On Mission as the Church in Exile

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               There is often a commonly unfortunate imposed dichotomy between the terms “theology” and “mission.” The consequence has been that missiologists have tended towards pragmatism, focusing on techniques and models for evangelizing the unreached, while theologians have worked without an awareness of issues such as contextualization and globalization.[1] However, if we want to be a truly missional and biblical church, the two must come together and work in harmony—with theology informing practice and ample consideration given to the specific challenges of our cultural contexts to Gospel ministry in the twenty-first century. This is especially true in the context we find ourselves in today as the church in the West which is increasingly being pushed to the margins and losing its influence or being misrepresented within the culture. What does it mean to be on mission as the Church in exile?

               This article will briefly explore some of the factors influencing our cultural context, the biblical basis for mission and analyse some approaches to mission critiquing some of the weaknesses in current trends. It will focus primarily on the necessity for theology, practice of mission and the evangelistic message to be shaped by the Word, but delivered in a contextualized form to facilitate understanding. Although ‘mission’ encompasses much more than just evangelism, here, significant emphasis will be spent on Evangelicalism’s problems with compromise, the need for bold proclamation and learning from history. I will also briefly look at the Reformation with regards to our methodology for proclaiming the Gospel and confronting the culture with a presuppositional apologetic which seeks to be faithful to Biblical truth but also engage dynamically with the world at large.[2]

The Culture We Find Ourselves In

               Postmodernism has broadly affected and shaped our culture in the developed West. It generates a feeling of homelessness because it rejects any universal narrative that makes sense of a common foundation. This is due to Postmodernism being primarily a deconstructive movement that was born out of a reaction to modernism which produced not a new order, but rather a new ‘disorder.’[3] Combined with many other forces of influence such as the affluence of Western societies, secularization and the impact of atheism on academia, the pressures from science and a general movement away from traditional family structures and values, this has produced a significant move away from faith in the secularized West. The Reformers and Puritans saw education as a means of preparing the mind to receive the revelation of God.[4] However, with the secularization of education in conjunction with a general apathy towards critical thinking and the study of history, the modern millennial’s mind no longer has been prepared for a ready reception of the Gospel message.

               The church has not been unaffected by this trend either. Modern evangelicals often suffer with the same problems of ignorance of Church History and basic doctrines.[5] What once could have been taken for granted—familiarity with Christian terminology, concepts of truth and virtue—no longer can be assumed but must also be established first. I remember not too long ago watching a video on YouTube where some atheists were commenting on Christian beliefs, but their understanding of Christianity was far from anything that resembled biblical Christianity. Instead it was some sort of weird caricature which pop-media and culture have manufactured, and it seems like many have gobbled up whole—accepting it as true. It is essential for the minister of the gospel to be trained to faithfully exegete Scripture and also master the skill of human exegesis—to communicate the Gospel in understandable terms to his audience. However, uncritical or radical contextualization which distorts the gospel into a syncretistic message is not the answer.[6] The work of Gospel proclamation, now more than ever must seek to communicate clearly to a post-Christian culture and also be coupled with apologetic necessity to both educate and combat contrary philosophies, in order to ‘till the land’ before the seed can take root—both inside and outside the church. We must realize that today for a lot of people, what they ‘think’ Christianity is, may be far removed from the truth.

Current Trends

               At the current rate, assuming no other changes, those of no specific faith ties will likely outnumber Christians in North America by 2042. Surveys and stats by Reginald Bibby show that in only twenty-five years, Canada has become a radically different place religiously, especially among the younger generation which points to this only being the beginning of the shift.[7] However, there is now a new factor introduced in the recent developments of an increase in Muslim refugee immigration to North America which will undoubtedly also have its impact in the years to come. The new reality is that the church is no longer fully integrated into culture but now functions in a framework which precludes any of its cultural authority. “Unless the church is educated so that it can fully comprehend the reality of its situation, people will not sense the urgency for change or the need to embrace the motif of exile as a time for renaissance.”[8] Undoubtedly the church needs to be educated about the shifting times, however, perhaps a call to remember and go back to its roots is equally appropriate.

