David's Blog

Thinking about Sunday gatherings

One of the things we want to encourage among our own members at Inshes is always to be looking out for the visitor, the stranger or the newcomer at our Sunday gatherings, particularly those on their own - here's an article by Rebecca McLaughlin which helps us see why this is so important. It first appeared on the Desiring God website and you can find it here Rebecca McLaughlin - Desiring God 


Make Sunday Mornings Uncomfortable
Three Rules of Engagement at Church
Rebecca McLaughlin

“Sorry to cut you off!” I’d just started connecting with a close friend at church. I was eager to catch up. But as she talked, I noticed a woman sitting alone, thumbing through her service sheet.
Honestly, I wished I hadn’t seen her. Interrupting my friend would be rude. It’s good for me to invest in friends! Someone else will likely spot that woman. These were some of the excuses that ran through my head. But the woman was clearly new, and for all I knew, not a believer. So, reluctantly, I interrupted my friend.

As soon as I sat down with the newcomer, I thanked God I had. Raised Catholic, she hadn’t been to church in over a decade. Her fiancé had just broken up with her right before their wedding, and she needed something else in life. I took a risk and asked if she’d like to come to our community group. She said yes. She’s been coming to church and Bible study ever since.

This was one of many opportunities my husband Bryan and I have had to connect with not-yet-Christians inside our church building. We have very little else in common. I’m an extrovert; he’s an introvert. I’m from England; he’s from Oklahoma. I’m into literature; he’s an engineer. But God drew us together around a shared sense of mission, and Bryan recently expressed that mission in three rules of engagement at church. These rules make our Sundays less comfortable, but more rewarding. If you’re tired of comfortable, you might want to give them a try!

1. An Alone Person in Our Gatherings Is an Emergency
In times of crisis, we do strange things. We interrupt conversations. We set aside social conventions. If someone collapsed in your church building, everyone would mobilise. But every week, people walk into our gatherings for the first time and get effectively ignored. They may not know Jesus, or they may have spent years wandering from him. Their spiritual health is on the line, and a simple conversation could be the IV fluid God uses to prepare them for life-saving surgery. Eternal lives are at stake.

What if it’s a regular church member who is alone? An isolated believer is an emergency too. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples,” said Jesus, “if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Of course, we all enjoy solitude at times, but loneliness in church is as much an indictment on our gatherings as prayerlessness or lack of generosity. How can we claim to be “one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12) when we can’t even sit together and engage one another in church?
I come to church with a family of five. But the primary family unit in the New Testament is not the nuclear family: it’s the church. In fact, Jesus promised that anyone who left family to follow him would receive far more family among his people (Mark 10:29–30). There are tangible ways we can express this in church. Those of us who come with nuclear families can invite others to sit with us, or even separate to sit with others.

Last Sunday, for instance, I chose to sit between two sisters in Christ — one from Nigeria, one from Ghana — and to enjoy worshipping Jesus with them. Being one body with our spiritual siblings means more than sitting with others in church, but it certainly doesn’t mean less.
This call is not just for married people. If you come to church by yourself, don’t underestimate what God could do through you to bless others. A while ago, a single friend shared her sadness about sitting by herself at church. She is a delightful, socially agile extrovert, and I told her she had no right to sit alone when she could be blessing others with her company! My guess is that we have all, at one time or another, walked into a gathering and wondered, “Who will love me?” What if we asked ourselves instead, “Whom can I love?”

2. Friends Can Wait
Did I miss out on intimacy with the friend I interrupted to greet the woman sitting alone? Yes and no. The Bible calls us fellow soldiers (Philippians 2:25Philemon 2), and few bonds are stronger than those forged in battle. Soldiers seldom turn to face each other. Rather, they look outward, standing shoulder to shoulder, or in extreme situations, back to back. Combat increases their closeness.
“Do you recognise that woman?” I asked another friend a few Sundays ago, as we started to talk. “No. I should go and talk to her, shouldn’t I?” she replied. As I saw my friend walk off to greet a newcomer, I felt a closeness I would not have known without our shared endeavour.

Friends can wait for our attention on a Sunday. Better still, they can mobilise in mission too. Spurring each other on to welcome strangers in Christ’s name won’t weaken our friendships; it will deepen them.

