In chapter 4 – “Get Saved!” – of UnChristian: What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity… And Why It Matters, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons discuss how outsiders perceive Christians and our evangelistic efforts.

The perception, according to the authors, is that followers of Christ are insincere and only concerned about the conversion of those outside the faith.  That all we want to do is to add notches on our belts.

In the book a 22-year-old named Sean said:

Christians are too concerned with converting people.  They are insincere.  All I ever hear is, “Get saved!”  I tried that whole “Jesus thing” already.  It didn’t work for me before, and I am not interested now.

The results of the survey that The Barna Group conducted among outsiders who were 16-29 years-old showed that only a third of outsiders in that age group believe that Christians actually care about them.  Contrast that with 64% of Christian who believe that they are seen as genuine by outsiders.  Those who are followers of Christ need to realize that we have an image problem, and the way we approach evangelism doesn’t help.

  • Street witnessing is seen as negative (no surprise there), I’ve had my own negative experience with that.
  • Methods that are designed to “trick” people into paying attention are disdained as well.
  • Mass evangelism events
  • Being argumentative in a way that is offensive.

How we choose to share Christ is as important as our actually doing it.

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, (2 Timothy 2:24-25, ESV).

The authors say it is like this generation has been de-churched.  Our faith has been forgettable.   They say that because they found.

  • 4 of 5 went to a Christian church, most for at least three months.
  • 2/3 have had conversations with a Christian friend about their faith views.
  • 53% have been specifically approached in the past few years about becoming a Christian.
  • 65% have said that they have made a commitment to Christ at some point in their lives.

That last statistic shows a lack of depth.  I have seen that with juvenile offenders that I have worked with commit their lives to Christ… but then re-offend and it seems like their lives lack transformation.  They attitude and beliefs at times seem unchanged as well.  Many are lacking a Biblical worldview which the authors define as:

A person with a biblical worldview experiences, interprets, and responds to reality in light of the Bible’s principles.  What scripture teaches is the primary grid for making decisions and interacting with the world.

To define it further according to the authors, a person with a biblical worldview believes…

  • that Jesus lived a sinless life.
  • God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today.
  • salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.
  • Satan is real.
  • a Christian has a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people.
  • the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
  • unchanging moral truths exists.
  • such moral truth is defined by the Bible.

They note that only 3% of Busters and Mosaics embrace the above eight elements.  I’m curious – what elements would you add?  Take away?  How would you define a Biblical worldview?

Kinnaman and Lyons say that we will not be effective with young outsiders if we do not address the problem of superficial faith.  How deep is the faith you convey to others?

How to address the negative perception of our evangelistic efforts?

Christians cultivating relationships and environments where others can be deeply transformed by God.

Evangelism must be relational with young outsiders.  We need to cultivate relationships with the purpose of… being a friend!  When opportunities arise to share our faith we are doing so in a natural context.  The key also is to continue in the relationship even if our faith is rejected.  That is important because.

Evangelism is a process… we can’t be so focused on “people saying a prayer” that we lose sight of the fact that the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) says we are to make disciples, not converts.  There is no exact formula, but it does need to be defined.  It is a journey not a one-time decision.  Transformed disciples are ones who follow who love God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength, (Mark 12:30).  So that their faith affects how they think, how they love, how they serve, how they worship and work.

What do you think a transformed disciple looks like?

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32 comments
  1. Hi there — I like alot of the thoughts in your post. My belief is that Christians don’t have an image problem, in my opinion — others accurately perceive evangelical Christians as usually evangelizing for one of two reasons: they think they *should* based on their “biblical worldview” or they have an agenda and have become that person’s friend primarily because that person “needs Jesus.” It comes across as double speak when you say we should become someone’s friend to be their friend…because…we are called to make disciples not converts.

    Becoming someone’s friend to make them a disciple might be better than to convert them, but it still doesn’t amount to being their friend…to be their friend. If you’re starting the relationship with a mind toward apologetics, the odds are the person will feel it’s not unconditional love.

    What if we instead are someone’s friend because of who they are and because we recognize the beautiful, yet human and messy imprint of God in their lives? Perhaps it’s semantics, but I feel uneasy about “friendship evangelism,” because to me it smacks of the worst form of betrayal: being intimately used for someone else’s agenda. Why can’t we talk simply about friendship, plain old fashioned, honorable friendship?

    I’m with you on loving God with all our hearts and souls. What if we trust God enough to not need to fit ourselves and others into a belief grid, as we bear witness to the God we honestly know intimately rather than the one we acknowledge intellectually?

    Well we all need Jesus and I think a “biblical worldview” as described by the authors (and Barna) as little to do with the actual Jesus or our need of God, or our ability/practice of loving God/others in an authentic, profound way.

    I personally think a have a life marked by conversations with God and with the bible is more important than having a “biblical worldview,” which I see as conducive to circular reasoning and genocide 🙂

  2. Hi there — I like alot of the thoughts in your post. My belief is that Christians don’t have an image problem, in my opinion — others accurately perceive evangelical Christians as usually evangelizing for one of two reasons: they think they *should* based on their “biblical worldview” or they have an agenda and have become that person’s friend primarily because that person “needs Jesus.” It comes across as double speak when you say we should become someone’s friend to be their friend…because…we are called to make disciples not converts.

