Theology of World Missions - Lesson 18

Christ and Culture (Part 2)

World missions is a fundamental theme throughout the Bible. The book "Christ and Culture" proposes four models to explain the relationship between the Church and the world. Some people emphasize scriptures that focus on evangelism and others emphasize scriptures that teach the importance of meeting peoples' physical needs.

Note: The David Bosch Grid and Hans Kung Paradigm chart may be posted in the future but are not available at this time.

Peter Kuzmič
Theology of World Missions
Lesson 18
Watching Now
Christ and Culture (Part 2)

Christ and Culture


1. Biblical Theology vs. Systematic Theology

2. The God of the Bible is a missionary God

3. The Church of the epistles is a missionary Church

4. Climax of history is a missionary climax

5. Summary of "Christ and Culture"

6. Three middle positions between the extremes of isolationism and secularism

7. Inner biblical criticism

8. Consultation on Relationship between Evangelism and Social Responsibility

  • Dr. Kuzmic provides a framework for the class based on 6 specific statements about a theology of missions. Our theology determines our worldview. We must live as citizens of two kingdoms. We need a theologically grounded missiology and a missiological focused theology.

  • Dr. Kuzmic talks about how God saved him and about his cultural background in Eastern Europe.

  • Developing your spirituality and practicing prayer are important elements in achieving a well-balanced theology. The Creator of heaven and earth is Lord of the nations. God promised to bless the whole world through Abraham. Throughout history, different people have applied that promise as a right of privilege for themselves rather than a call to service to others. God calls people, then sends them.

  • The book of Psalms is one of the greatest missionary books in the world. Isaiah's description of Messianic fulfillment at the end of history is a reminder of the role of Messianic people within history, similar to the "already but not yet" of the "kingdom of God" in the New Testament. Quiz questions are included at the end to clarify what Dr. Kuzmic thinks are the important points and because he includes some commentary on central issues of missions.

  • Professor Doug Birdsall first discusses the work of the Church in Asia. He then talks about 3 aspects of missions work: 1. Forming partnerships, 2. Sending churches, 3. Funding. One of the fastest growing groups of the Church in China is composed of urban intellectuals. In India, Mongolia, Nepal and Cambodia, in addition to China, there are great opportunities as well as challenges.

  • Doug Birdsall continues by describing how to establish cross-cultural partnerships. Some of the most important considerations are determining what the needs are, selecting national leaders wisely, and planning for the national leaders to take complete control at some point.

  • 80-2000 project The scope of the Great Commission includes both the nation of Israel and the whole world. Matthew chapters 9 and 10 describe people as lost (sheep without a shepherd) and valuable (the harvest is plentiful). Jesus saw and had compassion. The heart of missions is seeing people the way Jesus sees them and loving them the way Jesus loves them.

  • Discussion of the meaning and application of this key passage of Scripture.

  • Joanne Harding about the AIDs crisis in Africa. It is a tragedy and a major challenge for world missions. A panel of experienced missionaries discusses the calling to be a missionary and practical ways to prepare to be a missionary.

  • Dr David Hilborn, Head of Theology Evangelical Alliance in the UK, discusses the theological framework of universalism, its historical development and the impact that it has on missions.

  • The political and religious climate in Yugoslavia creates unique challenges for people who are preaching the gospel there.

  • Dr. Timothy Tennent points out that the spread of vibrant Christianity in areas of the world besides the west, and the clash of Christianity with major world religions outline the framework for the focus of world missions.

  • Dr. Timothy Tennent shows how Christianity compares to other world religions by citing case studies of discussions with individuals of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Evangelicals must engage more seriously and more profoundly in the thought world of other religions.

  • What does Christ have to do with culture and what does the Church have to do with the world? Isolationists separate themselves and cannot have a significant impact on the world around them. Secularists identify with the world by compromising core beliefs to match the culture and don't have an impact because they are no different from the people around them. The Church often evangelizes from a distance instead of entering into the lives of people.

  • People will often respond more positively to the Gospel if you first find common ground in practical areas and use culture as a bridge for the Gospel into the world. The Gospel has to be forwarded to a new address for every generation.