3. Introduce Newcomers to Someone Else
A few years ago, I met a woman in the checkout line at Target. She had recently arrived from China and was a visiting scholar at Harvard. We got talking and I took the risk to invite her to church. She said yes. Her English was far better than my non-existent Mandarin, but we were nonetheless relating across a language barrier, so after the service I introduced her to a Chinese-speaking friend. Minutes later, my sister in Christ was exchanging numbers with this newcomer. I hadn’t been able to explain the situation, but my friend immediately recognised the gospel opportunity before her.

Even without a language barrier, newcomers benefit from multiple connections. When possible, I seek someone with an overlap: same country of origin, home state, school, profession, or stage of life. But our gatherings should cut across all demographic lines, and we must commit to connecting with those unlike us.

In fact, if some of our Sunday conversations aren’t difficult — pushing us beyond our usual conversational topics to reach across differences — we’re likely not conducting fellowship right. Calling out the racial, cultural, and social divides of his time, Paul reminded the Colossians that in Christ, “there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11).

Take the Risk
So, this Sunday, let’s take a risk. Let’s reach across the small divides to others as we imitate the one who spanned the great divide for us. And let’s urge our friends to do the same, because the harvest in our gatherings is plentiful.

We may never know what difference a small act of welcome made. But sometimes God lets us see how he has weaved our little acts into his much greater plan. Last month, I asked our Bible study group to share a time when God had brought blessing to them through hardship. The most moving response for me was from the woman for whom I had left my friend that Sunday: “I’m so grateful my fiancé broke up with me. If that hadn’t happened, I would not have found God.”

Rebecca McLaughlin (@RebeccMcLaugh) holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University and a theology degree from Oak Hill Seminary. She is the author of Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion. You can read more of her writing at her website.

Encouragement to make time for God and His Word

Take time. Give God time to reveal Himself to you. Give yourself time to be silent and quiet before Him, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence with you, His power working in you. Take time to read His Word as in His presence, that from it you may know what He asks of you and what He promises you. Let the Word create around you, create within you a holy atmosphere, a holy heavenly light, in which your soul will be refreshed and strengthened for the work of daily life.”  (James Hudson Taylor - founder of China Inland Mission (now Overseas Missionary Fellowship))

What is wisdom? - quote from Joni Eareckson Tada

“Wisdom is not the ability to find all the puzzle pieces and put them back together so that your life makes sense, but real wisdom is trusting God even, and especially, when the pieces don’t fit." - Joni Eareckson Tada

Living with cancer - a moving testimony

Some will know Dominic Smart - for me, a friend and fellow minister though we haven't seen much of each other in recent years. Dominic has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Recently he was interviewed by William Mackenzie of Christian Focus about Living with Cancer. I found his words honest and humble; honouring to God; helpful and hopeful - definitely worth listening to.

I'm afraid I haven't yet worked out how to embed a video into a post but you can click on here - Living with Cancer - Dominic Smart   - and see and hear and the whole interview on Youtube

Struggles & encouragements to pray

Here's some very honest and helpful words of John Newton about praying, which we shared at the Church Prayer time last night:

 “I sometimes think that the prayers of believers afford a stronger proof of a depraved nature than even the profaneness of those who know not the Lord. How strange is it, that when I have the fullest convictions that prayer is not only my duty—not only necessary as the appointed means of receiving these supplies, without which I can do nothing, but likewise the greatest honour and privilege to which I can be admitted in the present life—I should still find myself so unwilling to engage in it. However, I think it is not prayer itself that I am weary of, but such prayers as mine. How can it be accounted prayer, when the heart is so little affected—when it is polluted with such a mixture of vile and vain imaginations—when I hardly know what I say myself—but I feel my mind collected one minute, the next, my thoughts are gone to the ends of the earth. If what I express with my lips were written down, and the thoughts which at the same time are passing through my heart were likewise written between the lines, the whole taken together would be such an absurd and incoherent jumble—such a medley of inconsistency, that it might pass for the ravings of a lunatic. When he points out to me the wildness of this jargon, and asks, is this a prayer fit to be presented to the holy heart-searching God? I am at a loss what to answer, till it is given to me to recollect that I am not under the law, but under grace—that my hope is to be placed, not in my own prayers, but in the righteousness and intercession of Jesus. The poorer and viler I am in myself, so much the more is the power and riches of his grace magnified in my behalf. Therefore I must, and, the Lord being my helper, I will pray on, and admire his condescension and love, that he can and does take notice of such a creature—for the event shows, that those prayers which are even displeasing to myself, partial as I am in my own case, are acceptable to him, how else should they be answered? And that I am still permitted to come to a throne of grace—still supported in my walk and in my work, and that mine enemies have not yet prevailed against me, and triumphed over me, affords a full proof that the Lord has heard and has accepted my poor prayers—yea, it is possible, that those very prayers of ours of which we are most ashamed, are the most pleasing to the Lord, and for that reason, because we are ashamed of them. When we are favoured with what we call enlargement, we come away tolerably satisfied with ourselves, and think we have done well” 