A Church in Exile

               Dr. Beach’s book The Church in Exile, provides a helpful model for thinking about our new state of affairs as the Church in exile, using the motif of exile found in the Bible to help think about how the Church can be faithful to her mission in this new context from the fringes. Beach provides examples from biblical figures such as Esther, Daniel, Jonah, Jesus and 1 Peter to see how we can think about exile biblically and learn from these how to be able to do effective Gospel contextualization yet remain faithful to our mission as God’s people.[9] This sort of searching of the scriptures for wisdom to respond to our situation is vital. However, exile is not necessarily a ‘new context’ to the Church in general, but has been the common experience of the Church throughout history and in many other places in the world. The ‘newness’ of this experience is only fresh to Western audiences who have previously enjoyed the blessings of the influence of Christendom on their societies. The fact is that for a large majority of Christians throughout the world, and throughout the ages, persecution and being on the fringes of society was the norm! There is also a great wealth of wisdom to be found in both a study of Church history, such as the persecuted Early Church, as well as the life of the persecuted and marginalized church in other parts of the globe.[10]

Defining ‘Mission’ and some misconceptions

               Some scholarly discussion of how exactly we define mission has tended towards agnosticism regarding the possibility of an agreed meaning and makes a virtue out of ambiguity, with ‘mission’ becoming a term constantly seeking meaning.[11] It seems that sometimes scholars only succeed in creating more confusion! One approach is identified as missio Dei, that all Christian mission is God’s and humans engage as co-workers with God (1 Thes. 3:2).[12] A second more narrow definition is that which “encompasses everything that Jesus sends his people into the world to do” and restricts mission to the church’s action in the world.[13] A third even narrower approach limits it to what is termed as ‘social action,’ also sometimes called social justice causes (Gal. 2:10), along with proclamation and making disciples.[14] However, this call to make disciples is essential to whatever discussion of the Church’s mission, not just in terms of evangelistic outreach but also internal ministry.

               Many modern approaches to mission focus more so on models of ‘decisionism’ which may have arisen more out of the Evangelical Awakening and Camp Revivals than a biblical understanding of Gospel ministry. No where in the Bible do we see Jesus or the apostles preach a “make a decision and accept Christ into your heart” type of Gospel. We need to study the apostolic Gospel which they preached and model our own Gospel proclamation on this! Our mandate is not simply to make converts—eliciting decisions—but rather to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). Equally, some have chiefly understood mission as primarily a cross-cultural enterprise, failing to rightly value their local activity in their present context as ‘mission’ also. In the haste to get to ‘the real full-fledged mission to the foreign field, like Paul’ we tend to see the first part of the local mission in Jerusalem and Judea as just a stumbling around, groping for mission.[15] Furthermore, some erroneous perceptions of Pauline mission risk seeing him as a peripatetic preacher who moved quickly from place to place making converts. However, in reality he remained in places establishing churches and discipling people to communicate “the whole will of God” (Acts 20:27), following up with letters of instruction and encouragement even after his departure.[16] It is important for us to remember in any discussion of mission, we must be building a culture of discipleship—both making disciples and being discipled—as had been the tradition in the church throughout the centuries and especially in the Early Church and confessional traditions.

               For a truly biblical understanding of mission in the full counsel of scripture, we must look to the rich resonance of OT sources in the NT images of the church as a missional people in the tradition of Israel.[17] “Fundamentally, our mission (if it is biblically informed and validated) means our committed participation as God’s people, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission within the history of the world for the redemption of God’s creation.”[18] It is what the people of God are taken up into—the work that God is doing for the sake of the world in His long-term purpose of renewing creation.[19] “God’s mission involves God’s people living in God’s way in the sight of the nations,” just as Israel was to display and embody in its communal life God’s original intention and eschatological goal for humanity.[20] This understanding fits well with what Beach proposes as a model for the Church in exile today living in the midst of a culture which is alien or hostile to it.

