Friday, February 17, 2006

Live to Tell by Brad J. Kallenberg
Evangelism for a Post-Modern Age

These are the notes I took from Live to Tell. For the past few years I have worked with the North Carolina Conference in developing a program called The Academy of Christian Witness. This idea came about when I discovered, as part of the NC Conference Commission on Evangelism, how few pastors felt comfortable sharing their faith or teaching others how to share their faith. Kallenberg captures the heart of what I have been teaching for the past few years, simply that telling your story, then telling God's story then telling where your story was divinely interupted by God's story is the best way to share your faith. Thankfully, as I struggle in my story, I remain:

Lost in Grace,

Metaphysical Holism—groups behave like real entities that both constitue each member’s identity and have top-down influence on them.

Linguistic Holism—language is the means by which we think and act in the world and cannot be pried off the world of experience and analyzed in isolation because the conceptual language we speak determines the shape of the world we inhabit.

Epistemological Holism—set of beliefs or paradigm we have of our world that forms an interlocking set that we share with the rest of our community. It is very resilient and typically reisists change. When change comes it comes all at once (paradigm shift).

“Conversion involves a change in social identity. Second, in large measure, this new social identity is accomplished by the acquisition new language skills. Finally, conversion is constituted by a paradigm shift that results in bringing the world into focus in a whole new way.” (p. 46)

“Because conversion involves a change in social identity, evangelism must be a corporate practice, executed by a community that is the source of the new believer’s identity. Second, conversion involves the acquisition of a new conceptual language, evangelism must engage outsiders in conversations spoken in that language. Third, because conversion involves a paradigm shift, evangelism must seek to assist that shift by being dialogical in style and by, wherever possible, enlisting potential converts in telling the story.” (p. 64)

“Conversion is a timeful process of enculturation into community.”
There is a “persuasive power of participation in a form of community.”
The God factor enters in because of “the Spirit-ordained power of narrative.” (p.118)


Evangelism is more like…
“sailing than proofreading.” (p. 123)
“questing than archery.” (p. 124)
“acting kindly than cobbling.” (p. 124)
“medicine than parallel parking.” (p. 125)

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