  • Chuck Davis from Africa Inland Mission describes mission work in Africa and his personal experiences in Congo, Chad and other African countries.

  • The Gospel is a message that addresses sin in the lives of individuals and transforms society in areas like justice and charity.

  • World missions is a fundamental theme throughout the Bible. The book "Christ and Culture" proposes four models to explain the relationship between the Church and the world. Some people emphasize scriptures that focus on evangelism and others emphasize scriptures that teach the importance of meeting peoples' physical needs.

    Note: The David Bosch Grid and Hans Kung Paradigm chart may be posted in the future but are not available at this time.

  • The Lausanne Conference on World Evangelism provided a forum for Christian leaders from different countries and denominations to establish some common goals and principles for communicating the Gospel and caring for people all over the world.

    Note: The David Bosch Grid and Hans Kung Paradigm chart may be posted in the future but is not available at this time.

Dr. Kuzmič provides a framework for a theology of world missions based on a biblical worldview. We must live as citizens of two kingdoms. Our missiology needs to be theologically grounded, and our theology, missiologically focused. The documents that were written by delegates at the Lausanne Conference on World Missions have had a significant influence in defining and encouraging the practical application of a biblical view of world missions.

Theology of World Missions
Dr. Peter Kuzmič
Christ and Culture
Lesson Transcript


Let us begin with a word of prayer. Our father. We thank you that you have not left the world in darkness. But did you have send your son who is the life of the world in the light of the world, who through incarnation, became one of us? And yet, because he never sinned, because he was at the same time your son was qualified to take our sins to the cross. And we thank you. For atonement, for Grace. But we also thank you for the tremendous privilege we have being not only called by you to experience your grace, but sent by you into the world to proclaim your saving gospel to the nations. And as we played that in this last session of this class. And just before Thanksgiving, as our hearts are again filled with gratitude for many good things you have provided for us. I pray that you will again illumined our minds. And set our hearts ablaze with the flame of your redeeming love. That we may truly be the ambassadors of your kingdom among the broken kingdoms of this world, and as many through our witness, may come to know you as their Savior and Lord. For we ask in your name and with the help of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Before we continue our discussion on Christ and culture, because that's about to be broken off a week ago, let me just come back to recapitulate and complete something that we did at the very beginning, and it seems to me renewing my notes that I may have not, may not have had, and that the final part of it, we will not spend much time on that in our biblical survey of theology of missions. We put it in the form of five theses.


As you look at this, as if you have your notes with you go back to the very beginning. What we did is to show the biblical foundations for missions. But not to limited to just one or two texts of the Great Commission. Which most of you did know in the diagnostic test that we did at the very beginning. This is intentional here to put it in a kind of a Trinitarian framework to start with science to help us think theologically about the biblical material. I'm sure those of you who are not new to the seminary training, you've heard from other professors and from my colleagues in the Systematic Theology department, the difference between biblical theology and systematic theology and if you offer an answer. What is the difference between biblical theology and systematic theology like that? Good. With the help of Thomas Aquinas, who was helped by Aristotle. But the picture that is very often used used is that biblical theology is like when you go out into the nature and you look for flowers and trees and so on, and you'll find them spread all over the place, but not necessarily or actually in most cases, not in an orderly manner. And systematic theology is like when you go to the botanical garden. And you have them categorized and classified, but you always know where to go to find a certain species. And so if you look for, say, biblical doctrine of so teleology of salvation or Christology of Christ, you go all over the place. Of course there are those specially concentrated passages or books if you're studying, you know, theology and you want to look at justification by faith. You know, there are books in the Bible that you will not find much help.