    Becoming someone’s friend to make them a disciple might be better than to convert them, but it still doesn’t amount to being their friend…to be their friend. If you’re starting the relationship with a mind toward apologetics, the odds are the person will feel it’s not unconditional love.

    What if we instead are someone’s friend because of who they are and because we recognize the beautiful, yet human and messy imprint of God in their lives? Perhaps it’s semantics, but I feel uneasy about “friendship evangelism,” because to me it smacks of the worst form of betrayal: being intimately used for someone else’s agenda. Why can’t we talk simply about friendship, plain old fashioned, honorable friendship?

    I’m with you on loving God with all our hearts and souls. What if we trust God enough to not need to fit ourselves and others into a belief grid, as we bear witness to the God we honestly know intimately rather than the one we acknowledge intellectually?

    Well we all need Jesus and I think a “biblical worldview” as described by the authors (and Barna) as little to do with the actual Jesus or our need of God, or our ability/practice of loving God/others in an authentic, profound way.

    I personally think a have a life marked by conversations with God and with the bible is more important than having a “biblical worldview,” which I see as conducive to circular reasoning and genocide 🙂

  3. Hi there — I like alot of the thoughts in your post. My belief is that Christians don’t have an image problem, in my opinion — others accurately perceive evangelical Christians as usually evangelizing for one of two reasons: they think they *should* based on their “biblical worldview” or they have an agenda and have become that person’s friend primarily because that person “needs Jesus.” It comes across as double speak when you say we should become someone’s friend to be their friend…because…we are called to make disciples not converts.

    Becoming someone’s friend to make them a disciple might be better than to convert them, but it still doesn’t amount to being their friend…to be their friend. If you’re starting the relationship with a mind toward apologetics, the odds are the person will feel it’s not unconditional love.

    What if we instead are someone’s friend because of who they are and because we recognize the beautiful, yet human and messy imprint of God in their lives? Perhaps it’s semantics, but I feel uneasy about “friendship evangelism,” because to me it smacks of the worst form of betrayal: being intimately used for someone else’s agenda. Why can’t we talk simply about friendship, plain old fashioned, honorable friendship?

    I’m with you on loving God with all our hearts and souls. What if we trust God enough to not need to fit ourselves and others into a belief grid, as we bear witness to the God we honestly know intimately rather than the one we acknowledge intellectually?

    Well we all need Jesus and I think a “biblical worldview” as described by the authors (and Barna) as little to do with the actual Jesus or our need of God, or our ability/practice of loving God/others in an authentic, profound way.

    I personally think a have a life marked by conversations with God and with the bible is more important than having a “biblical worldview,” which I see as conducive to circular reasoning and genocide 🙂

  4. Pistol Pete, thanks for you comment.

    Jemilia – you are right, I think I tried to say the same thing as you befriend somebody to be a friend. I don’t know about you, but I talk to my friends about what is central in my life? Don’t you? And my friends do the same. In that context I’m having a conversation with my friend, and even if they are not interested or they disagree… does that mean they stop being my friend? Absolutely not (which I had happen to me when I was in high school). Is spiritual things all we talk about? No. I understand what you are saying and agree to a point – I think our difference is semantics.

    I guess how I approach evangelism is that I’m to be a faithful witness. I want to respectfully share my faith with those I know and love, and those I befriend along the way. It is my job to faithful, but it isn’t my job to be fruitful – that’s God’s job. When people get that confused that is where manipulation occurs, and that doesn’t honor Christ.

    I would disagree on a biblical worldview, because it is about what you suggest. I also believe that a Biblical worldview is rational and good Christian apologetics does not operate from circular reasoning. Also with the genocide comment – in the 20th century all fo the genocide you see taken place – Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot – they were all athiests or secular humanists, but definitely not religious people. Any persecution in the name of Christianity (admittedly it has happened) pales in comparaison to what has occured in the 20th century, and is a result of not a worldview based in Scripture.

  5. Pistol Pete, thanks for you comment.

    Jemilia – you are right, I think I tried to say the same thing as you befriend somebody to be a friend. I don’t know about you, but I talk to my friends about what is central in my life? Don’t you? And my friends do the same. In that context I’m having a conversation with my friend, and even if they are not interested or they disagree… does that mean they stop being my friend? Absolutely not (which I had happen to me when I was in high school). Is spiritual things all we talk about? No. I understand what you are saying and agree to a point – I think our difference is semantics.

    I guess how I approach evangelism is that I’m to be a faithful witness. I want to respectfully share my faith with those I know and love, and those I befriend along the way. It is my job to faithful, but it isn’t my job to be fruitful – that’s God’s job. When people get that confused that is where manipulation occurs, and that doesn’t honor Christ.

    I would disagree on a biblical worldview, because it is about what you suggest. I also believe that a Biblical worldview is rational and good Christian apologetics does not operate from circular reasoning. Also with the genocide comment – in the 20th century all fo the genocide you see taken place – Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot – they were all athiests or secular humanists, but definitely not religious people. Any persecution in the name of Christianity (admittedly it has happened) pales in comparaison to what has occured in the 20th century, and is a result of not a worldview based in Scripture.

