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Friday, May 09, 2008

Guest Blog for Hugh Hewitt

Years ago, I got serious about blogging through a conversation with my friend Randy over the book we both read entitled, "Blog" by Hugh Hewitt. Hugh is a blog rockstar. I don't always agree with Hugh on politics but I highly respect him and his blogging efforts.

Well . . .

Today, my friend Randy was a guest blogger on Hugh's site. Randy's post is a response to An Evangelical Manifesto. Read the Manifesto here. Read Randy's post here.

After you read his post, you can read my response below : : :

I appreciate Mr. Elrod's post. While we need creeds and a core orthodoxy as Christ followers, we need to be careful to stand "for" rather then "against." "Christians" for too long have been known as the "stand against" group.

It is wise to know what mountains you are willing to die on. But, manifestos--or more specifically the way they are marketed--run the risk of further distancing Christians from the people we are called to love into the kingdom and perpetuate an asceticism that does not give us any right to speak into the lives of others.

If you want to speak into my life, you need to have my ear. If you want my ear, I need to trust you. I need to know you love me. Period. The old adage, "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" is very true. I am not "opposed" to the Manifesto as much as I am not motivated by it.

We will be effective when people have to stop and ask why we love them so much. What compels us to love? When they start asking those questions, we know we are in the right dialogue.

Mr. Elrod's brief mention of "Taylorism" should cause each careful student to do some reading and investigate that one further. Insightful. Christians for far too long have concerned themselves with scientific measurements of rhetoric to know exactly at "what point" we have shared the gospel.

Evangelism doesn't "happen." It "Happens." Evangelism comes from the same word as gospel--good news--good headlines. People want to hear good news. They seek it out.

Rules, regulations, etc. do not change a culture. If anything, we need a Jesus manifesto. We need a refocusing on Jesus as our sovereign. External regiments will never change the heart of a people or a nation. Just ask Moses.


Tim M said...

hey you used the "just ask Moses" line again! I like it!

I like how you said you were "not against the Manifesto, just not motivated by it". I think that was a very succinct and clear way of putting it.

ScottyH said...

So, John, as mind mind is fogged from all my (prescription) drugs I just have to ask directly. What is the point, or the reference of "Taylorisms"? I read Randy's guest blog and skimmed the manifesto.
I appreciate Randy's point that there's greater potential (and more is happening) through many servant leaders than alpha dogs creating manifestos.

John said...

Scotty--Frederick Winslow Taylor is the man behind Taylorism-- a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflow processes--very mathematical. Very precise.

i.e. how many shovels full of coal in a specific shovel at a certain pace under certain conditions yield a certain pile of coal?

So, it is a fitting reference for a counterpoint to an evangelism "method" that is precise (a+b=c).