Christlikeness in evangelism…

In studying the call to Christians to be Christ-like, I encountered some potent words from John R. W. Stott in his final book, The Radical Disciple. And while his comments do not tell the whole story of conversion (and the depths of man’s depravity), they should prod believers in the right direction — toward greater Christlikeness!

Why is it that our evangelistic efforts are often fraught with failure? Several reasons may be given, and I must not oversimplify, but one main reason is that we don’t look like the Christ we proclaim. John Poulton has written about this in his perceptive little book, A Today Sort of Evangelism:

“The most effective preaching comes from those who embody the things they are saying. They are their message…. Authenticity … gets across from deep down inside people…. A momentary insincerity can cast doubt on all that has made for communication up to that point….”

Similarly a Hindu professor, identifying one of his students as a Christian, once said, “If you Christians lived like Jesus Christ, India would be at your feet tomorrow.” . . .

Lord, may Your disciples be more like You.

Monday Medley…

Perhaps this can be a new feature: A “medley” of interesting stuff found online? On Mondays (my “day off”) I try to catch up on my blog reading (I use Google Reader to gather lots of posts in one place). I can try to share somethings here with my own brief listing… but don’t look for it until I break away for lunch! — pdb

Dr Russell Moore has a post today on the diminished presence of references to blood in our hymns and worship “Is Your Church Loosing Blood”. His blog typically addresses ethical and theological questions (in a superb way). I plan to add a link for him to my blog roll. Here’s his opening…

American Christianity is far less bloody than it used to be. Songs like “Power in the Blood” or “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood” or “Are You Washed in the Blood?” are still sung in some places, but fewer and fewer, and there aren’t many newer songs or praise choruses so focused on blood. The Cross, yes; redemption, yes; but blood, rarely. We’re eager to speak of life, but hesitant to speak of blood.

• The west coast Ligonier Conference appears to be underway, and Alex Chediak has posted some notes on Dr Michael Horton’s address. (Alex has his own blog here.) The outline mentions 3 things that are “killing us softly” which include: enthusiasm, pragmatism, and consumerism. Chediak writes,

Three things that are having a tremendous effect on turning us from a historic faith towards a more amorphous spirituality — epitomized by the trivializing of God, our human condition, and the salvation wrought by God in Christ for us. God has a supporting role to play in the movie of our life – but the move is about us.

• And Kevin DeYoung has a prayer by Samuel M. Zwemer (c. 1923) for Muslims, and a colored map of Muslim lands on a recent post here.

• Finally, let me share this news from Minneapolis: Pastor John Piper is taking a leave of absence from all ministry, from May 1st to December 31st. The official announcement can be found here. This is not a sabbatical — a period of extended time away from normal ministry for pastors (typical after 7 years in ministry).