Mission: A Bigger Picture

               If mission is only understood as geographical expansion, then mission doesn’t begin until either Peter crosses cultural boundaries to Cornelius (Acts 10) or Paul is commissioned (Acts 13). However, in light of the OT, mission is the role of God’s people to live in contrast to the surrounding nations and thus mission begins not in Acts but the beginning of the biblical story.[21] So mission is not just about going to some foreign third world country! Mission is therefore primarily more about being than about going or doing—it is about being a distinctive, countercultural community among the nations.[22] The purpose of God’s people is stated concisely in the Westminster Shorter Catechism that, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”[23] Markus Barth rightly defines it as our purpose as a people created, gathered, enlightened, commissioned, sustained and equipped to live to the praise of God’s glory publicly—“to manifest the glory of God before the watching eyes of the nations.”[24] This also means that we cannot have a sort of scandalous dualism between word and deed—deeds of mercy and justice divorced from words as well as gospel words void of deeds are both patently false (James 2:14-6).[25]

               The tendency within certain branches of Evangelicalism, especially within the emergent church movement, to reduce mission to what has been coined as the social justice gospel fails utterly in this regard. Likewise, a compartmentalization of Christian witness only to certain spheres of life fails to acknowledge Christ’s universal lordship over all— “witness defines the people of God in the entirety of their lives—all of life is witness!”[26] The proclamation of the Kingdom must be brought to bear to and over all of creation and every sphere of life, and so the church’s involvement in culture is part of the redemption of all things to Christ—business, the arts, sciences, law, politics, and every other arena of life and every strata of society. To do anything less and retreat to the private sector is to do what the early church refused to do and what the Bible forbids us to do—it is to deny the kingship of Christ over all.[27] Therefore, mission is not just the job of the pastor or fulltime missionary, but the responsibility of everyone who would claim the name of Christ. This is obviously a very vast and broad spectrum to address comprehensively, so focus will next be given specifically to the aspect of proactive proclamation of the exclusivity of the Gospel in culture of high pressure to compromise—recognizing that this is only one aspect of mission in the bigger sense.

A Fearless Gospel

               Spurgeon once said that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a fearless gospel and the reverse of what is called ‘modern charity’ which tries to induce persons to withhold a part of what they believe and thus silence the testimony of all Christians in points where they differ. He said,

“…hold everything which you see to be in God’s Word with a tighter grasp, and do not give up even the little pieces of truth. At the same time, let that Sectarianism which makes you hate another man because he does not see with you—let that be far from you! but never consent to that unholy league and covenant which seems to be rife throughout our country, which would put a padlock on the mouth of every man and send us all about as if we were dumb: which says to me, ‘You must not speak against the errors of such a Church,’ and to another, ‘You must not reply.’ We cannot but speak! If we did not, the stones in the street might cry out against us. That kind of charity is unknown to the gospel.”[28]

Dr. Beach, commenting on Daniel as a model of life in exile, says that “our calling is to demonstrate a distinctly Christian character and unashamedly confess our attachment to Jesus… In the book of Daniel, there is nothing subtle about Jewish holiness”—in fact it is often the very source of their troubles.[29] In a culture which is ever increasingly hostile to the Christian message, we must be fearless! However, the temptation for the people of God experiencing exile has always been toward compromise to avoid persecutions from oppressive forces in power—this is why God raised up prophetic voices to remind them of the demand to uncompromising faithfulness to YHWH. The message of the Cross was and is and will continue to be an offense and foolishness to the world (1 Cor. 1:18; cf. Gal. 5:11), but much of today’s progressive evangelism techniques primarily seek how to lessen that offense—often at any expense to the fidelity of the message.[30] (Not that this gives us license to be jerks either in how we present the truth!)