As quoted in a footnote in Tony Reinke's book Newton on the Christian Life: To live is Christ  Crossway 2015 p205

The blessings of being a parent to teenagers

Surprising as it may sound,  Tim Challies loves being a parent to teenagers - here he shares why. This article first appeared on his blog here. Things I love about parenting teenagers
I hope it may be an encouragement to those parents who have teenagers or soon will have.
Tim Challies is a Christian author, blogger and book reviewer. He is also father to 3 teenagers.

I Love Parenting Teenagers!

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,” says Solomon, and “the fruit of the womb a reward.” But to hear it from others, you might think those words don’t apply to teenagers. “Just wait until they’re sixteen,” you often hear older parents say, with a knowing look in their eye. “You think parenting is hard now? Just you wait.” Ever since our children were born—the boy to some degree, but even more so the girls—we’ve been warned about the teenage years, and we have approached them with some trepidation.
Now, with my youngest having just turned thirteen and my eldest not yet twenty, we are in a brief period where all we’ve got is teenagers. And I’m glad to report that those skeptics were wrong. These aren’t the worst years, but the best. I wouldn’t say they are the easiest years, but they’re undoubtedly the most joyful. I absolutely love parenting teenagers, and here are a few of the reasons why.
I love parenting teenagers because it means we’re mostly past the discipline stage. So much of the early days of parenting is trying to teach children not to grievously harm themselves or others. It’s trying to instill within them some basic human morality and some basic social skills. “Don’t touch that. Don’t bite him. Don’t say that word. Don’t go outside naked.” Children are born rebellious and foolish and the early years of parenting are spent convincing them to obey and be wise. These are precious years and often fun years, but it has been a joy to see them give way to another stage of parenting. Parenting teenagers involves a lot less discipline and a lot more persuasion, a lot less “obey me” and a lot more “well, what do you think?” I’ve loved seeing the discipline stage give way to the thinking and reasoning stage. I’ve loved seeing rote obedience give way to thoughtful wisdom.
I love parenting teenagers because we get to watch them profess and prove their faith. The great hope and prayer of every Christian parent is that they would have the joy of seeing their children become followers of Christ. And while many young children genuinely profess faith, it is in the teenage years that they begin to legitimize and prove those professions. As they become independent of mom and dad and as they have more opportunities to make their own choices, they prove that their faith isn’t merely meant to impress or mollify their parents, but that it’s a true faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. There are few greater moments in the life of a parent than hearing their children profess faith and seeing them join into the community of Christians in a local church.
I love parenting teenagers because it gains me new friends. One of the great joys of parenting is finding the parent-child relationship evolving into a peer relationship. This unfolds over time, but really begins to take off in the teenage years. One day you look at your children and realize they aren’t just your kids anymore, but your friends. You realize you’d spend time with these people even if they weren’t related to you. You realize they contribute to your relationship, they speak into your life, in their own ways they model character and godliness to you just as you’ve modeled character and godliness to them. I used to spend time with my children because it was the right thing to do. Now I get to spend time with my children because it’s a joyful and beneficial thing to do.
I love parenting teenagers because we begin to see the fruit of our labor. We know before we set out that parenting will be difficult. We find that our parents weren’t lying when they said, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” We find that there’s real pain in seeing the foolishness deep in the hearts of our children and real pain in disciplining them toward wisdom. Yet as the years unfold and our children grow older, we begin to see the fruit of our labor. Our children begin to step into the wider world through education and vocation, and, lo and behold, they function as well-trained, contributing members of society. They begin to serve in the local church and to prove a blessing to others there. They begin to show love to us in new ways, and to show that at some point they will be able and willing to care for us in old age as we cared for them in childhood.
I love parenting teenagers because it forces us to keep growing. It isn’t too difficult to pull the wool over the eyes of young children, to expect one kind of behavior from them while permitting a very different kind of behavior from ourselves. But teenagers are finely-tuned hypocrisy detectors. They see where our walk doesn’t match our talk, where our expectations for ourselves are much lower than our expectations for them. We can’t get away with speaking words we’ve told them not to speak, with using tones we’ve told them not to use, with watching shows we’ve forbidden them from seeing. They begin to call us on it, and rightly so. Meanwhile, their questions grow deeper and their situations more complicated. We need much greater wisdom to lead five or six people than we need for only one or two. In this way, they push us to keep growing in character and godliness, to keep mining the depths of God’s Word and to keep faithfully applying it to our lives and their own.
I loved the baby stage. I loved the toddler stage. I loved the little kid stage. But I think I love the teenage stage even more. In fact, I expect it will be matched and surpassed only by being the parents of adults. In the meantime, I love having teenagers and am thrilled to parent them through these crucial years.