That's why Luther, by his emphasis on justification by faith, doesn't consider the book of James very helpful, actually called it because he does throw out an epistle, the strongly epistle. But what elevate Romans two no matter owner and Galatians two no metal door. But if you go to systematic theology, you'll have things very clearly laid out. And by the way, your writing, your credo. A personal credo. You have studied the Lausanne Covenant and you see that that is a kind of a systematic summary, a synthesis, starting with either the doctrine of God or the doctrine of Scripture. The best thing is maybe to start with the doctrine of Scripture, because that's that's our basis. You know, and then you go to the living God and then you go to God, the Father and God the Son Christ, and you go to the Holy Spirit. Anyhow, this is a combination of the two. We did a little biblical survey, but we tried to put it in some systematic order. So we said, God of the Old Testament is a missionary God. We spend quite a bit of time there because that's where it needs most convincing, because many Christians have a problem of seeing Old Testament as a missionary book. But you will remember from Genesis 12 the calling of Abraham and the promise to him that he will be a blessing to all nations on through the history of especially prophetic recalling of this nation back to their purpose, to be a blessing to the nations, to be a light to the nations, and then those in the prophets, especially Isaiah, the most Christological prophet, as well as the passages in Psalms where you find the nations goyim everywhere. God of the Old Testament is our missionary God.


He is sending He is sending not only the covenant community to proclaim His glory among the nations he is sending by His very nature He sends to his own people the patriarchs, the prophets, etc., to remind them what God's calling is all about. Christ of the Gospels is a missionary Christ. We don't need to dwell on that. The Holy Spirit of Acts is a missionary spirit. And you will recall that I quoted Harry Boyer, reformed theologian, who explains why the Great Commission is not mentioned in the Book of Acts. You recall that. Because the dynamics of the Holy Spirit has driven down the church to the missions. They did not need to be reminded. They did not need to be put a guilt trip on, as some missionaries do when they come to congregations and they preach missions and great evangelists do it as they try to mobilize people to witness for Christ. When the spirit is present, it comes naturally. The Holy Spirit of Acts is a missionary spirit and was in that context that we emphasized that the Day of Pentecost was a missionary event. Okay. We moved on to the Church of the Apostles as that missionary church. And we said that the church is God's missionary community. It is, as I have later emphasized in the lectures and in the discussions, the church is the community of the king representing the kingdom with the message of the king. Recall, please, our emphasis on the Kingdom of God as both the foundational and operative principle of Biblical theology and theology of missions. And then we moved on to the Church of the Apostles as a missionary church that they are. We even had a guest, you will recall, a missionary guest talking about that.


And we have provided a numerous examples. And then we come to the Book of Revelation. This is a kind of a broad, big brush survey to show that the very nature of the biblical revelation is missionary, as the very nature of God is missionary, as the very nature of the church is to be a missionary community. I'm emphasizing this because there is a widespread, I will use a strong word, intentionally widespread heresy even in the evangelical circles. That mission is an appendix. That missions issomething optional that missions is something add that you know. At the end. And so the church, you see that way, you know, you have a mission's emphasis this week as if missions was not to be emphasized. Every time God's people meet because we don't meet just to glorify our Lord, because you cannot glorify him if you don't represent him in the world. So mission is not optional. It is mandatory. It is not an appendix. It's not something marginal. It is central. It is at the very center of God, of God's redemptive purposes in the world. And so we come to the Book of Revelation and we say, and this is a kind of our needs summary, okay? One would need to and one can elaborate that in many various ways for which we don't have enough time. Maybe if we if this class was just a biblical basis for missions, then we will do, of course, much more exegesis. But I hope that this overall perspective helps you change your paradigm. And see the centrality of missions in both biblical revelation, the church life, etc.. Now Book of Revelation, the climax of the book Revelation. Because here we come to the climax of history is our missionary climax.


Let me illustrate this just with two scriptures that you know well, so we don't need to execute them, but they really put it in a marvelous way what this climax is all about. And the first one is from Revelation seven. After this, John the Seer says, I looked and there before me. Was a great multitude that no one could count. I remember hearing in an evangelical group under persecution in Bulgaria, and I heard something similar in former Soviet Union, sometimes after a kind of a theology that very few will be saved and they would support it with scriptures like Blessed are you the little flock. The little flock. It's the theology of the little flock. And you have that in the more legalistic groups. The Plymouth Brethren in Great Britain have. To some extent, that theology of the little flock. And I was always troubled by that even before I discovered scriptures, that the importance of scriptures like this. I was troubled for another reason, because I felt that that theology was really an insult to Christ and to his blood shed on the cross, as if by his atoning, that he was not able to accomplish more. Okay. Just a little flock. Of course, the other reason why that troubles you is that that is taken out of context. Jesus is talking to his disciples. And both he and they are in an antagonistic environment and they are little flock. But when you come to the day of Pentecost and you see thousands save, thousands responding and a little later, another 3000 added five plus three. And then you read on and look at the salvation history and come to the culmination of history in the Book of Revelation. As we are giving this insight in what the final banquet will be all about when the redeemed come and you read after this.


