Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Unconventional Evangelism

I think most of us have realized, at least over the last twenty years, that our Adventist Evangelistic series have had quite limited success in America and Canada. They seem to be produced at the same rate however probably because the powers that be in the churches have never considered other possibilities. The following is what I think would be a valuable Evangelistic effort. It is not an effort to create Seventh-day Adventists but rather an effort to introduce Christianity to a world that is becoming more and more unsure what Christianity is or they have a picture of Christianity that is related to the religion as a form of political power.

Here is how I would envision the program:

The object is to present Christianity as a thinking religion, (where Faith is built upon evidence and reason is to be used as a God given facility to develop a relationship with God) one that has some answers but not all the answers.

The series is not designed to make people SDA's, it is to introduce Christianity and demonstrate that it is a viable philosophy which supplies the needs of people as well as encouraging those people to ask questions and search for truth. As such it will offer a variety of opinions when necessary. For instance a 6 literal day creation will not be assumed. Various Creationist views will be given. Various views of the Godhead will be offered as well as the various theories of the Atonement. (For example Substitutional atonement would not be treated as if it is the only or best view). Some Christian traditions will be spotlighted for their reasoning and assumptions whether good or ill; it is possible that this would include some held by SDA's.

Using a lecture setting with multimedia aids such as PowerPoint presentation using slides of subjects, cartoons, clips of popular TV and or radio and music snippets. Presented like a high school or college lecture in general using whatever is available to add interest during the lecture. Participants will be given books filled with the information that the lectures were taken from. Not to be used as workbooks or added to as the lectures proceed but as material they can use after the series. Ideally this document would be put together by the church offering the seminar which means that they are preparing the ideas and the lectures for a year or two in advance. They are examining the topics and gathering the information so that the local church is involved intimately with the presentation and the follow-up should people want to attend the local church. Of course if some church prepares the document it could always offer it to sell for those churches who cannot muster enough interest to do the work themselves. But I think the work of the preparation would very often help the local church as people come together to search and prepare the information and the lectures. Giving people some good impetus to know each other better and work and grow together.



1. If you can't prove it why should I believe it?

  1. Evidence vs. facts
  2. Facts vs. faith
  3. Questions and the search for truth

2. How did we come to exist creation or random chance?

  1. What do evolutionist's say
  2. What do creationist say
  3. Creationist varied views and evolutionists varied views
  4. Mathematical possibilities

3. Is there a God, if so how does He communicate to me?

  1. The presupposition of God vs. the presupposition of no God
  2. Creator vs. disinterested clock-maker.
  3. What is the nature of inspiration--Verbal or thoughts, literal and symbolic

4. What is the Bible, where did it come from and what is in it for me?

  1. How was the Old Testament collected
  2. How were the New Testament and Bible put together
  3. Stories, legends, literature and meaning of the Bible.
  4. Is it true/accurate? Evidence from history, archaeology, manuscripts and prophecy

5. Does God hate me, love me, or even notice me at all?

  1. Why does God care?
  2. Why so much pain and trouble?
  3. What does God offer?
  4. Kingdom of God now and not yet

6. What is a Christian and why would I want to be one?

  1. Definition
  2. Connection to Judaism
  3. Accomplishments and failures
  4. Philosophy

7. Did Jesus Christ really exist, a special man or God?

  1. Evidence of Jesus what the witnesses say
  2. What does history show about Christ?
  3. Did the world really change after Christ?
  4. God, son of God, and son of man
  5. Trinity or one God can we conceive of God?

8. Why did Jesus have to die, how does it help me?

  1. What is the problem with sin?
  2. Can God be trusted?
  3. How to demonstrate what love is
  4. Is God subject to his law, does Jesus pay a penalty?
  5. Is reconciliation legal or relational?

9. So many instructions given, what am I supposed to do?

  1. What about all those sacrifices?
  2. Do I have to follow all those Old Testament rules?
  3. The law that brings us to God
  4. Christ in me?
  5. A new beginning, a new man, a new heart, a new mind

10. Aren't all religions the same, does it matter which path I follow?

  1. So many religions how is Christianity different?
  2. So many Christian denominations what to look for?
  3. Traditions helpful or hurtful?
  4. On the path what is your goal?

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