A prayer for Good Friday

I found these words of singer/songwriter Stuart Townend. They were inspired after his reading the  book The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers brought together by Arthur Bennett. They struck me as an appropriate prayer for Good Friday (though not just for then)

Blessèd Spirit of the King,
Of grace and love the Author,
Work repentance deep within,
And bend me at Your altar.
Melt my heart with majesty,
Then show my ruined self to me;
Teach me to more clearly see
Your might and will to save me.
Here I place without reserve
My soul in faith and meekness,
Trusting in Christ’s power and love
To flourish in my weakness.
Cause my days on earth to be
Through time and through eternity
A trophy of His victory,
A monument to mercy.
Teach me to behold my God,
And trust His power to save me,
Arms outstretched in constant love,
Whose strength will never fail me.
Help me to commune with Him,
Depend and follow after Him,
That through my life His peace will reign,
And joy be my companion.
Stuart Townend Copyright © 2006 Thankyou Music 

The 6Ms of Fruitfulness on our Frontlines

Here's a reminder of the 6 M's of Fruitfulness on our Frontlines - 6 things to pray we may do & be in the places and among the people that God has set us. so that we might make a difference to His glory and to the blessing of others, as a means of pointing them to the Lord Jesus:

M1    Modelling godly character - The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22-23) at work in your actions, words and thoughts

M2    Making good work - Doing everything to and for the glory of God

M3     Ministering grace and love - Going the extra mile for others 

M4      Moulding culture - Finding ways to make changes for the better

M5      Being a Mouthpiece for truth and justice - Combatting lies, snuffing out gossip, working for justice

M6      Being a Messenger of the gospel - Sharing the hope that you have in Jesus and the difference he makes to your life

6 things a Christian should tell themselves every day

Knowing God by J I Packer was one of the first Christian books I ever read. It is a wonderful book - here Justin Taylor summarises some of the key points of Packer's chapter on adoption.
The original article appeared on the Gospel Coalition website here Packer & 6 things to tell yourself every day

J. I. Packer on the 6 Things You Should Tell Yourself Every Day
Justin Taylor


Spiritual adoption is a big deal for the practical theology of J. I. Packer.

In Knowing God J. I. Packer writes:

If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father.
If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.

He says that if he were to focus the New Testament message in three words, he would choose

adoption through propitiation.

“I do not expect,” he writes, “ever to meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than that.”

How would Packer summarise the whole of New Testament teaching?

a revelation of the Fatherhood of the holy Creator.

He summarises the whole of New Testament religion as

the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father.

He writes:

Everything that Christ taught,

everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old,

everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish,

is summed up in

the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God.

Packer says that each of us should ask ourselves the following questions:

Do I, as a Christian, understand myself?

Do I know my own real identity?

My own real destiny?