  6. Pistol Pete, thanks for you comment.

    Jemilia – you are right, I think I tried to say the same thing as you befriend somebody to be a friend. I don’t know about you, but I talk to my friends about what is central in my life? Don’t you? And my friends do the same. In that context I’m having a conversation with my friend, and even if they are not interested or they disagree… does that mean they stop being my friend? Absolutely not (which I had happen to me when I was in high school). Is spiritual things all we talk about? No. I understand what you are saying and agree to a point – I think our difference is semantics.

    I guess how I approach evangelism is that I’m to be a faithful witness. I want to respectfully share my faith with those I know and love, and those I befriend along the way. It is my job to faithful, but it isn’t my job to be fruitful – that’s God’s job. When people get that confused that is where manipulation occurs, and that doesn’t honor Christ.

    I would disagree on a biblical worldview, because it is about what you suggest. I also believe that a Biblical worldview is rational and good Christian apologetics does not operate from circular reasoning. Also with the genocide comment – in the 20th century all fo the genocide you see taken place – Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot – they were all athiests or secular humanists, but definitely not religious people. Any persecution in the name of Christianity (admittedly it has happened) pales in comparaison to what has occured in the 20th century, and is a result of not a worldview based in Scripture.

  7. Pistol Pete, thanks for you comment.

    Jemilia – you are right, I think I tried to say the same thing as you befriend somebody to be a friend. I don’t know about you, but I talk to my friends about what is central in my life? Don’t you? And my friends do the same. In that context I’m having a conversation with my friend, and even if they are not interested or they disagree… does that mean they stop being my friend? Absolutely not (which I had happen to me when I was in high school). Is spiritual things all we talk about? No. I understand what you are saying and agree to a point – I think our difference is semantics.

    I guess how I approach evangelism is that I’m to be a faithful witness. I want to respectfully share my faith with those I know and love, and those I befriend along the way. It is my job to faithful, but it isn’t my job to be fruitful – that’s God’s job. When people get that confused that is where manipulation occurs, and that doesn’t honor Christ.

    I would disagree on a biblical worldview, because it is about what you suggest. I also believe that a Biblical worldview is rational and good Christian apologetics does not operate from circular reasoning. Also with the genocide comment – in the 20th century all fo the genocide you see taken place – Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot – they were all athiests or secular humanists, but definitely not religious people. Any persecution in the name of Christianity (admittedly it has happened) pales in comparaison to what has occured in the 20th century, and is a result of not a worldview based in Scripture.

  8. Guess who’s back…Shady’s back….just kidding. This is a good topiv to be discussing since I think it is one of the more noticeable aspects of the faith.

    “have seen that with juvenile offenders that I have worked with commit their lives to Christ… but then re-offend and it seems like their lives lack transformation. They attitude and beliefs at times seem unchanged as well.” (Shane)

    I would say in these instances they are both young and need to make mistakes to learn from. We can’t expect everyone to grasp it all in mere moments or even months – there is a lot there to analyze and take in. I guess – just be patient – what you are doing will reveal results that are good.

    “To define it further according to the authors, a person with a biblical worldview believes…

    – that Jesus lived a sinless life.
    – God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today.
    – salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.
    – Satan is real.
    – a Christian has a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people.
    – the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
    unchanging moral truths exists. such moral truth is defined by the Bible.”

    That;s a limited biblical worldview I think. I will discuss them in point (and I suck – lol).

    Jesus lived a sinless life – I agree but he did do some things we might call sinful today (like the whipping incident at the temple). I think it also raises the question of indentifying with him – since we are not at all that alike in this regards with him.

    The God thing is a faith thing – I agree with it – there isn’t much more to say on that.

    Salvation is a gift that cannot be earned – I think it depends how loosely we define this – it can lead to the counter effect of what we think this faith should produce – values in one’s lives.

    The whole satan thing may be real – but it is so over-played that I think our faith is better to leave that person on the back-burner and focus on our actual faith values.

    The responsibility to ‘share our faith’ – I think it is a natural thing once you recognize what this faith can do for you. But my sharing of the faith does not consist of normal evangelism – how can I ask someone to attend church when I don’t (that’s hypocritical of me)? I share the values of the faith and how this can change one’s life if lived out – since this is where I see the focus of this faith. I tell them ‘I see nothing wrong with what Jesus taught’…most people don’t even know what he taught.

    I think the bible is accurate in what kind of values and morals it is trying to teach – when looked at with some insight can reveal a lot of great things (I think I compared it once to finding a treasure – to borrow from Jesus’ parables). This point is very sure for me – that’s the greatness of this faith if realized – how it calls us to a greater value system (always refining it).

    “How would you define a Biblical worldview?” (Shane)

    I am not sure you can define an actual total biblical worldview – but the lense I prefer using is the one within Matthew – the idea of ‘follow me’ as laid out in the teachings.

