The Lonely Road

Evangelism and theology for the most part go separate ways, and the result is great loss for both. When theology is not held on course by the demands of evangelistic communication, it grows abstract and speculative, wayward in method, theoretical in interest and irresponsible in stance. When evangelismm is not fertilized, fed and controlled by theology, it becomes a stylized performance seeking its effect through manipulative skills rather than the power of vision and the force of truth.” (Harvie Conn Ed. Theological Perspectives on Church Growth, ‘What is Evangelism’ by J.I. Packer)

What I appreciate about Packer’s thoughts here is his ability to make two unusual bedfellows – evangelism and theology – unified and intrinsic to the proper nature of each other. Theology cannot exist in a healthy manner without ‘evangelistic communication’. Likewise evangelism is not fueled on passion alone, but needs the fertilizer of godly theology placed down at its roots so it can grow up into a mature, deep, and faithful witness.

Theologies enemy is a love for the speculative, evangelism’s enemy is a love for performance. What areas in your theology have been lacking an evangelistic zeal, what areas in you evangelizing have had little to no theological reflection?