Calling this “the Christian’s secret of a Christian life and of a God-honouring life,” he says that we should take the following truths and “Say it over and over to yourself first thing in the morning, last thing at night, as your wait for the bus, any time your mind is free, and ask that you may be enabled to live as one who knows it is all utterly and completely true.”

  1. I am a child of God.
  2. God is my Father.
  3. Heaven is my home.
  4. Every day is one day nearer.
  5. My Saviour is my brother.
  6. Every Christian is my brother too.

If you haven’t read Packer’s chapter on adoption in Knowing God, I highly recommend it.

Encouragement for every Christian in today's world

Here's an important reminder from Rebecca McLaughlin of the strength of Christianity in today's world and an encouragement not to be ashamed of Christ or his gospel but rather to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3.15) 
The original article appeared on the Gospel Coalition here Rebecca McLaughlin

Christians, It’s Time to Go on the Offensive

When it comes to giving reasons for our faith, we Christians are playing far too defensive a game.
We’ve believed that Christianity is declining. It isn’t. We’ve assumed Christianity can’t stand up in the university. It can. Too many of us think Christianity is threatened by diversity. It never has been. And too few of us think Christian sexual ethics are sustainable in the modern world. They are. On these and many other fronts, we have conceded far more ground to secularism than it deserves.
But we’ve also been playing too aggressive a game. We’ve majored on point-scoring and culture-warring, when the Bible calls us to “gentleness and respect” (1 Pet. 3:15). We’ve propagated weak arguments without listening to real experts. And we’ve blindly stepped out into cultural traffic, rather than taking our lead from those with the credibility to speak.
If we are to be faithful in this cultural moment, we must be neither retreaters nor attackers, neither (needlessly) defensive nor (faithlessly) aggressive. Instead, we must go on a “gentle offensive.” Here are five things that will help.

1. Know Our Moment

Forty years ago, sociologists predicted religious decline. Modernization had bred secularization in Western Europe, and where Western Europe led (so the logic went), the rest of the world would follow.
But that prophecy failed.
To the surprise of many in the Western academy, the question for the next generation is not, ‘How soon will religion die out?’ but ‘Christianity or Islam?’
In the West, religious identification has certainly declined and looks set to decline further. But the rest of the world has not followed suit. In the next 40 years, Christianity is set to remain the world’s largest belief system, claiming 32 percent of the global population (a 1 percent increase over its current share), while Islam is expected to grow substantially from 24 percent to 31 percent. Meanwhile, the portion of humanity that does not identify with any particular religion (including atheists, agnostics, and “nones”) is set to decline from 16 percent to 13 percent. Indeed, if China swings toward Christianity as rapidly as some experts expect, the non-religious category could shrink even more, and the proportion of Christians would increase.
To the surprise of many in the Western academy, the question for the next generation is not, “How soon will religion die out?” but “Christianity or Islam?”

2. Level the Playing Field

The New Atheists claimed that religion poisons everything. This warps the thinking of our secular friends, but it doesn’t line up with the facts. A large body of empirical evidence shows that regular religious participation is good for individuals and good for society. In America, those who attend church weekly or more are 20 percent to 30 percent less likely to die over a 15-year period, suffer less from depression, are less likely to commit suicide, and are less likely to divorce.
We all know the health benefits of exercise, quitting smoking, and eating more fruits and vegetables. But it turns out that going to church at least once a week is correlated with equivalently good health outcomes to any of these! And the benefits extend to others. In his 2018 book The Character Gap: How Good Are We?, philosopher Christian Miller observes that “literally hundreds of studies” link religious participation with better moral outcomes. In North America, regular service attenders donate 3.5 times the money given by their nonreligious counterparts per year and volunteer more than twice as much. Meanwhile, levels of domestic violence in a U.S. sample were almost twice as high for men who didn’t attend church versus those who attended once a week or more, and religious participation has also been linked to lower rates for 43 other crimes.
Many of these effects aren’t exclusive to Christianity, but they give the lie to the idea that secularization is good for society. Why have we heard a different message? As atheist social psychologist Jonathan Haidt warns, “You can’t use the New Atheists as your guide” on these matters, because “the new atheists conduct biased reviews of the literature and conclude that there is no good evidence on any benefits except the health benefits of religion.”

