where he said something to the effect of, “As Christians we need to seek out the questions that our culture is asking to which Jesus is the correct answer.” What he meant by this is that by examining culture we can gain insight into where people’s hearts and minds are. Then, once we find out what people care about we can show them how Jesus answers their deepest and most important questions. One example of this are the results of the surveys he has done (which are presented in his article) which show that while people do wonder about eternity, even more people wonder about meaning and purpose. As a result we can do street evangelism by asking people, “Do you long for a deeper purpose in life?” rather than, “If you were to die today…” This is not to say that asking about death and eternity is wrong but that it is not as important to people as finding more meaning.

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“The Big Debate” James Dobson and Jim Wallis Tuesday, Mar 20 2007 

In a response to James Dobson’s (along with others) letter to the National Association of Evangelicals addressing the issue of NAE vice president Richard Cizik’s “relentless campaign” on global warming Jim Wallis has “invited Dobson to a debate on the question, ‘What are the great moral issues of our time for evangelical Christians?’ and suggested that a major evangelical Christian university should host it.”

I heard Richard Cizik speak at Gordon College on February 16, 2007. He showed a video called The Great Warming, a film about global warming, its effects, and our need to act to stop it. While I think that he did a fair job of talking about the need for stewardship and creation care, Richard went over the top when he said that there has been no evidence to the contrary of global warming. He did not mention that many respected scientists do not believe in global warming. I believe that we should live responsible lives of stewardship, but telling people lies in order to convince them of your opinion is a terrible way to make your point. I look forward to seeing this debate between Dr. Dobson and Jim Wallis and would love to see it take place at Gordon College.

vacation in the bahamas and theology Wednesday, Mar 14 2007 

bahamas.jpgThis week I am enjoying a wonderful vacation with my family in the Bahamas on the island of Grand Bahama. I plan to do a lot of reading, scuba diving, sailing, and swimming in the ocean, all while enjoying some much needed time away with my dad, mom, brother, and sisters. For books, I brought along Chosen for Life by Sam Storms, The Cross of Christ by John Stott and, of course, my Bible (ESV). So far Chosen for Life has been very good. As someone who just a couple of years ago would have called himself an Armenian Christian (more…)

Tim Keller Resources Monday, Mar 12 2007 

thebigcity.jpgI just saw that Kevin Cawley has posted that there are new Tim Keller resources available online. Tim Keller is an authority for anyone with a passion for seeing the church grow in size and influence in the United States and the world. In the Winter 2007 Cutting Edge Pastor Keller answers questions about cities, culture, Jesus, and the impact of the church, especially in the cities.

back on track Saturday, Feb 24 2007 

After what might have been the hardest two weeks of school I have ever had, things are back to normal and there is a lot to catch up on. New books, classes, outreach events, conferences, churches, movies are a few of the things that have happened over the past couple of weeks. I expect to catch up on these and more in the coming days. For today, I am jumping in the car and heading to Harvard University where a few of us are going to share the Gospel. Please keep this time in your prayers. Thank you.

Muslim Faith Friday, Nov 3 2006 

Twenty percent of the world is Muslim. 1.5 Billion people. They are the majority of the population in 52 countries. Their faith has been growing especially in post-Christian nations like much of western Europe. They are also a growing force in the United States and have grown to nearly 5% of the population of Boston. This is compared to nearly the same percentage who claim to be born again Christians. It is because of the size, influence, and growing population of Muslims what we need to, more than ever, be able to reach them with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus. We know where we stand, let’s learn where they stand and why.

Who we are -Nate. Thursday, Nov 2 2006 

We aren’t judges, we’re witnesses.  We’re just as guilty as the next guy. We’re not trying to tell you that we’ve solved all our own problems and that we’re staying out of trouble.  We’re here to tell you that we’re all in trouble and we believe there’s only one way out of it.  We know where you’re coming from, because a lot of us have come from far worse places. We’re not knocking on your door on a Saturday morning because there’s a free kitchen appliance in it for us.  We are just asking you to have a real interaction with a stranger, a conversation about something other than what you did this weekend or how you got ripped off at the dry cleaners. We know you think we’re silly and ignorant.  We think you should know that not everyone thinks that of us.  We know you don’t want your life to change. We didn’t want ours to change either, but we wouldn’t take it back for the world.  We’re not here to tell you about hell, we want you to be with us in paradise.  This is not just our mission, but also our passion.  We see the hatred in the world and we know you see it too.  We’re not asking you to open your wallet, but to open up your mind and your heart.  We’re not selling bibles, we most likely have an extra one we’d be more than happy to give you.  We’re not trying to fill church pews, because we know that it’s not about what you do or who you are but what you believe.  We would rather share one earnest moment with you than see you sitting like a zombie in every Sunday morning service for the rest of your life.  We’re asking you to have faith not in us, but in the one truth that stands out in the midst of a confused world.  We are here on behalf of a man who died to save us all. We aren’t judges, we’re witnesses.  We are Christians taking the stand to testify about Jesus.  We hope that you are listening.