The Struggle with Compromise

               Traditional theology understood the proclamation of the Good News of redemption exclusively through the Cross and resurrection of Christ, however new views try to redefine it in terms of humanization and social liberation.[31] Predictably, the ministry such churches assume is no longer of expounding scriptural truth but rather devoting energies to breaking down barriers to human progress toward peace and justice—the minister ceases to proclaim a definite message and instead becomes a nurturer of ‘ecumenism’ and ‘openness.’[32] A recent example of this compromise for the sake of ecumenism has been the controversy which was fanned by the story of Wheaton College professor, Dr. Hawkins, around whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God.[33] (They don’t btw—see footnotes)

               Another strand reflects the influence of the New Age movement in which the church’s mission is spiritualized and privatized—the focus is no longer the reign of justice on earth through the kingdom of God but rather the transformation of ‘religious consciousness.’ It is a call to turn inward to find peace which changes the church into a society of seekers for ‘enlightenment’ instead of redemption.[34] Furthermore, with the influence of the shift in perspective on truth claims by postmodernism, apologetics becomes no longer about demonstrating the superiority of the Christian worldview as objectively true but striving to attain a consensus that allows a more comprehensive religious vision based on a new re-definition of ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’ where all religious claims to truth are affirmed as equally valid.[35] Alister McGrath sharply  critiques this as an “arrogant imposition of political correctness” that “glosses over the patently obvious fact that the world religions” significantly differ.[36]

               By seeking to remain ‘relevant’ through compromising doctrinal distinctives, the church will end up becoming all the more irrelevant as it simply fades into the religious milieu of pluralism. The message of Christianity is exclusive but with an inclusive goal to reconcile all peoples to the one true God.[37] This is not however to negate the value of lifestyle witness or charity and social justice in evangelism, but to say it must be kept in proper perspective. The Great Commission is clear—“teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you”—so proclamation must be involved. No one expects their neighbours to say, “look at the contentment and joy with which he mows his lawn or she pulls weeds in their flower beds. I must meet their God!”[38] Something must be said, for how can they believe and call upon Him whom they have not heard (Rom. 10:14)? We must recognize that the goal of evangelism and mission is not merely social order but spiritual rebirth—social reformation has its genesis in personal transformation.[39]

The Need for a Confessing Church

               Although the evangelical movement has admirably resisted these new trends, especially in the developed West, it is starting to betray a subtle accommodation to a form of moralistic therapeutic deism which reduces salvation to psychic wholeness and moralistic behaviour.[40] The need today however in our present climate of exile is not a therapeutic, pluralistic or political church, but rather a confessing church which will “boldly confess the claims of Christ in the face of the heresies and heterodoxies of our age.”[41] However it has become taboo in many circles for ministers to talk about the wretchedness of sin, the depravity of man, or the wrath of God. These departures from gospel truths ultimately betray a misplaced understanding of the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, and the source of salvation.

               We are not able through our own cleverness to formulate a salvation apart from what Christ has provided. We are not dispensers of grace, free to redefine the message as we see needed, but merely ambassadors and heralds of grace as we live a life of costly discipleship pointing others to the One alone who saves.[42] Approaches to evangelism which mistakenly assume that the person apart from Christ and the work of God’s Spirit in their lives seeks or wants the true God (1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 3:11, 8:7-8) end up compromising the very thing which is the only power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). In our zeal to fulfill Christian mission, we must not abandon the Christian Gospel nor the necessity of the Spirit’s work of regeneration.