    “Kinnaman and Lyons say that we will not be effective with young outsiders if we do not address the problem of superficial faith” (Shane)

    This is almots the sole emphasis of my blog – I am truly concerned that this faith has left it’s moorings and has been driftiing slowly into oblivion. For me the biggest problem in Christianity is it being ‘superficial’ – it lacks both focus and consistency in logic. God may not be the author of confusion but I can sure tell ya churches are. Most Christians wrestle with logical problems within their faith – things not adding up and making sense…and when they question – they are considered doubing faith – when in all actuality they are wondering simply if a doctrine makes sense. This is a huge problem right now in the faith and this generation has it’s hands filled fixing it.

    “How deep is the faith you convey to others?” (Shane)

    I like to keep it simple – purely relational. My faith is defined by the way ‘I treat you’ – and that’s what I focus on bringing to others – that sense of equality of them and I.

    “What do you think a transformed disciple looks like?” (Shane)

    I think the disciple (or follower) learns to be like it’s teacher (or leader) and master what they are taught. To me a disciple follows this trend – they grow in faith from being young to one of innovator within the faith (then becoming a teacher). So in essence, the disciple is someone who loves their leader’s teachings and ideas – wants to enact them/love by them. But as I mentioned earlier – mistakes will be made in the process – this is normal – even mistakes are a great way to learn.

    I will be honest about evangelism – I find it pretty faked and phony. From Mormons, JW’s, to Christians giving out pamphlets – it’s all too ‘in your face’ – which is funny for someone from the tv generation to say.

  9. Guess who’s back…Shady’s back….just kidding. This is a good topiv to be discussing since I think it is one of the more noticeable aspects of the faith.

    “have seen that with juvenile offenders that I have worked with commit their lives to Christ… but then re-offend and it seems like their lives lack transformation. They attitude and beliefs at times seem unchanged as well.” (Shane)

    I would say in these instances they are both young and need to make mistakes to learn from. We can’t expect everyone to grasp it all in mere moments or even months – there is a lot there to analyze and take in. I guess – just be patient – what you are doing will reveal results that are good.

    “To define it further according to the authors, a person with a biblical worldview believes…

    – that Jesus lived a sinless life.
    – God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today.
    – salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.
    – Satan is real.
    – a Christian has a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people.
    – the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
    unchanging moral truths exists. such moral truth is defined by the Bible.”

    That;s a limited biblical worldview I think. I will discuss them in point (and I suck – lol).

    Jesus lived a sinless life – I agree but he did do some things we might call sinful today (like the whipping incident at the temple). I think it also raises the question of indentifying with him – since we are not at all that alike in this regards with him.

    The God thing is a faith thing – I agree with it – there isn’t much more to say on that.

    Salvation is a gift that cannot be earned – I think it depends how loosely we define this – it can lead to the counter effect of what we think this faith should produce – values in one’s lives.

    The whole satan thing may be real – but it is so over-played that I think our faith is better to leave that person on the back-burner and focus on our actual faith values.

    The responsibility to ‘share our faith’ – I think it is a natural thing once you recognize what this faith can do for you. But my sharing of the faith does not consist of normal evangelism – how can I ask someone to attend church when I don’t (that’s hypocritical of me)? I share the values of the faith and how this can change one’s life if lived out – since this is where I see the focus of this faith. I tell them ‘I see nothing wrong with what Jesus taught’…most people don’t even know what he taught.

    I think the bible is accurate in what kind of values and morals it is trying to teach – when looked at with some insight can reveal a lot of great things (I think I compared it once to finding a treasure – to borrow from Jesus’ parables). This point is very sure for me – that’s the greatness of this faith if realized – how it calls us to a greater value system (always refining it).

    “How would you define a Biblical worldview?” (Shane)

    I am not sure you can define an actual total biblical worldview – but the lense I prefer using is the one within Matthew – the idea of ‘follow me’ as laid out in the teachings.

    “Kinnaman and Lyons say that we will not be effective with young outsiders if we do not address the problem of superficial faith” (Shane)

    This is almots the sole emphasis of my blog – I am truly concerned that this faith has left it’s moorings and has been driftiing slowly into oblivion. For me the biggest problem in Christianity is it being ‘superficial’ – it lacks both focus and consistency in logic. God may not be the author of confusion but I can sure tell ya churches are. Most Christians wrestle with logical problems within their faith – things not adding up and making sense…and when they question – they are considered doubing faith – when in all actuality they are wondering simply if a doctrine makes sense. This is a huge problem right now in the faith and this generation has it’s hands filled fixing it.

    “How deep is the faith you convey to others?” (Shane)

    I like to keep it simple – purely relational. My faith is defined by the way ‘I treat you’ – and that’s what I focus on bringing to others – that sense of equality of them and I.

    “What do you think a transformed disciple looks like?” (Shane)

    I think the disciple (or follower) learns to be like it’s teacher (or leader) and master what they are taught. To me a disciple follows this trend – they grow in faith from being young to one of innovator within the faith (then becoming a teacher). So in essence, the disciple is someone who loves their leader’s teachings and ideas – wants to enact them/love by them. But as I mentioned earlier – mistakes will be made in the process – this is normal – even mistakes are a great way to learn.

