01: The fall issue of Theology, News & Notes, a publication of Fuller Theological Seminary reveals the rethinking taking place on the methods and goals of evangelism among American evangelicals.
Most of the articles claim that the older methods of preaching and decision-based evangelizing — pressing for a once-for-all acceptance of Christ–are being replaced by strategies often categorized under the concept of the “emerging” church. [See page 2 for more on this trend]. These include “contemplative evangelism,” stressing prayer and conversation between the believer and unbeliever, a return to the use of sacraments, liturgy and spiritual disciplines, and the importance of evangelization taking place in the context of a community that engages in works of justice and mercy.
Eddie Gibbs writes that with a growing percentage of society that has no knowledge of the gospel story, people “may need much more information before they can make a significant decision. For the majority, `conversion’ is more likely to be a process taking weeks, months, or even years. Rather than hearing a lone advocate, they will need to hear a number of people and see the impact of the gospel in the lives of people they have come to know and respect.
For more info on this issue, write: Theology, News & Notes, Fuller Seminary, 135 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena, CA 91182