Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Council Estate Christians 9: Not being told the Gospel

In my last post on Council Estate Christians, I said that there are so few of us because of a lack of people going to council estates to plant churches, and preach the gospel. I also said I would later explain the relevance of my previous posts on council estate Christians.

Today, I want to talk about what happens when people try to plant churches on estates with the misconceptions I have been trying to address. This made up story is not about any particular person - but is a made up composite of what I have seen around different council estates:

The story sort of goes like this:
Tom is from a decent area, and he has recently been thinking that he would like to bring the gospel to people on council estates. He has been told that council estate people don't read much, and that they can't handle bible studies or expository sermons very well. So he starts trying to find ways that he can reach these people who will find the Bible too difficult to grasp. He decides in the end that the best thing to do is acts of service in the community, but not to worry about telling them the gospel - in the end they will work it out by just seeing his good example in the community.

The people on the Estate get to know Tom as a good bloke and a Christian. They used to think that Christians were stuffy middle class people, but now they can see that Christians are good people. In fact they would probably like to be a Christian themselves - except that they know they would never be good enough - they could never be like Tom.

The problem is:
Tom never told them what a Christian was. He thought that 'Justification by faith' would be too difficult a concept for them to grasp. In his efforts to show them what a Christian is without preaching the word - he inadvertently gave them a false view of what a Christian is.

It is commendable that he did such good to the people on the estate, and that he demonstrated that Christians are good people - but you cannot properly convey biblical truth without using the Bible. C. S. Lewis talked about this once - how different types of information need to be communicated through different mediums. For example, you don't give knee surgery instructions through a mime! Unfortunately Tom was doing a similar thing.

A second problem with this approach:
This approach not only results in people thinking they could never be good enough to be a christian themselves, but also in anesthetizing people to the true gospel. For example, sometimes I talk to young people from council estates, and I try to tell them the gospel, and they act like they already know the gospel. They don't wanna hear what I've got to say, because they've heard it all before - and it doesn't scratch where they're itching. Sadly many of them have not heard it before - they've just seen a mime of the Gospel - one that didn't properly communicate Christ's work on the cross to save sinners from judgment.

A 3rd Problem:
Some youths I talk to say they are Christians, but what they mean is that they are doing good work in the community like Tom. They are not trusting in Jesus, sadly they are looking to their good deeds rather than Christ's sacrifice.

All of this comes from misconceptions of Council Estate Christians, which is why my previous posts were so important.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Old footage of Dayper and Duncan rapping

I found this old footage today by accident. Its from 4 years ago, when Me and Dayper used to spend a lot of time in my living room either studying the Bible, or rapping.


Bibleworks 8 has just been announced!

I am very excited to report that Bibleworks 8 will be out in a few weeks:



Monday, November 17, 2008

Council Estate Christians 8: Why so few of us?

Recently, people have been asking the question, why so few evangelical churches on Council Estate? I hope that my previous posts on Council Estate Christians have helped to show that the reason is not because of learning styles, or a lack of book culture, or a postcode-dependent inability to understand texts. Instead I think there is a very simple reason that the Bible gives us:

Romans 10:13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 14 How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news." (NET Bible)

This text tells us that for people to believe in Jesus, they need to hear someone preaching to them. But for this to happen, they need someone to be sent to them.

In my humble opinion this is the main reason why there are so few churches on council estates. Very few people are sent out to preach the gospel on council estates.

I shall be exploring this further in the next few posts on this topic, and explaining how this links to me previous posts.

Monday, November 10, 2008

NET Bible on Pocket PC

Since Easter its been possible to have the wonderful NET Bible on your pda with pocket pc.

Although I use pocket E-Sword, I actually use Olive Tree on my PDA for running NET Bible, but for those of you who only use Esword - this is a must have.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

James White at my mates' churches!

A James White extravaganza starts this week in London.
He's gonna be debating Muslims at Doug McMaster's church in Tooting, and Mike Gilbart-Smith's church in Fulham. Both of these churches are down the road from us so we're very excited about this. Also, Doug and Mike are great blokes, so it will be a good excuse to see them too.

I announced the dates last week in church and it took a long time, so rather than try and do that again -
Here's a link to the details,


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Piper on Justification and Christ's active obedience

This is a great sermon from Piper, and may be especially helpful to anyone wondering about the doctrine of Christ's active obedience.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Rodney Decker on Bible Translations

This is an interesting article by Rodney Decker.

In it he clears up some misunderstandings about translations, namely that:

1)Dynamic equivalence is not the same as Functional equivalence (they are often confused as the same thing).

2)Formal equivalence and Functional equivalence are not mutually exclusive - all translations include both.

Its a good read,

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Council Estate Christians 7: Absolute truth

Its been my experience (hence I could be wrong about this) that there is often more appreciation for absolute truth on Council Estates than in some other parts of English society.