    I will be honest about evangelism – I find it pretty faked and phony. From Mormons, JW’s, to Christians giving out pamphlets – it’s all too ‘in your face’ – which is funny for someone from the tv generation to say.

  10. Guess who’s back…Shady’s back….just kidding. This is a good topiv to be discussing since I think it is one of the more noticeable aspects of the faith.

    “have seen that with juvenile offenders that I have worked with commit their lives to Christ… but then re-offend and it seems like their lives lack transformation. They attitude and beliefs at times seem unchanged as well.” (Shane)

    I would say in these instances they are both young and need to make mistakes to learn from. We can’t expect everyone to grasp it all in mere moments or even months – there is a lot there to analyze and take in. I guess – just be patient – what you are doing will reveal results that are good.

    “To define it further according to the authors, a person with a biblical worldview believes…

    – that Jesus lived a sinless life.
    – God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today.
    – salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.
    – Satan is real.
    – a Christian has a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people.
    – the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
    unchanging moral truths exists. such moral truth is defined by the Bible.”

    That;s a limited biblical worldview I think. I will discuss them in point (and I suck – lol).

    Jesus lived a sinless life – I agree but he did do some things we might call sinful today (like the whipping incident at the temple). I think it also raises the question of indentifying with him – since we are not at all that alike in this regards with him.

    The God thing is a faith thing – I agree with it – there isn’t much more to say on that.

    Salvation is a gift that cannot be earned – I think it depends how loosely we define this – it can lead to the counter effect of what we think this faith should produce – values in one’s lives.

    The whole satan thing may be real – but it is so over-played that I think our faith is better to leave that person on the back-burner and focus on our actual faith values.

    The responsibility to ‘share our faith’ – I think it is a natural thing once you recognize what this faith can do for you. But my sharing of the faith does not consist of normal evangelism – how can I ask someone to attend church when I don’t (that’s hypocritical of me)? I share the values of the faith and how this can change one’s life if lived out – since this is where I see the focus of this faith. I tell them ‘I see nothing wrong with what Jesus taught’…most people don’t even know what he taught.

    I think the bible is accurate in what kind of values and morals it is trying to teach – when looked at with some insight can reveal a lot of great things (I think I compared it once to finding a treasure – to borrow from Jesus’ parables). This point is very sure for me – that’s the greatness of this faith if realized – how it calls us to a greater value system (always refining it).

    “How would you define a Biblical worldview?” (Shane)

    I am not sure you can define an actual total biblical worldview – but the lense I prefer using is the one within Matthew – the idea of ‘follow me’ as laid out in the teachings.

    “Kinnaman and Lyons say that we will not be effective with young outsiders if we do not address the problem of superficial faith” (Shane)

    This is almots the sole emphasis of my blog – I am truly concerned that this faith has left it’s moorings and has been driftiing slowly into oblivion. For me the biggest problem in Christianity is it being ‘superficial’ – it lacks both focus and consistency in logic. God may not be the author of confusion but I can sure tell ya churches are. Most Christians wrestle with logical problems within their faith – things not adding up and making sense…and when they question – they are considered doubing faith – when in all actuality they are wondering simply if a doctrine makes sense. This is a huge problem right now in the faith and this generation has it’s hands filled fixing it.

    “How deep is the faith you convey to others?” (Shane)

    I like to keep it simple – purely relational. My faith is defined by the way ‘I treat you’ – and that’s what I focus on bringing to others – that sense of equality of them and I.

    “What do you think a transformed disciple looks like?” (Shane)

    I think the disciple (or follower) learns to be like it’s teacher (or leader) and master what they are taught. To me a disciple follows this trend – they grow in faith from being young to one of innovator within the faith (then becoming a teacher). So in essence, the disciple is someone who loves their leader’s teachings and ideas – wants to enact them/love by them. But as I mentioned earlier – mistakes will be made in the process – this is normal – even mistakes are a great way to learn.

    I will be honest about evangelism – I find it pretty faked and phony. From Mormons, JW’s, to Christians giving out pamphlets – it’s all too ‘in your face’ – which is funny for someone from the tv generation to say.

  11. Guess who’s back…Shady’s back….just kidding. This is a good topiv to be discussing since I think it is one of the more noticeable aspects of the faith.

    “have seen that with juvenile offenders that I have worked with commit their lives to Christ… but then re-offend and it seems like their lives lack transformation. They attitude and beliefs at times seem unchanged as well.” (Shane)

    I would say in these instances they are both young and need to make mistakes to learn from. We can’t expect everyone to grasp it all in mere moments or even months – there is a lot there to analyze and take in. I guess – just be patient – what you are doing will reveal results that are good.

    “To define it further according to the authors, a person with a biblical worldview believes…

    – that Jesus lived a sinless life.
    – God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today.
    – salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.
    – Satan is real.
    – a Christian has a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people.
    – the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
    unchanging moral truths exists. such moral truth is defined by the Bible.”

    That;s a limited biblical worldview I think. I will discuss them in point (and I suck – lol).

    Jesus lived a sinless life – I agree but he did do some things we might call sinful today (like the whipping incident at the temple). I think it also raises the question of indentifying with him – since we are not at all that alike in this regards with him.