Learning from History

               The Protestant Reformation saw one of the biggest revivals of Gospel preaching and evangelism in history. There is much profit to be gained from a return to study the Reformers who sought to recover the biblical Gospel through a return to the original sources and study of the writings of the Early Church. Although Evangelicalism historically sprouted from the Protestant Reformation, today many streams of it have lost or fallen away from those distinctives which once spurred the movement. Reformed theology shows the necessity of a Presuppositional approach to apologetics rather than the popular Evidentialist approach which tends to, as C.S. Lewis coined it, put “God in the docks.”[43] As Kuyper said, “The psychiater, who treats the maniac, cannot render his method of treatment dependent upon the judgment of his patient. Equally little can you attribute this right of judgment over the special principium to the natural principium.”[44] God is the necessary prerequisite for all foundation of knowledge and knowing, likewise faith also precedes all genuine understanding since without it, fallen humanity is spiritually blind and has no proper understanding whereby to judge.[45]

Presuppositional Apologetics

               Some object to presuppositional methodology that it is not ‘open-minded’ enough—however, we must recognize that no one is neutral from the outset and all people have presuppositions for weighing and interpreting facts. This approach seeks to question and show the presuppositions and assumptions of the other’s foundational worldview as self-vitiating.[46] Such an approach is thus more robust, as it gets down to the root cause underlying unbelief, is faithful to a biblical understanding of the effect of the Fall on human reason and uncompromising on the authority of God’s revelation, while also being able to use all the ‘evidences’ of typical modern apologetics. We also see a historic basis in the Early Church Fathers for this methodology in writers like Justin Martyr (100-165 CE), Origen (c. 184-254 CE) and Augustine (354-430 CE), among others.[47] Augustine wrote that, understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that thou mayest understand”[48] At the same time though, Augustine didn’t think our faith a groundless one, he said “they are much deceived, who think that we believe in Christ without any proofs concerning Christ.”[49]

**For a great introduction to Presuppositional Apologetics check out two books: Expository Apologetics: Answering Objections with the Power of the Word and The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture? by Voddie Baucham Jr. And for a more in depth look at it, check out: Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended by Greg L. Bahnsen and Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith by K. Scott Oliphint.**

The Sufficiency of Scripture

               All of this comes back to what was essentially the crux of the Reformation—the belief in Sola Scriptura—one which many Evangelicals today still hold to, or at least assent to, but sometimes do not adequately follow through all the implications which that confession would logically entail. It is not as easy as ‘just read the Bible and do what it says’ though, as many different denominations have their own hermeneutical approaches to interpretation of scripture—however, this is the level where presuppositions must be challenged. The loss of thoroughly working out the implications of Sola Scriptura in every area of ministry—and thus mission—affects how we practice, share and live out our Christian faith. Without this sort of a critical assessment of our basic presuppositions, instead of doing God’s work, God’s way, we may end up trying to build a prosperous earthly kingdom with secular tools and despite apparent success, end up as David Wells put it, “living in a fool’s paradise.”[50] Boyce’s words on this point are sharp, but perhaps needed,

“…many evangelicals have abandoned the Bible all the same simply because they do not think it is adequate for the challenges we face today. They do not think it is sufficient for winning people to Christ in this age, so they turn to felt-need sermons or entertainment or ‘signs and wonders’ instead. They do not think the Bible is sufficient for achieving Christian growth, so they turn to therapy groups or Christian counselling. They do not think it is sufficient for making God’s will known, so they look for external signs or revelations. They do not think it is adequate for changing our society, so they establish evangelical lobby groups in Washington and work to elect “Christian” congressmen, senators, presidents, and other officials.”[51]


               In conclusion, after assessing the cultural context which we find ourselves today where Christianity is increasingly being pushed to the fringes and the temptations to compromise are ever increasing, we must seriously re-evaluate our methodological approach to Christian mission in this new ‘exilic’ reality. There is a fine line between Gospel contextualization and compromise which must be carefully discerned. Our faith should always be shaped by the Word, guided by the Spirit and thoroughly dependent on God to do for us that which we cannot do for ourselves. The return to scripture as the source and rule of faith which shapes all of our ministry practice and belief is important in navigating this ‘new’ paradigm shift. However, a study of history also would prove to be incredibly enlightening as this is not the only time or context that the church has been pushed to the margins.