I looked and there before me was a little flock, a great multitude that no one could count. And I look at the international dimension and inter-racial dimension from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne and in front of the lamb, they were wearing white robes and were holding pound branches in the hands. And they cried out in a loud voice salvation. And we've heard this sang in different ways, and we've got it in Music Express because it's one of those great passages. Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the lamb. And George Frideric Handel discovered that, as did so many others. So the climax of the Book of Revelation is a missionary climax. As they come from every tribe and every nation, every language. And they come from the north and they come from the south. Now, just one more scripture, and then we'll leave the biblical survey behind us, but never leave the biblical material behind the Ark. That's what makes a distinction between an evangelical and a liberal, because the basis and the role of our faith, as well as the source of renewal, is the biblical revelation. It's not the human reason. It's not some kind of an ecumenical, synchronistic mishmash. It is God's word. Okay. I just want to bring another scripture in. Although this one would need an exegesis in a broader context for which we do not have time. The city. We are talking about the New Jerusalem, the Eternal City. Does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it for the glory of God gives it light and the lamp is its lamb. Revelation 2123 And we go on and all you see, the nations plural, will walk by its light and the kings of the art will bring their splendor into it.


On no day will its gates ever be shut for There will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. You see the scope. Not only of divine light but also of human representation as the collective term nations is used when that final encounter in glory is recorded. I promise that we will do a kind of a summary of Christ and culture. You will recall that we tried to simplify matters a little bit, will complicate them in a minute or two again. And that's because the topic is so complex. But it helps to try different handles. Different approaches on the same complex topic. I think we have looked at that before. One could reduce the church, the world relations to four models, the church as separate from the world. The church that controls the world. The media evil. The church as a servant of the world. And the church. And a world in creative tension. What I am doing here is trying to help you understand David Bosch also and his paradigms. To kind of summarize more complex material. Because if you will teach a course in a Sunday school or you will try to preach on these topics, David Bosch will overwhelm you. You need, however, to master him because he will at the same time clarify many things for you and will provide you with very helpful illustrations. But one way of simplifying this are these four models. If the world here is synonymous with culture and if the church is to be an expression of Christ, if we allow that anonymity to work for us, then H. Richard Niebuhr can be of great help to us. And I would suggest to all of you who have not read that classic Christ in culture that you acquire it.


It's available in paperback. It would be on any list of 100 most influential Christian books written in English. Age Richard Nabors, a Christ in Culture would be there. And even if you reduce it to, say, 50 most important books, it still might make it. That is debatable, but let's leave it there. Now, what I've given you is what I have here on a transparency. And I would like us to discuss this a little bit. You probably see better what I've handed you. Then you can see what I have here on the wall. So follow your text. I don't like the left and right categories. Because they unfortunately have political overtones. And we have to learn to think theologically rather than ideologically. So much of Christian church is tempted to think and act ideologically rather than theologically. And so you have the base communities in Latin America, and they tend to think in more Marxist terms. And you have the establishment, the bishops and the dictators there, and they think in more in rightist, ultraconservative terms. But we too easily identified the Left with the liberal and the right with conservative because there is a correspondence. Dana, you know, the left right division when it was first introduced in the legislative body of France was actually the right. The people sitting on the right were the more conservative, the further right would be the more conservative, and there would be a strong center and there would be the left. I said last week I had a plenary at the Evangelical Theological Society, which met just prior to the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. And I probably did say that in the class that what troubles me at times about evangelicals in North America is I hear the question, the ideological question asked all the time who is right and who is left, what is right and what is left.


