Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The "On Faith" Conversation: Acts 17 for the 21st Century?

I don't read the Washington Post's On Faith bloggish-type-thing as often as I'd like. It's just a bit too much content for me to tackle right now. It does strike me as though Al Mohler, Cal Thomas, and perhaps even a couple other evangelicals are consistently taking advantage of an opportunity to proclaim the gospel and to apply it to everyday issues of American life and culture. In this most recent conversation, for example, Al Mohler clearly presents the certainty of judgment and several crucial elements of the gospel. Chuck Colson even calls for repentance and faith. This strikes me as about the closest thing imaginable in contemporary culture to Paul's address to the Athenians in the Areopagus, recorded for us in Acts 17.

We probably can't conclude too much from the volume of contents, but when I've checked in it seems as though Mohler consistently receives far more comments than any other author. At this writing, he has more than twice as many as anyone else regarding his perspective on the Virginia Tech shootings, with an atheist author coming in second. That doesn't mean he's convincing anyone, but it does mean that at the very least 192 people are being exposed to some biblical thinking about life, death, judgment, and eternity. So enjoy it if you have the time. Perhaps it's worth passing on to a non-Christian you've been working to evangelize.


Paul said...

Thanks Ben. Due in part to your prompting I have shared Mohler's biblical analysis with an unbelieving friend and also found it helpful in preparation for our weekly Bible Study at a jail.

We can't really know the full effect his words are having, but I rejoice that a voice so faithful to God's Word is sounding forth in this way.

Bruce said...

My comments are less about the writings of Mohler, Colson, etc., and more about your title.

It is frustrating that we don't seem to have the same literal marketplace of ideas in our national culture generally and local communities specifically as did the Athenians. Blogs do provide a 21st century version, but I do believe that a real face to face context is the most authentic and effective way to make these kinds of discussions really mean something. Street preaching still happens, I guess, but when there's no secular counterpart to that mode of communication, it's easy to be written of as belonging to the sphere of religious fanatics.

Our churches need to keep asking the question, "Where do we as Christian individuals and as the church intersect with unbelievers, and how can we bring the gospel into that interaction in word and deed?"

Ben said...

No arguments here. Surely we miss more opportunities than we grasp, and we miss far more others for lack of proactivity and creativity. But I wonder whether this is about the closest parallel we're likely to find, and I'm glad this opportunity has not been missed.