    The God thing is a faith thing – I agree with it – there isn’t much more to say on that.

    Salvation is a gift that cannot be earned – I think it depends how loosely we define this – it can lead to the counter effect of what we think this faith should produce – values in one’s lives.

    The whole satan thing may be real – but it is so over-played that I think our faith is better to leave that person on the back-burner and focus on our actual faith values.

    The responsibility to ‘share our faith’ – I think it is a natural thing once you recognize what this faith can do for you. But my sharing of the faith does not consist of normal evangelism – how can I ask someone to attend church when I don’t (that’s hypocritical of me)? I share the values of the faith and how this can change one’s life if lived out – since this is where I see the focus of this faith. I tell them ‘I see nothing wrong with what Jesus taught’…most people don’t even know what he taught.

    I think the bible is accurate in what kind of values and morals it is trying to teach – when looked at with some insight can reveal a lot of great things (I think I compared it once to finding a treasure – to borrow from Jesus’ parables). This point is very sure for me – that’s the greatness of this faith if realized – how it calls us to a greater value system (always refining it).

    “How would you define a Biblical worldview?” (Shane)

    I am not sure you can define an actual total biblical worldview – but the lense I prefer using is the one within Matthew – the idea of ‘follow me’ as laid out in the teachings.

    “Kinnaman and Lyons say that we will not be effective with young outsiders if we do not address the problem of superficial faith” (Shane)

    This is almots the sole emphasis of my blog – I am truly concerned that this faith has left it’s moorings and has been driftiing slowly into oblivion. For me the biggest problem in Christianity is it being ‘superficial’ – it lacks both focus and consistency in logic. God may not be the author of confusion but I can sure tell ya churches are. Most Christians wrestle with logical problems within their faith – things not adding up and making sense…and when they question – they are considered doubing faith – when in all actuality they are wondering simply if a doctrine makes sense. This is a huge problem right now in the faith and this generation has it’s hands filled fixing it.

    “How deep is the faith you convey to others?” (Shane)

    I like to keep it simple – purely relational. My faith is defined by the way ‘I treat you’ – and that’s what I focus on bringing to others – that sense of equality of them and I.

    “What do you think a transformed disciple looks like?” (Shane)

    I think the disciple (or follower) learns to be like it’s teacher (or leader) and master what they are taught. To me a disciple follows this trend – they grow in faith from being young to one of innovator within the faith (then becoming a teacher). So in essence, the disciple is someone who loves their leader’s teachings and ideas – wants to enact them/love by them. But as I mentioned earlier – mistakes will be made in the process – this is normal – even mistakes are a great way to learn.

    I will be honest about evangelism – I find it pretty faked and phony. From Mormons, JW’s, to Christians giving out pamphlets – it’s all too ‘in your face’ – which is funny for someone from the tv generation to say.

  12. Wow, you have some really impressive commenters here, Shane! I’m definitely an evangelical, but like some of the commenters, I have trouble with Barna’s criteria. Maybe I’m just not good at sociology, but it feels like a legalistic litmus test to me.

    If I had to reduce my biblical worldview to a few bullets, I’d say:

    * I believe in loving God above all.
    * I believe the Bible gives me the most accurate picture of God.
    * As I understand more about God, I share that understanding by loving my neighbors.

    (And loving my neighbors includes sharing the goodness God has brought into my life.)

  13. Wow, you have some really impressive commenters here, Shane! I’m definitely an evangelical, but like some of the commenters, I have trouble with Barna’s criteria. Maybe I’m just not good at sociology, but it feels like a legalistic litmus test to me.

    If I had to reduce my biblical worldview to a few bullets, I’d say:

    * I believe in loving God above all.
    * I believe the Bible gives me the most accurate picture of God.
    * As I understand more about God, I share that understanding by loving my neighbors.

    (And loving my neighbors includes sharing the goodness God has brought into my life.)

  14. Wow, you have some really impressive commenters here, Shane! I’m definitely an evangelical, but like some of the commenters, I have trouble with Barna’s criteria. Maybe I’m just not good at sociology, but it feels like a legalistic litmus test to me.

    If I had to reduce my biblical worldview to a few bullets, I’d say:

    * I believe in loving God above all.
    * I believe the Bible gives me the most accurate picture of God.
    * As I understand more about God, I share that understanding by loving my neighbors.

    (And loving my neighbors includes sharing the goodness God has brought into my life.)

  15. Wow, you have some really impressive commenters here, Shane! I’m definitely an evangelical, but like some of the commenters, I have trouble with Barna’s criteria. Maybe I’m just not good at sociology, but it feels like a legalistic litmus test to me.

    If I had to reduce my biblical worldview to a few bullets, I’d say:

    * I believe in loving God above all.
    * I believe the Bible gives me the most accurate picture of God.
    * As I understand more about God, I share that understanding by loving my neighbors.

    (And loving my neighbors includes sharing the goodness God has brought into my life.)