And I don't hear enough. The ethical question asked what is right and what is wrong? And Christians should ask ethical questions more than ideological questions. Of course, ethical questions are linked to theological questions. And that's why at the beginning we also put an emphasis on the importance, you will recall, of development of a full fledged, biblically based worldview, because without that, we don't have a basis for a value system for ethics and morality. If the problem on the issue or the question of truth of epistemological is not clear, not defined, we do not have a basis for ethics. This is increasingly important as we enter the era of postmodernity in the Western world. Okay, Now, with these reservations about the left and right, look at the outline here. Take provisionally the left as more liberal and the right as more conservative, and then find where the center is. The categories are taken verbatim from Niebuhr. From crisis and culture. But then we have some further elaboration and a kind of an evangelical definition of certain basic terms. If you recall the outline I gave you last time, you will see that this one corresponds to that one. And by the way, if I may give away a little secret of successful learning. It always helps to work with analogies. Or, as I said earlier, don't have more than one handle. With which you tackle the reality. And so here we are using two or three various handles, and some of them are rather simple, like this one. But they help us because they reduce a complex reality to a manageable outline. But you cannot stay there because if you do, you will do violence to a complex reality, because every generalization is a simplification by its very nature and every simplification by its very nature, although it is very helpful pedagogically, every simplification is a distortion of truth or a reduction of truth.


And so you have to come back and even this is a generalization and therefore simplification. If you have John Howard Yoder's criticism. Of your neighbor. And if you are really into the topic, I would suggest that you look for it. Because John Howard Yoder from an Anabaptist tradition, which is more, well, let me not going to this, this will this will take another 20 minutes and we don't have the time to discuss this. How many of you have read anything by Yoder, which won the politics of Jesus or his priesthood? All believers. Okay. Excellent. Excellent collection. Yeah. Here is an Anabaptist Thinker writer, a mennonite who ended his career at the University of Notre Dame, where only the best evangelicals get a chance to teach. And I have had discussions with John Howard, the other because he taught for me in a graduate program that I was directing in Eastern Europe. I had discussions with him that and elsewhere, because I could not be a pacifist, at least not a consistent pacifist, because I've seen too many innocent people suffer. And I think that you can afford the luxury of pacifism if somebody attacks you. But if somebody is killing the innocent, you have to look for a way to stop the hand of the killer. But I found John Howard Yoder, one of the most one of the sharpest analytic, razor sharp thinking. And you can learn a lot from him. So anyhow, I'm throwing this in as a plus. That is not required. But if you are intellectually curious and want to see a somewhat different perspective, you will profit greatly by seeing how Yoda would interact with Niebuhr and not only with Richard Niebuhr, but also and especially with his brother, Reinhold Niebuhr, who was a great proponent of the just war theory, for example, and especially during the Second World War.


Okay. This is somebody's paradigmatic outline of the Christ and culture. And notice on the left, you have the more liberal or the very liberal position that leads to accommodation. Where our culture is idealized and we are really not to transform it, not to resist it. We are just bringing a better, more ideal, but affecting dimension to it. While if you go to the very right. You'll see the other extreme right, and that is denial or total rejection of culture. That's why the first one would be called accommodationist. Or as we called it when I started when we started discussion of this and I started from the most simple one, the extremes, there were secularists and isolationist. The accommodationist would be the secularist, and then Christ against the culture would be the isolationist or separatist. So the either anti cultural attitude or being absorbed, assimilated by culture and losing your identity. Now, between these two extremes. You have three central options. And if you are Lutheran, you will go with Christ in culture, in paradox. Definitely if you are Calvinist, Augustinian type. Jonathan Edwards and even John Wesley. For our Methodist friends, not to be discouraged, you will go with Christ. The transformer of culture. Not with a dualist, but with a conversion approach that has a worldview which says that not only men and women. Sorry about the language here. Not other human beings need to be converted and transformed, but that we have a cultural mission and that this where salt and light metaphors come in very helpful. If you now recall your reading in of John, start at the very beginning of this course. Does it feel to you like it feels to me that we've been long on this journey, although it's only three months.


