I am rereading The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, by James Emery White, in preparation for a discussion next week. I took particular notice of several statements he makes in “Chapter 9: Grace and Truth.”
“When the church is at its best, mission is not something we do; it is something we are.”
The Three Tasks of a Good Missionary
- Learn the language: educate yourself on how to talk in a way that people can understand and to which they can relate and eventually respond.
- Study the culture: become so sensitized to that culture that you can operate effectively within it.
- Translate the gospel: translate it into its own cultural context so that it can be heard, understood, and appropriated.
Grace and truth is at the heart of the gospel. Unfortunately, many Christians seem confused about how the interplay between grace and truth actually works.
(chart is my summary of one section in the chapter)
“Grace, at its heart, is getting what you don’t deserve and not getting what you do.”
“What captivates conscience is anything gripping. If a worldview or faith lacks conviction, passion, or life change, then it seems both privately and socially irrelevant. This means that the only kind of voice that will arrest the attention of the world will be convicting in nature, clear in its message, substantive in its content, and bold in its challenge.