  16. Mark, I like your paradigm 🙂 Shane, I think the bible contains many worldviews. So the idea of a a “biblical worldview” is to me, totally subjective. Ala genocide, the point is that it *can* be justified by (A) worldview based on the bible. You may be able to discover some themes and streams scripture that help you pull together a worldview of sorts, but always also influenced by your already held/experienced culture, values, beliefs and biases. To be aware of what we bring to the text allows us to have a transformative encounter with God as we engage scripture, rather than being brainwashed by the bible or someone’s (possibly beautiful, possibly horrible) idea of what the bible either says or means.

  17. Mark, I like your paradigm 🙂 Shane, I think the bible contains many worldviews. So the idea of a a “biblical worldview” is to me, totally subjective. Ala genocide, the point is that it *can* be justified by (A) worldview based on the bible. You may be able to discover some themes and streams scripture that help you pull together a worldview of sorts, but always also influenced by your already held/experienced culture, values, beliefs and biases. To be aware of what we bring to the text allows us to have a transformative encounter with God as we engage scripture, rather than being brainwashed by the bible or someone’s (possibly beautiful, possibly horrible) idea of what the bible either says or means.

  18. Mark, I like your paradigm 🙂 Shane, I think the bible contains many worldviews. So the idea of a a “biblical worldview” is to me, totally subjective. Ala genocide, the point is that it *can* be justified by (A) worldview based on the bible. You may be able to discover some themes and streams scripture that help you pull together a worldview of sorts, but always also influenced by your already held/experienced culture, values, beliefs and biases. To be aware of what we bring to the text allows us to have a transformative encounter with God as we engage scripture, rather than being brainwashed by the bible or someone’s (possibly beautiful, possibly horrible) idea of what the bible either says or means.

  19. Sorry it took me so long to comment.

    Hey Society – the example you gave regarding Jesus being sinful – one thing you have to notice is that he did not hurt anybody in the encounter, and according to OT law – those people shouldn’t have been selling stuff in the temple. They were making a mockery of God’s temple. Jesus being the Son of God obviously demonstrated a righteous anger.

    I also agree with you that Christians often times seem (or are) superficial in their faith. I believe that I have a reasonable faith… in that many of the objections you mention do have some explanations. Some of the doubt we may have is due to the fact we don’t “get” everything which does lend itself to the fact that there is mystery and we do need to trust and have faith.

    You hit the hammer on the head with your definition of a disciple – now apply that to being a disciple of Christ. 1 John 1:6 says, “those who claim to be in Him, must walk as Jesus walked.” Now what does that look like?

    Mark – I think Barna understands that different people will have a different framework. They decided on a framework that would help them understand where people are at. I personally don’t have a problem with it because I believe it outlines major tenets of orthodox Christian theology.

    Jemila – I agree that there can be subjectivity, but I think the danger of interpreting the Bible based on our experience/culture/values is that we make truth subjective. I think there is a place for that, but I believe it comes in the application phase of Bible study, not interpretation. With interpretaion – sound hermenutics dictate that we take the culture at that time into account, what is the historical context? What was the authors intent? Also, does the original languages provide a deeper meaning than what we get in the English translation? Also, I believe in scripture interpreting scripture – how does my interpretation jell with the rest of the Bible? Also how does it jell with the context of the particular passage I’m reading? People can cherry pick almost any Bible verse and make it (twist it) to mean anything they want it to mean. Stand to Reason – http://www.str.org – has a saying, “never read a Bible verse.” Now they aren’t discouraging people from reading the Bible, but we have to read that verse in the context of the whole passage.

  20. Sorry it took me so long to comment.

    Hey Society – the example you gave regarding Jesus being sinful – one thing you have to notice is that he did not hurt anybody in the encounter, and according to OT law – those people shouldn’t have been selling stuff in the temple. They were making a mockery of God’s temple. Jesus being the Son of God obviously demonstrated a righteous anger.

    I also agree with you that Christians often times seem (or are) superficial in their faith. I believe that I have a reasonable faith… in that many of the objections you mention do have some explanations. Some of the doubt we may have is due to the fact we don’t “get” everything which does lend itself to the fact that there is mystery and we do need to trust and have faith.

    You hit the hammer on the head with your definition of a disciple – now apply that to being a disciple of Christ. 1 John 1:6 says, “those who claim to be in Him, must walk as Jesus walked.” Now what does that look like?

    Mark – I think Barna understands that different people will have a different framework. They decided on a framework that would help them understand where people are at. I personally don’t have a problem with it because I believe it outlines major tenets of orthodox Christian theology.

    Jemila – I agree that there can be subjectivity, but I think the danger of interpreting the Bible based on our experience/culture/values is that we make truth subjective. I think there is a place for that, but I believe it comes in the application phase of Bible study, not interpretation. With interpretaion – sound hermenutics dictate that we take the culture at that time into account, what is the historical context? What was the authors intent? Also, does the original languages provide a deeper meaning than what we get in the English translation? Also, I believe in scripture interpreting scripture – how does my interpretation jell with the rest of the Bible? Also how does it jell with the context of the particular passage I’m reading? People can cherry pick almost any Bible verse and make it (twist it) to mean anything they want it to mean. Stand to Reason – http://www.str.org – has a saying, “never read a Bible verse.” Now they aren’t discouraging people from reading the Bible, but we have to read that verse in the context of the whole passage.