You've already forgotten what you read. And John stopped, right? You have not. That's why maybe we should organize a major comprehensive exam now. Okay. The Christ above culture here is very interesting because one could say that that is a Catholic position. Those of you who have taken the course with me, evangelical perspectives in Roman Catholicism and Eastern orthodoxy. As you look at this, you will recognize some of the things we discussed when we were at the documents of the Second Vatican Council. One very interesting thing is going on in the evangelical world, and that is very recently, very recent phenomenon. I don't know whether any of you have discovered that or whether any of our professors have mentioned it, and that is that many evangelicals. Here in the reformed camp are beginning to discover acquiring us as an ally. Have you have you seen that in recent evangelical thinking? I think Norm Geisler actually wrote a book on Aquinas, and one of the younger evangelical scholars did recently to see because Aquinas, we have shied away from Thomas Aquinas and his Summa theological because you you get the impression, you know, that is all a medieval Roman Catholic stuff. Well, it is very interesting that acquiring us is not your typical Roman Catholic when it comes to Mariology. He doesn't go as far as most of the Catholics do. And when it comes to papal authority, you can hardly find him affirming it in any special way. But here he is placed, of course, in this category, and rightfully so, because he does rediscover and with the help of Aristotle, he does rediscover somehow the what is called theology release natural theology, the divine revelation, not a just vertical, something coming from above. Certainly not the modern understanding, but an understanding that God has made himself known not only in the Book of Scriptures, but also in the Book of Nature.


And that that book of nature needs to be studied for It does lead you to a knowledge of who God is. The debates. Whether that's sufficient for salvation or not are not necessarily in this class. Since we are an evangelical seminary and I think it is very clear what an evangelical position is, we see natural theology as mostly helpful when it comes to apologetics. But we don't see it as sufficient and clear when it comes to salvation. Although if I may throw in here Alister McGrath, who is coming to our campus for the King Institute conference, I think in March. I've recently had an email from him and have responded recently to a paper of his that was at the end of August back in Oxford. Alister McGrath, who has a PhD in science and is a professor of historical theology at the University of Oxford and a principal of an Anglican evangelical college there, has recently produced. And he's a very prolific writer on a number of subjects and a reformation of scholar body excellence. And InterVarsity Press has published a number of books by his, including The Passion for Truth. He has produced Mega three volume theology, which is called scientific theology. I've read only the first volume, but for those of you who are graduating soon with an M.D. program and you have a bent for theology and systematic theology in particular, and you're wondering what to advise your wife to buy for you for Christmas or for graduation, Ask for the three volume Scientific theology by Alister McGrath. And it looks like this is going to be the field. The challenge, the arena of the most fruitful, most important encounter in the decades ahead, namely the encounter of Christian theology and science.


So Alister, that I think is right on the track there. And if you go to the Templeton Foundation Web page, you will discover that Sir Templeton John Templeton is financing Major Ask Ask. Professor Jack Davis I think he received a grant for them and has recently published an book also in the area of science and theology. And that is, by the way, a missionary, a new missionary encounter, a new mission field for us also. I wish. We could on this blessed, isolated Holy Mountain or organize encounters where we could bring, say, a class like this 50 theology students and bring 50 engineering, physics, math students from MIT. Not just those who believe, but those who don't believe or those who are searching and have a fruitful encounter. Okay. Any questions about this outline here, helping us to understand various ways the Christian church and Christian theology has tried to relate or has failed to relate. To the social realities of the world. This is crucial for missions because people here on the left. I say, What are you talking about? Missions. There is no need for missions. Actually, they will not say that. They will just define missions differently. While people on the right. I mean, not go to the extreme, but I'd say here while say, holistic mission, this is what we would call holistic mission. This is where John Start would come in. This is where David Bosch would come in. This is where much of the reading in the book toward Century 21 in Christian Mission would come in either in any of these two categories. If you want me to simplify this a little bit further by answering the question what's liberal and what's evangelical here, one should say that evangelicals in any of these three categories.


