Friday, February 10, 2012

profound in our generation

Ray Ortlund on Francis Schaeffer in 2 Contents, 2 Realities:

Asking the question, What is the Christian’s task in the world today?, Francis Schaeffer’s answer was not evangelism. Evangelism too often seems canned and mechanical, Schaeffer said. But when evangelism is pursued as part of a larger whole, it will be more convincing. What is that larger whole, embodied in a healthy church? Two contents and two realities, Schaeffer proposed.

Two contents

1. Sound doctrine

“The first content is clear doctrinal content concerning the central elements of Christianity.” This strong message stands in contrast to the content-weak philosophical and pragmatic rolls of the dice people are settling for all around us.

2. Honest answers to honest questions

“The second content is . . . honest answers to honest questions. . . . Christianity demands that we have enough compassion to learn the questions of our generation.” We must listen respectfully to all around us and try to satisfy their questions from the full biblical gospel.

Two realities

1. True spirituality

“There must be something real of the work of Christ, something real in Christ’s bearing his fruit through me through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. . . . There is nothing more ugly in all the world, nothing which more turns people aside, than a dead orthodoxy.”

2. The beauty of human relationships

“True Christianity produces beauty as well as truth. . . . If we do not show beauty in the way we treat each other, then in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of our own children, we are destroying the truth we proclaim.”

“When there are the two contents and the two realities, we will begin to see something profound happen in our generation.”

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