We look to God for our spiritual selves and for our physical selves. This is expressed through salvation and also through daily living. First we will discuss salvation and how complementarians change salvation for women.
Evangelism Explosion by Dr James Kennedy has long been used as a handbook for eager church members to use when they made visitation calls to people in their neighborhood, or to people who had attended a church service and made the mistake of leaving their name and address. Evangelism Explosion, 1961, is now in its fourth printing and is still a bestseller among evangelicals.
When Kennedy wrote the book, he was the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church which began as Presbyterian of the United States of America, which allows women ordination. In 1978, under Kennedy’s leadership, Coral Ridge joined the conservative Presbyterian Church in America that does not allow women ordination.
According to Wikipedia, “Evangelism Explosion’s materials have been translated into seventy languages. Jeff Noblit (I am not sure why he is quoted) suggests that it is “probably the most used and copied soul-winning training course ever embraced by Southern Baptists,” while Stan Guthrie suggests that it is “the best known and most widely used evangelistic training curriculum in church history.” It is used by over 20,000 churches worldwide.”
“If you were to die tonight, are you certain you would go to heaven?” was a question we were to ask when witnessing to a prospective convert. There were other key points made when I studied the book at my Baptist church in the 1970s. I, too, wanted to know how to bring a person to accept Christ. One such key point was to look around the living room and pick out a picture and make some comment about it that you could use to start the conversation about heaven and the person’s spiritual condition.
Never being very clever at espionage, and being far too direct in my approach, this did not fit my personality. I can see through manipulation a mile away and was sure others could, too. In fact, one day a few years ago, I was in a Christian bookstore and had just asked if they carried a children’s book that accepted the fact that dinosaurs were here millions of years ago, when these questions were turned on me. I wanted to tell the young lady that I thought her approach was awfully crude and straight from the book. But I was much older, and it was my lunch hour, and most times I do not want to draw attention to myself, so I let her ask her questions and I answered them.
Yes, I am confident that if I die tomorrow, my soul will be with Christ. As I write this, I am aware of how fleeting life is. Today I was with a woman when she received a phone call that her daughter had just been killed in a car accident. So the question can fit every one of us, but it is not the best way to bring up a conversation about a loving God who wants to save us.
My personal salvation experience was that I accepted Christ while kneeling beside the bathtub one night while the baby was asleep and my husband was watching the election returns on television. Nobody asked any questions, and there was no prepared sentence that I said back to Christ. I did argue with Him, though. I had been baptized two times already, and still did not feel like I was saved, and I wanted some kind of assurance that this time would be for real, because I sure did not want a third baptism. Sufficient to say, there was a third baptism, and this time there was no doubt, and has not been since that time almost 50 years ago.
But this series is not about me. It is about men who have the Desire to be God, and how they are infiltrating that desire into mainstream Christianity. They are doing it through the relationships mankind has with God – salvation and daily living.
Part 5 will be posted Monday.