Recognize why and how evangelism must change to reach post-Christian, Western societies. (Sect. 9.1)
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones – “This demon is too deep for your ordinary way of doing ministry!” (i.e., why and how evangelism must change to reach post-Christian, Western societies)
“As we look at the expression of this kind, I wonder whether as Christian people we are aware of the real depth of the problem which confronts us in a spiritual sense at the present time. I ask that question because it seems to me to be so clear, from the activities of many, that we have not even begun to understand it. They are carrying on with certain methods that were once successful, and they pin their faith to them, and they do not realize that they are not only not successful, but they cannot be, because of the nature of the problem confronting them.”
• In the 18th & 19th centuries, people in Europe and the United States were aware of Christian truth but they were apathetic, asleep and needed awakening. The Great Awakening revival reached many people.
• Today many people are unaware of or deny Christian truth. This is the “demon too deep for your ordinary way of doing ministry
Lesslie Newbigin was a missionary to India. When he came back to England, he discovered that in order to reach people in the UK and Western Europe, you needed to think like a missionary who was attempting to reach an utterly non-Christian, or in the case of the Western world, a post-Christian society. (See Foolishness to the Greeks)
NooneinhistoryhasevertriedtoreachasocietythatusedtobeandisnolongerChristian. The basic attitude of post-Christian society is that, “Yes, we did try Christianity once back in the Middle Ages, back when women were second-class citizens, and blacks were not citizens at all. But our experience of Christianity didn’t work out so well for us, so we don’t need to consider it any longer.”
The loss of the mental furniture of Christianity
As the mental furniture of Christianity (an awareness of Christian concepts and terminology) is disappearing from many people’s minds, the older methods of doing evangelism are proving less and less effective.
The growing ineffectiveness of canned approaches to gospel presentation
The growing ineffectiveness of mass crusades
The growing ineffectiveness of grafting in other churches' programs into your church's program