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Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God
~J. I. Packer
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List price: $12.00
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Sales rank: 8961

Product Information

Media: Paperback
ISBN/ASIN : 083081339X
Manufacturer : InterVarsity Press
Release data : 01 November, 1991

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  • Christianity - Evangelism
  • Religion
  • Religion - Evangelism

  • A selection of product reviews

    1 star1 star1 star1 starNo star    God commands WHY?

    How does God choose to give an individual information about his own sinfulness? How does an individual learn about Jesus atonement for your sins? What makes an individual repent to God, because he has become awakened to his sins and need for forgiveness? J.I. Packer does not argue that God has chosen man to spread the message of salvation. That God commands all Christians to spread this good news. But the author does not accept the argument that the reason an individual accepts the gospel is based on the ingenuity of the giver of the word. No J.I. Packer believes that person would have been saved without that particular Christian telling God's word. Salvation comes from the Lord. God blesses His flock by granting them commissions to tell others about Jesus and the Grace of God. No one comes to the Father but through the Son. No one comes to the Son but who the Father has chosen. No man repents or seek for forgiveness of sin but through the workings of the Holy Spirit. All men choose the darkness. No man can convince him otherwise to seek the light.

    Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God attempts to construct reason to individuals to share God's word to the unbeliever. Not to spread the word of God so others will coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but because God commands the Christian to share God's word and to be disciples to those who accept Jesus as their personal savior. God decides who will be saved. It is an honor to be used by God.

    Packer describes his ideas how the Christian should share God's word with unbelievers. Any preaching and/or evangelism should include the Lordship of Jesus Christ. No one should accept Jesus as Savior without counting the cost. no call for snap judgments as accepting Jesus as savior. No god chooses man to anguish over his rebellion against God, before coming to a decision whether to accept Jesus. It seems to the individual he is the one has come to the conclusion. Yes compelled by God, but wrought by God to change the person's thought patterns.

    1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star    Salvation is All of God

    This book examines the relationship between God's sovereignty and man's role as evangelist, the proclaimer of the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Evangelical success for the evangelist is simply in being faithful to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The efficacy of a new believer's salvation lies not in the ability of the evangelist to wring out a confession of faith through rhetorical persuassion, but rather in the supernatural regenerating work of the Holy Spirit that illuminates their depraved minds to the truth of the Gospel. The Gospel call is a twofold call to believe and repent. J.I. Packer gives remarkable insight and clarity into the sovereignty of God in salvation, and reminds the Christian reader that our true success in evangelism lies in God's blessing and his supernatural work. Our job as evangelist, is to be ambassador of Christ, and proclaim the Good News. Indeed, every evangelical proclamation is a success for the evangelist faithful to God's Word since he is after all heeding the commmand to proclaim the Gospel. Our modus operandi for witnessing is proclaimed in 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and evangelism can be an on-going endeavor, as we are reminded to be "patient, apt to teach, in humility correcting those who are in opposition if God perhaps will grant them repentance so that they may know the truth..." Soli Deo Gloria!

    1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star    Excellent Treatment of Divine Sovereignty in Evangelism

    When it comes to evangelism, it seems that Calvinists have quite a poor reputation in the church today. Most of the largest and seemingly most successful mission organizations were founded by Arminians and continue to be based around Arminian theology. Arminian churches seem to grow much faster than churches based on Calvinist principles. It seems that part of the reason for this is that Calvinists have such a high view of God's sovereignty that it is easy for them to assume that there is no reason for Christians to evangelize. After all, if God truly is sovereign, if He does control absolutely everything, what reason is there to evangelize? If God has ordained someone will be saved, they reason, that person will be saved regardless of my efforts. Perhaps evangelism is even sinful, for is it possible that it actually denies God's sovereignty?

    It is against this backdrop that J.I. Packer wrote Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God, a classic study on the relationship between God's sovereignty and the necessity of evangelism. A short but exceedingly powerful book, Packer shows that rather than precluding evangelism, God's sovereignty provides the most powerful incentive and support for it.

    Packer begins by presenting the concept of antinomy, which he defines as "an appearance of contradiction between conclusions which seem equally logical, reasonable or necessary." An antinomy we face as believers is that of God's sovereignty and human responsibility. Somehow, although God is absolutely sovereign, He has ordained that we would be responsible for our involvement in His plans. Our obedient response to this antinomy is to accept it for what it is and learn to live with it. Any other response would be to minimize something God deems important and even necessary to a godly life. We cannot see Divine sovereignty and human responsible as opposites or principles that are in conflict with each other, but rather as principles that complement each other and are equally true.

    The author turns to a lengthy discussion of evangelism where he defines what evangelism is and what it is not. He speaks of the message of evangelism as well as the motive and means for it. He concludes with an examination of how God's sovereignty affects evangelism. Packer's conclusion is that "We would not wish to say that man cannot evangelize at all without coming to terms with this doctrine [God's sovereignty]; but we venture to think that, other things being equal, he will be able to evangelize better for believing it."

    For a book weighing in at a mere 126 pages, this one contains impressive depth and contains a thorough and satisfying treatment of the subject. I highly recommend this book for all believers and trust anyone will be able to learn and grow through it.

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