               This sort of base will radically change the way we think about evangelism and engaging in apologetics with our culture. We should not be afraid to challenge and question our presuppositions by adopting an ethos similar to the Reformers who challenged the dominating ideologies of the time by seeking to be faithfully submitted to the scriptures and aligned to the faith once and for all delivered to the saints. Christianity throughout the centuries has flourished under persecution and hardships, showing the true resilience of our faith, and often these very trials have served to refine the Church. So while we do not look forward to marginalization and the potential of increased persecution, we can rest assured that God is in control and He uses all these things for His good purposes.


[1] Hwang, “Review of The Mission of God’s People,” 176. For further reading see, Christopher J. H. Wright. The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010.
[2] I concede that this is not going to be an adequate treatment of any of these topics given the space here.
[3] Beach, Church in Exile, 22.
[4] For more on this see Ozment, When Fathers Ruled: Family Life in Reformation Europe; Pitkin, “The Heritage of the Lord”; Strauss, Luther’s House of Learning and also Dr. Riemer Faber’s short article on Martin Luther and Reformed Education available online at http://www.spindleworks.com/library/rfaber/luther_edu.htm
[5] For an excellent discussion of this problem in Evangelicalism see Blamires, The Christian Mind; Guinness, Fit Bodies, Fat Minds and especially Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.
[6] Oberlin, “Review of The Gospel in Human Contexts” 374. See for further reading, Hiebert. The Gospel in Human Contexts.
[7] Beach, The Church in Exile, 35-36.
[8] Beach, The Church in Exile, 143.
[9] See chapters 2 to 7 in Beach, The Church in Exile, 49-136 for an excellent exploration of these examples.
[10] See Canfield, The Early Persecutions of the Christians, for a good study of the persecutions in the early church.
[11] Ferdinando, “Mission: A Problem of Definition,” 47-48. For example, Bosch argues “that the Bible itself does not offer a single mission theology but several, and he distinguishes the approaches of Jesus, Matthew, Luke-Acts, and Paul. Consequently, he suggests that it is impossible to construct a single biblical theology of mission on which to base contemporary practice.” For further reading see Bosch, Witness to the World, 9.
[12] Ferdinando, “Mission: A Problem of Definition,” 49. However, in contemporary missiological debate, the term identifies mission as everything God wills to do in the world, whether through the church or outside it—implying that non-Christians may be positively involved in God’s mission without knowing it—this entails a potential marginalisation of the role of the church as not being the unique human vehicle of the missio Dei.
[13] Kirk, “Missiology,” 434; Ferdinando, “Mission: A Problem of Definition,” 50.
[14] Ferdinando, “Mission: A Problem of Definition,” 52.
[15] Legrand, Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible, 103; Goheen, A Light to the Nations, 122.
[16] Ferdinando, “Mission: A Problem of Definition,” 54.
[17] Goheen, A Light to the Nations, 23.
[18] Wright, The Mission of God, 22–23.
[19] Goheen, A Light to the Nations, 25.
[20] Wright, The Mission of God, 470; Goheen, A Light to the Nations, 25.
[21] Goheen, A Light to the Nations, 122.
[22] Peskett, The Message of Mission, 123.
[23] CRTA, Westminster Shorter Catechism, no pages. Q.1. Online: http://www.reformed.org/documents/wsc/index.html?_top=http://www.reformed.org/documents/WSC.html
[24] Barth, The Broken Wall, 171, 182; Goheen, A Light to the Nations, 25. See also Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions.
[25] Goheen, A Light to the Nations, 215.
[26] Goheen, A Light to the Nations, 128. See also Bauckham, Bible and Mission, 99.
[27] Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks, 102.
[28] Spurgeon, Spurgeon Commentary: Philippians, 43–44.
[29] Beach, The Church in Exile, 87.
[30] See Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks, 50-52 for more about the incomprehensibility of the gospel message by the wisdom of this world and the necessity of a paradigm shift in the understanding of a person to receive the message.
[31] Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, 32.
[32] Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, 33.
