Sunday, March 5

This past week Dr. Ralph Winter was in Fayetteville. Dr. Winter is one of the world's leading "strategists" in the area of world missions and evangelization. He is the founder of the US Center for World Missions in Pasadena, CA and the things that have grown out of it - magazines, colleges, training courses, and more.

Several years ago (fifteen or more) several of the Christian ministries at the UofA went together to sponsor a couple of student mission conferences. The first year we had Dr. Winter come and speak. The next year we had Don Richardson (missionary and author of such things as Peace Child, Eternity in Their Hearts, etc.). After that, some of those on our campus moved on and the conference died out. But those two years were good, with 200-300 in attendance the second year.

On Thursday, I attended a Q&A session with Dr. Winter. Below are a few things that he said (as best as I can paraphrase them) that I thought were pretty thought-provoking. You might not agree with him, but he will get you thinking!

"The Great Commission is about obedience to all that Jesus commanded. There is more to the gospel than just how to be saved.... We have made the gospel a 'gospel of salvation', but you don't find that in the Bible. The Bible talks about the 'gospel of the Kingdom' rather than a 'gospel of salvation'."

So is what we are preaching and teaching and sharing really the message Jesus sent us out to share or is it a message that has been shaped more by the religious culture of our day?

"The real question isn't how many missionaries we have, but how many know what they are doing. You could send half of the missionaries home and be better off."

Ouch. That could also be true of preachers, professors - and campus ministers.

"Worship is not how we come to know God; it is a result of knowing God.... The best way to get to know your Father is to go to work with him."


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