And this would be a more holistic evangelicalism and this would be more fundamentalist like reactionary evangelicalism. You had a question that. Yeah, about other Buffalo representatives. We're there, but I would not do it this way. This is taken from edge. Richard Niebuhr I believe in the unity of the biblical revelation. But he would probably and Richard Niebuhr is not alive, but you've got him in the class. And people who did hear him and knew him said that he was unlike his brother, Reinhold. He was not really this robust fighter. He was a very kind person and deeply spiritual. He would probably say, well, I, I have put them here symbolically not making a theological statement about honesty or the value of the book. Because that liberals do that. I have been involved considerably at the encouragement of John Start, as anyone Jellicle observer and evangelical evaluator at the World Council of Churches meetings. Also has Dr. Richard Loveless, and I don't know where the interview had classes with him because he's a professor emeritus, but it is true. I was shocked, actually. I discovered at first through the Divinity School here at Harvard 30 plus years ago, where the liberals were emphasizing Jesus. And the Conservatives were emphasizing. Paul and I have a problem with that, because if you do this, what do you do with the Christian faith? I've got a colleague in a doctoral program who was a Jew. But he liked some things about Jesus. And he said, Well, you know, Jesus is all right. But this rascal, Paul, when he came in, he betrayed Jesus. He distorted him. And on and on he went. And if you dialog with some of the liberal clergy, you will hear this argument someday, not with that bad language calling Paul rascal.


But they would say that Paul has kind of trying to adapt Jesus for the Greco-Roman world. He's actually betrayed him because he stripped him of his Semitic clothing. So it's very important when you look at, okay, I'm pointing to my rent. When you do this, do you put Matthew 5 to 7 here? You know, this code that kind of confirms on the conservative side. Just think of it. The extreme dispensation analysts. To say that this ethics of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount belongs to the millennium. You've not heard that argument? Oh, yeah. At this meeting last weekend in in Atlanta, I've talked with several of the professors from Dallas Seminary, and it's amazing what a long journey they have made and how they've revised. But I remember 30, 35 years ago when I studied theology was the dispositional position. But that thinking that this really cannot be used here in history because it's so idealistic that we will be able to live by that. The ethics of the Sermon on the Mount. Only once the millennium happens becomes the reality. That is problematic, what I call practice of inner biblical criticism. Know what I mean by that. You know, the conservatives, the ultra conservatives are against all biblical criticism, not just form questioning, redaction, criticism and so on. They even have problem with textual criticism. You have conservatives who will not take the Nestler Alan text or the UBS text. Dexter's receptors is the one that is for them the reliable text. We are talking about the Greek texts and the textual criticism. Textual studies have made a great advance because of the discoveries of old manuscripts, because of the patristic evidence, because and papyri and so on. And so there had to be some corrections made from the text from which, for example, King James version was translated, or the one that via Erasmus is how Plutarch used.


Okay. In our biblical criticism is where you have the conservatives who will not allow for any criticism, but they actually practice a kind of criticism where they don't read scriptures as bond to all scriptures tell us God breathed. But they use them selectively and all of us are in that danger. And so you emphasize certain scriptures and you build doctrines on them and you ignore other scriptures. And so while to give you a more obvious example, the Charismatics all varied. Certain passages in Acts and First Corinthians. While they aren't that charismatics ignore those passages. Or give them an interpretation that is not the warrant warranted by the text of itself and by the intention of the author. So you have again, you have a theological grade or you have an ideological framework. The socialist reading of the Scriptures will emphasize the texts, like the Book of Amos and will emphasize in the book of Acts that they had all in common and they sold their possessions and so on, and will totally ignore other texts. And then when Hodl Zell gave me his book, when we were discussing our relationship between evangelism and social responsibility that tell you about that experience, that's the so-called Christian documents. All are related to this Christian document. Is one of the LPs by these LP Lozano occasional papers. Don't forget those great treasures. One of the LPs is Crest Sara. Which stands for consultation on relationship between evangelism and social responsibility. Okay. Kresser. 19, if I recall. Well, 1983 Grand Rapids. John Stewart felt very strongly and he was not the only one that we needed a special consultation on the relationship between evangelism and social responsibility because. Ian is on covenant. Do you have it here with you? Reed Number four.


