Excellent resources on a biblical view of evangelism

2009 06 7 OSA recent request from a friend led me to look for something concise written on the topic of a classically Reformed view of evangelism. Gladly, I found just such a concise collection in the June-July 2009 edition of the [OPC](http://www.opc.org/)’s periodical *[Ordained Servant](http://www.opc.org/os.html)* entitled “[Evangelism: Whose Responsibility?](http://j.mp/QbLAqb)”

The editor begins his introduction as follows.

> The late Rev. Charles Dennison was relentless in challenging me to found my views of the Christian’s duty in evangelism and culture on the text of Scripture and the confessional understanding of that text. I am pleased that my dear friend lived to see me change my views substantially in both areas. I was already convinced of the exegetical principle, which my ordination vows required me to believe. But like the proverbial pudding, the proof was in the exegesis. Shortly after I was ordained in 1980, Charlie gave me a copy of a paper he had presented to the Presbytery of Ohio that same year, “Evangelism and the Church,” in which he upheld a high view of the visible church and its offices with reference to evangelism. He courageously took issue with the prevalent view that evangelism is the obligation of every believer. During the previous decade every-member evangelism had been popularized within NAPARC churches by D. James Kennedy’s Evangelism Explosion (1970).

The periodical contains three articles that are concise, biblical, confessional, and make helpful historical connections.

* [Ambassadors of the Heavenly King](http://j.mp/Q6fE8Z) by Gregory E. Reynolds

* [Evangelism and the Church](http://j.mp/Q6fFd1) by Charles G. Dennison

* [Evangelistic Responsibility](http://j.mp/QbMdjk) by T. David Gordon

While one never endorses everything written by particular authors, these have, on the whole, done an excellent job here on this topic.

In the [March 2010](http://j.mp/Q6gumb) issue, *Ordained Servant* published a [thoughtful rejoinder](http://j.mp/QbMT8z) by Dr R. Fowler White to Dr T. David Gordon’s earlier article. In the same edition, Dr Gordon’s [response](http://j.mp/Q6gouG) is included, continuing his defense of the classical Reformed position.

* [T. David Gordon’s Essay “Evangelistic Responsibility” in Ordained Servant Online: A Critique and an Alternative](http://j.mp/QbMT8z) by R. Fowler White

* [Reply to R. Fowler White’s “Critique and Alternative”](http://j.mp/Q6gouG) by T. David Gordon

I hope these articles will be found helpful by all in coming to a more biblical view of the duties of evangelism.


“In essentials, unity…”

Modern evangelicalism frequently places a minimal emphasis upon doctrine, ostensibly for the purpose of fostering a wider unity. On the Westminster Seminary California Valiant for Truth blog, Dr. Michael Horton has some very useful thoughts on the division between essentials and non-essentials and the pursuit of a “mere Christianity.”


In the Great Commission, Jesus did not say, “Go therefore into all the world and preach the gospel, making everyone memorize the Four Spiritual Laws, and then keep multiplying converts.” He commanded the church to “make disciples” by proclaiming the gospel, baptizing, and “teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded.” People do not have to know everything that the Bible teaches—or even to understand all of its major doctrines—in order to be received as professing members of Christ’s body. However, when they become Christians, they are enrolled in a school of lifelong discipleship. Not everything in Scripture is equally clear or equally important, but everything is essential for us to know. God did not reveal everything that he might have revealed to us, but whatever he has revealed to us is necessary.

Read Dr. Horton’s article The Whole Faith Is Essential: Part 1 and Part 2.