Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Philosophy of Gospel Tracts Introduction

I suppose any person who has been around evangelical Christianity for any length of time is familiar with the practice of passing out Gospel tracts. Over the past 15 years or so, I have had conversations with many people, including numerous pastors and missionaries, about the philosophy of Gospel tracts. During the course of these conversations, several main issues have come up time and again. These issues are:

1. Are Gospel tracts a vital tool or a waste of time?

2. How much Bible must be in a Gospel tract?

3. Does every Gospel tract need to present the Gospel in its entirety?

4. Is a straightforward approach better, or is it better to “ease into” the message?

5. How important is cultural relevance, and is there a “silver bullet”?

6. What level of quality is suitable and necessary to the Gospel message?

7. Can a foreigner write an effective tract in a language that is not his own?

8. Should we print tracts in America and then ship them, or print them on the field?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Christians Who Aren't Bored With God

One of my favorite things about serving the Lord as a missionary in a country that does not have a Christian heritage is that virtually everything in the Bible is new to the people. Sadly, many Christians who grew up with the Bible eventually got bored of the Bible. I don't think it has to be that way, but oftentimes it is.

Our church in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is not large, but the people whom God has allowed us to, how they love the Lord and His Word! Recently a missionary friend came to me and explained that he was working on putting together an exhaustive Bible concordance for the Khmer Bible. I wouldn't even know where to begin on a project such as that, but my friend had a computer program (and the brains to know how to work it) which would help him make the concordance. But he needed some help. The printed Khmer Bible has many differences from the digital Khmer Bible when it comes to the spacing of the words, and this was messing up his attempt to do searches on the various words. He needed a number of Khmer believers to volunteer their time to compare every single verse in the printed Bible with every single verse in the digital Bible and mark the differences in the spacing. Now, doesn't that sound like exciting work?