In the on covenant. In number four, we affirmed evangelism. In number five, we affirmed social responsibility, but we failed to relate that to what somebody stand up and read slowly and loudly. Article number four, which must be on evangelism, right? These are 15 presence in the world this day in. That is a wonderful. Brief and yet comprehensive definition of evangelism that draws on the full fledged biblical understanding you notice including discipleship. Okay, Otherwise evangelism is deficient. If discipleship is not there. Okay. Now read number five. Okay. Come here and read it into this, Mike. Because of the recording? Yeah. Yes, please. Now you called. Why are you so reluctant? When you are a preacher, you will always have to stand in the front. What's the title of number five? Christian Social Responsibility. Okay. We affirm that God is both the creator and judge of all. We therefore should share His concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God. Every person, regardless of race, religion, color, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here, too, we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation. Nevertheless, we affirm that evangelism and socio political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love of our neighbor and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination.


And we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ, they're born again into His kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit, but also to spread its righteousness into the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead. Amen. It's wonderful to hear these texts and when you read them and study them. Try to read them aloud. It's amazing how much theology is packed in these statements of the Lausanne Covenant. But you have noticed here that it begins with God who is creator and judge. It then goes to human life. Humans have dignity. That means that they should not be alienated, discriminated, exploited, and so on. So the necessity of liberation, but a strong emphasis that evangelism and liberation are not the same. So the question is, how are they related? A number for Article four. We said very clearly why the evangelism is here. We said very clearly what social political involvement is. We are saying that the two are not the same, but both are important. Remember, John starts book. He speaks about both of them as kind of part of the mission of God in which we are involved in the world. And of course, related to them then is theological question as this article makes a strong plea for justice for righteousness. The first question that will come to any decent protest on my mind would be, well, how do you relate justification and justice? That's the issue. And that's where the Crestor came in to resolve that. At. Kresser Here is what John Stott, who was really the chair of Kresser, did. He brought these evangelicals and these evangelicals and these evangelicals together.


He brought the evangelicals together who emphasized the political engagement. Let me give you some names that are not here. A wrong side there. How many of you have read his reactions to The Age of Hunger, of course, has become a classic, as a matter of fact. Ron Sider has made such an impact now that Eastern seminaries honoring him and they are establishing around sider center at Eastern Seminary in Philadelphia for the study of the issues we are discussing here. What about Samuel Escobar was an iron fist, which means InterVarsity worker in Canada, in this country. He's from Peru. He could be a president of Peru had he wanted. Has written a number of things in the area of missions, as a matter of fact. His little volume in the John starts global Christian library deals with mission has just come off the press in this country. That's where the john starts essentials are the first volume Escobar has come out and then there are 13 of us. There will be 15 volumes who are writing, contributing from their various perspectives. Somebody Escobar Arana Padilla, another Latin American evangelical Wheaton College graduate, New Testament scholar David F Bruce from University of Manchester. But as many New Testament people discovered missions. I wrote the book on missions on the Kingdom and missions published, I think, by Baker Edmonds or Lando Costas. I've put two of his books on the recommended list. Died of cancer some years back. Directed at very important institute in Costa Rica, later became professor at Eastern Baptist and ended his career as dean here at Andover Newton. And by the way, David Bosch was there. And who would be on the other side if these people are more on the left of the evangelical spectrum? Jon Stewart, of course, was senator and so many others.


I would like to see myself in the center, but. On the right side. Where people like Carolyn Zell, maybe even Peter Wagner, although Peter Wagner has moved on and he's moved off all over the map in the meantime and cannot be put into any categories any longer. Johnston. Johnston is the man who accused Jon Stewart for dethroning evangelism. Have you come across that argument? Not this. This is not Patrick Johnston. What's his first name? I wrote the book The Battle for World Evangelization. Houghton Lansdale wrote the book, The Battle for the Bible. There's a series of battles. Norm Geisler wrote the book, The Battle for Resurrection. Attacking Murray Harrison was a New Testament scholar and professor at Trinity. Lynn Zell was responding to and tearing apart the number of people at Fuller Seminary with his battle for the Bible. Well, Johnston, with his book, The Battle for World Evangelization, really attacks not only the World Council of Churches who need to be critically treated when it comes to evangelism. But John Scott himself saying that he's dethroning evangelism by emphasizing sociopolitical involvement, social responsibility. So what happened here at Kresser in Grand Rapids? This was the event where, as somebody said, when the evangelical left and the evangelical right came together because John Start tried to reconcile them. And when you go to the Christian document, you will see how that reconciliation took place. But we will discuss this further after the break.