3. Reclaim Diversity

Celebration of diversity is a core secular liberal value. But when it comes to diversity, the cards are firmly in our hands. Christianity is the most culturally and ethnically diverse belief system in the world. Further, as we look at the demographics of Christianity in North America, two themes stand out. First, people of colour are far more likely to be religious than whites are. Across every index of Christian participation, black Americans poll substantially higher than whites—often by as much as 20 percentage points—while Latino Americans are also more likely than whites to identify as Christians. Second, in line with global trends, women are significantly more likely to be active Christians than men are. The gender gap is smaller than the racial gap. Black American men are more religious than white American women. But it’s still significant. Conversely, among American atheists white men are overrepresented.
Christianity is the most culturally and ethnically diverse belief system in the world.
And this is no accident. Christianity was fiercely multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural from the start, and the church throughout history has always been majority-female. When we think about our cultural moment, therefore, we need to stop lamenting how the church is being eroded by demographic forces beyond our control, and start celebrating what God is doing through his glorious mixed-multitude of a church.

4. Field Our A-Team

Twenty-five years ago, historian Mark Noll wrote these damning words: “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” For much of the 20th century, many evangelicals saw the simplicity of the gospel as a mandate for intellectual laziness. But Christianity is the greatest intellectual movement in all of history! Christians invented the university. Schools like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and Yale were founded specifically to glorify God. Even academic disciplines that are supposed to have discredited faith turn out to have deep Christian roots: For example, the modern scientific method was first developed by Christians because they believed in a Creator God.
When it comes to the university, we’re not begging for a place at the table or trying to chop it up for firewood. We’re pulling up a chair to the table we built. But in the academic realm, as in other areas, we need to seek out our experts—the thousands of Christian professors whom God has raised up in universities—and learn from their work and let them lead.
Christianity is the greatest intellectual movement in history. . . . When it comes to the academic world, we shouldn’t meekly ask for a place at the table. We should pull up a chair to the table we built.
Likewise, when it comes to other areas of cultural engagement, we need to let our most credible voices speak. In a world where Christians are seen as homophobic bigots, we need to get behind the biblically faithful, same-sex-attracted Christians God has raised up to speak for and to his church. In a world where Christianity is dismissed as a white man’s religion, we need to get behind biblically faithful men and women of colour. And in a world where Christianity is thought to denigrate women, we need to get behind biblically faithful, rhetorically gifted women—particularly on issues like abortion, where being pro-life is often (falsely) equated with being anti-women.
None of this means bowing to identity politics. Truth is truth, whoever is voicing it. But God has raised up leaders whose voices can be heard. We need to field our A-team in the public square. And the rest of us must follow their lead.

5. Raise Our Game

When Jesus first preached, the harvest was plentiful. The same is true in America today. Encouragingly, much of the trumpeted decline within American Christianity has come from nominal or theologically liberal denominations—while more full-blooded, evangelical faith persists. Moreover, while many Americans have switched from identifying as Christian to identifying with no religion, the traffic is by no means one-way. A recent study found that while 80 percent of those raised Protestant in the United States continued to identify as Protestant in adulthood, only 60 percent of those raised non-religious kept away from religion when they grew up, with many converting to Christianity. Being non-religious turns out to be quite hard to sustain over multiple generations.
We must ensure it’s the stumbling block of Christ our friends trip on, not an obstacle course of myths we could dispel.
Rather than battening down the hatches, therefore, we need to go on an evangelism offensive. The secular consensus is crumbling, and we must humbly make the most of every opportunity—in the dorm room, at the bus stop, or by the water cooler. But we need to raise our game.
To be sure, if we’re sharing the gospel faithfully, we’ll often meet rejection. Only God can open blinded eyes, and we must pray like people’s lives depend on it—because they do. But we must ensure it’s the stumbling block of Christ our friends trip on, not an obstacle course of myths we could dispel.
So let’s field our A-team and go on an evangelism offensive with diligence, gentleness, and respect. Because Jesus is no relic from the ancient world. He is our modern world’s best hope.
Rebecca McLaughlin holds a PhD from Cambridge University and a theology degree from Oak Hill seminary in London. She is a regular writer for The Gospel Coalition and her first book, Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion, will be published by Crossway in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter or at www.rebeccamclaughlin.org.
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