Evangelism and Book Review

“In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;

yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

1 Peter 3:15

              Later this summer the Billy Graham Evangelic Association (BGEA) is hosting an area wide series of meetings related to evangelism in the greater Fredericksburg area. This is an important occasion for Christian churches of various denominations to gather for a focus on seeking to reach our area with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The base of all this is being able to share the gospel personally with another person. Are you prepared and comfortable sharing with another person how they can believe in Jesus for salvation? Most people are not.

From late April to early May, churches around our area are hosting the “Christian Life & Witness Course.” This course has been taught to communities leading up to BGEA events for decades. Going through this three-week course will qualify you to serve as a counselor at the main events, but more importantly, will give you every day practical training in evangelism. We will be partnering with our sending church, Spotswood Baptist Church, for these classes.

Dates: April 18, 25, & May 2

Time: 7:00-8:30 pm

Location: Spotswood Baptist Church

No Sign-up Necessary

              I will be there, and I urge every single person at Redeemer to consider attending this time honored and effective course in personal evangelism. Mark your calendars! See you there!

Book Review

God and the Transgender Debate: What Does the Bible Actually Say About Gender Identity?

Expanded and Updated Edition

By Andrew T. Walker

              The issues related to sexual ethics and transgenderism are no longer something happening in some far-off place on the news. We are surrounded by these issues every day and it is absolutely imperative that we have a historically based, biblical, and compassionate understanding of these issues. I am urging every person in the congregation to read this book. As transgender thinking and life choices have burst onto the scene, books related to the problem have evolved. This is by far the single best short book on the LGBTQ debate, focusing on the radical end of this spectrum – transgenderism.

              This book is written with extreme clarity and biblical accuracy of theology and tone by Andrew T. Walker, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The book is a brief, but complete treatment of the issues. It begins with a historical review of how we have reached this place of extreme change in our culture so quickly. He next spends a few chapters clearly laying out a biblical sexual ethic and clarifying gender according to a biblical definition. From this base of theology and history, Walker then spends a few chapters addressing the Christian tone of compassion that must be in our hearts and in our words when seeking lost sinners. He makes a compelling argument for how exclusion, prejudice, or fear are incompatible with the gospel calling of Jesus. Walker does an excellent job putting truth first, then compassion, but keeping both balanced throughout. It’s right for us to strive after faithful biblical holiness and have a heart of true compassion toward those deeply in bondage to sin.

              The last few chapters are very practical sections on how to talk about these issues with your children and teenagers. These chapters include a section on frequently asked questions and a glossary of terms defining the new vocabulary this movement has come up with to redefine gender and sexuality.

              It’s not enough to just be angry over these issues, or to ignore them. We must hold our ground in holiness, but the commission of Jesus to reach the lost has not changed. We need to understand God’s good ways and teach them with compassion toward the lost. We need to help our children understand these issues that are hitting them every day.

May God help us to live in purity, not be ashamed of the gospel, and have compassion toward the lost enough to help those in need,

Pastor Vic

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