It Burns -Rachele B. Monday, Oct 9 2006 

God just basically knocked me over with a burning passion for whatever is going down in Boston. no joke…there is a deep ache in my heart right now. Hes showing me that awesome things can happen if we take Him seriously. Part of taking Him seriously is going to Him in intense prayer about this. So…im not really giving you an option…if you want to see Him move in powerful ways…we’re talking mountains here…we have to pray. Prayer is a POWERFUL weapon…especially when we gather together in agreement. I’m thinking setting aside time during the week to get those who have a burning on their heart for this together to pray and seek the heart of God for this. Even if I am doing it alone…its gotta be done! so…you in?

I am in.

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
– James 5:16 –

Speaking the Word in Season – Jill G. Friday, Aug 18 2006 

Last Spring I felt uncomfortable when I first considered going to Boston for the purpose of sharing Christ with the people. I had reservations and felt uneasy stepping out of my comfort zone, then I realized that by doing so I was stepping out in faith. It would haveboston-at-night.jpg been easier to stay home on Friday night watching a movie or just hanging out rather than walking around on a freezing night approaching total strangers on the street. But, I decided it’s not about me, it’s about God and I want to be a part of His plan for the big picture. I can’t begin to say what a blessing it was and how fulfilling it felt to know I was an instrument in Gods plan and being used by Him to spread the great news to the people he loves and cares so deeply about, especially in the days we live in. There is a need for people to have an explanation for LIFE, So many don’t seem to know or care why they are here or for what purpose. Our hearts desire is that they would know, and for that reason some one must tell them! It’s like you’re running out of a burning house and you want to take every one with you but the time is short. I am excited to see how God will use cHc for His glory and I know He will continue to lead the way.

– Jill G.

Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May He be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.

-Ephesians 3:20

8/15/06 Wednesday, Aug 16 2006 

Remember Christian? Maybe not, I should have mention him as one of the main people we spent time with a couple of weeks back when KC, Jill and I were talking with people in Boston. He works as the security guard for American Eagle on Newbury St. We had spoken with him a couple weeks back and although he believed in God he did not know who God was. He had a faith but he did not know what his faith was in. Today I walked into American Eagle and Christian came walking right over and said, “Hi Mark. How are you.” I was surprised that Christian had remembered my name. I was glad to speak to him and spent a while listening to him tell me of the new job he just got, a much better job than he currently had. It was great to see God blessing the life of a man who we had shared his love with just a couple of weeks back.
Later, I went out for a coffee break to the Starbucks on the corner of Boylston St. and Berkeley St. I saw my friend Dennis who I had met when I first started working at IXIS well over a year ago. Dennis has been working at Starbucks coffee.jpgfor a long time and was very friendly from the first day I met him. Today I was standing in line and Dennis walked in (even when he is not working, he is a regular). We started talking and he told me that he was brushing up on his Greek. Brushing up on your Greek? That’s not an everyday activity so I asked him why he was studying Greek and he replied that he was doing it so he could read the New Testament in the original language. He is a Christian. It is was so encouraging to learn that his friend of mine as also a brother. As an added bonus he works at the very Starbucks we are planning on holding out Bible Study at this fall. Dennis loves C.S. Lewis and will be studying for his Masters Degree this fall at Boston College.
What as an amazing day got better when I was talking to a co-worker on the way to the train for the ride home. Mike is a great guy who I have become friends with during my time working at IXIS. He just moved close to my hometown and is really enjoying the area. I asked him if he was reading any good books and he said that, being a new father to a 10 month old daughter, it was just suggested to him to read She Calls Me Daddy. I had remembered my father reading that book. It was a Christiashe-calls-me-dad.jpgn book that he greatly enjoyed and has influenced the way he has raised his two daughters. While I was learning that a couple of my co-workers were reading Christians books, a college student from Worcester State, who had confronted me when he saw me reading my Bible early in the summer, say me and asked how my summer was going. He was also a Christian who was working at an environmental agency for the summer. I talked with him for a little bit and came away even more encouraged.
To add to what was already a highlight of a day I won an auction eBay for a used bike. When I received the email from the seller I check the website his email address was at and it ended up being East Delavan Baptist Church where Dan is a Pastor.
It is amazing how God can reveal himself through people, circumstances, and His Word. I didn’t even get into the Bible or what God has been showing me. I haven’t even mentioned the amazing truths I have been reading in David Well’s Above All Earthly Pow’rs. Amen.

Romans 14:8  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

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