  21. Sorry it took me so long to comment.

    Hey Society – the example you gave regarding Jesus being sinful – one thing you have to notice is that he did not hurt anybody in the encounter, and according to OT law – those people shouldn’t have been selling stuff in the temple. They were making a mockery of God’s temple. Jesus being the Son of God obviously demonstrated a righteous anger.

    I also agree with you that Christians often times seem (or are) superficial in their faith. I believe that I have a reasonable faith… in that many of the objections you mention do have some explanations. Some of the doubt we may have is due to the fact we don’t “get” everything which does lend itself to the fact that there is mystery and we do need to trust and have faith.

    You hit the hammer on the head with your definition of a disciple – now apply that to being a disciple of Christ. 1 John 1:6 says, “those who claim to be in Him, must walk as Jesus walked.” Now what does that look like?

    Mark – I think Barna understands that different people will have a different framework. They decided on a framework that would help them understand where people are at. I personally don’t have a problem with it because I believe it outlines major tenets of orthodox Christian theology.

    Jemila – I agree that there can be subjectivity, but I think the danger of interpreting the Bible based on our experience/culture/values is that we make truth subjective. I think there is a place for that, but I believe it comes in the application phase of Bible study, not interpretation. With interpretaion – sound hermenutics dictate that we take the culture at that time into account, what is the historical context? What was the authors intent? Also, does the original languages provide a deeper meaning than what we get in the English translation? Also, I believe in scripture interpreting scripture – how does my interpretation jell with the rest of the Bible? Also how does it jell with the context of the particular passage I’m reading? People can cherry pick almost any Bible verse and make it (twist it) to mean anything they want it to mean. Stand to Reason – http://www.str.org – has a saying, “never read a Bible verse.” Now they aren’t discouraging people from reading the Bible, but we have to read that verse in the context of the whole passage.

  22. From my past experiences, I think “evangelical” Christianity is a perversion of Christianity, based on a doctrine of hate anger and exclusion. The sooner this bizarre offshoot disappears, the better.

  23. From my past experiences, I think “evangelical” Christianity is a perversion of Christianity, based on a doctrine of hate anger and exclusion. The sooner this bizarre offshoot disappears, the better.

  24. From my past experiences, I think “evangelical” Christianity is a perversion of Christianity, based on a doctrine of hate anger and exclusion. The sooner this bizarre offshoot disappears, the better.

  25. Ok.. I disagree. I don’t find anything rationale in your comments or based on fact. You have come into what has been a civic dialouge of these issues, and have demostrated the very intolerance that you claim evangelicals have.

    I am an evangelical… I do not subscribe to a doctrine of hate – quite the contrary. Christ commands me to love, and hate has no place in a Christian’s life. But I would suspect that you are using the word hate very, very loosely to mean – “those who disagree with me.”

    Like… if I think homosexuality is a sin, I am suddenly “hateful”. No I’m not, I just disagree with the lifestyle. That doesn’t mean that I hate them and wish them ill.

    So I would suggest, Tom, that you practice some the tolerance that you would like everybody else to have.

  26. Ok.. I disagree. I don’t find anything rationale in your comments or based on fact. You have come into what has been a civic dialouge of these issues, and have demostrated the very intolerance that you claim evangelicals have.

    I am an evangelical… I do not subscribe to a doctrine of hate – quite the contrary. Christ commands me to love, and hate has no place in a Christian’s life. But I would suspect that you are using the word hate very, very loosely to mean – “those who disagree with me.”

    Like… if I think homosexuality is a sin, I am suddenly “hateful”. No I’m not, I just disagree with the lifestyle. That doesn’t mean that I hate them and wish them ill.

    So I would suggest, Tom, that you practice some the tolerance that you would like everybody else to have.

  27. Ok.. I disagree. I don’t find anything rationale in your comments or based on fact. You have come into what has been a civic dialouge of these issues, and have demostrated the very intolerance that you claim evangelicals have.

    I am an evangelical… I do not subscribe to a doctrine of hate – quite the contrary. Christ commands me to love, and hate has no place in a Christian’s life. But I would suspect that you are using the word hate very, very loosely to mean – “those who disagree with me.”

    Like… if I think homosexuality is a sin, I am suddenly “hateful”. No I’m not, I just disagree with the lifestyle. That doesn’t mean that I hate them and wish them ill.

    So I would suggest, Tom, that you practice some the tolerance that you would like everybody else to have.

  28. Ok.. I disagree. I don’t find anything rationale in your comments or based on fact. You have come into what has been a civic dialouge of these issues, and have demostrated the very intolerance that you claim evangelicals have.

    I am an evangelical… I do not subscribe to a doctrine of hate – quite the contrary. Christ commands me to love, and hate has no place in a Christian’s life. But I would suspect that you are using the word hate very, very loosely to mean – “those who disagree with me.”

    Like… if I think homosexuality is a sin, I am suddenly “hateful”. No I’m not, I just disagree with the lifestyle. That doesn’t mean that I hate them and wish them ill.

    So I would suggest, Tom, that you practice some the tolerance that you would like everybody else to have.

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