[33] A breakdown of the story with some interesting statistics can be found at Weber, “Wheaton College, Larycia Hawkins to ‘Part Ways,’” online. The Roman Catholic response has been to embrace Islam as worshipping the same God as Christianity, see Beckwith, “Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?”—which some evangelicals had become sympathetic to. Interestingly, this has been the position of the RC church since at least Vatican II, see Vatican, “Nostra Aetate,” article 3. However, good rebuttals have been provided by apologists such as at RZIM, see Qureshi, “Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?” (Links in bibliography)
[34] Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, 33–34.
[35] Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, 33, 237. Gandhi is quoted to have said that “all the great religions are fundamentally equal” and S. Radhakrishnan says that “it is all a question of taste and temperatment.”
[36] McGrath, “The Challenge of Pluralism for the Contemporary Christian Church,” 1:241.
[37] Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, 239–240.
[38] Baucham, The Ever-Loving Truth, 85-86.
[39] Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, 248.
[40] Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, 180-181. “Moralism is preaching the law without the gospel so that our hearers are told what to do in order to ensure for themselves a place in God’s kingdom rather than what God has already done for us and the whole world in Jesus Christ. Sometimes the gospel is made into a new law: it is no longer the divine promise but the divine commandment.”
[41] Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, 34–35. See also Bonhoeffer, No Rusty Swords, 335 who said, “There can only be a church as a Confessing Church, i.e., as a church which confesses itself to be for its Lord and against his enemies. A church without a confession or free from one is not a church, but a sect, and makes itself master of the Bible and the Word of God.”
[42] Bloesch, The Church: Sacraments, Worship, Ministry, Mission, 55.
[43] Lewis, God in the Dock, 244; Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics, 7.
[44] Kuyper, Principles of Sacred Theology, 381.
[45] Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics, 10. This is not to say that the unsaved have absolutely no reasoning capacity or logical perception—only that the Fall has compromised that ability to clearly see truth, and that the unregenerate suppresses the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1). See also Van Til, “My Credo,” 11. Van Til’s work in presuppositional or covenantal apologetics was incredibly influential and highly recommended for further study. See also Oliphint, Covenantal Apologetics, 37.
[46] Bahnsen, Presuppositional Apologetics, 14–16, 23. Bahnsen’s book does a great job of thoroughly addressing the methodology and challenges to presuppositional apologetics. For a basic introduction to presuppositional apologetics, Baucham, Expository Apologetics, is a great popular level work.
[47] On Justin Martyr, see Chadwick, Justin Martyr’s Defence of Christianity, 275-297. On Origen, see Trigg, Origen: The Bible and Philosophy in the Third Century; Hauck, “They Saw What They Saw” 239-249. For further reading see Grant, Greek Apologists of the Second Century. For a great article on the history of apologetics, see https://bible.org/seriespage/3-brief-history-apologetics
[48] Augustine, “Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel according to St. John,” 184. St. Anslem (1033-1109CE) likewise said, “For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, ‑‑that unless I believed, I should not understand.”
[49] Augustine, “Concerning Faith of Things Not See,” 339.
[50] Wells, No Place for Truth, 68.
[51] Boice, Whatever Happened to The Gospel of Grace, 24.


Augustine of Hippo, “Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel according to St. John,” in St.          Augustin: Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. John Gibb and James Innes, vol. 7, in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series. New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888.

Augustine of Hippo, “Concerning Faith of Things Not See,” in St. Augustin: On the Holy     Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. C. L. Cornish, vol. 3, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887.

Barth, Markus. The Broken Wall: A Study of the Epistle to the Ephesians. Vancouver, BC: Regent Press, 2002.

Bahnsen, Greg L. Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended, ed. Joel McDurmon. Powder Springs, GA; Nacogdoches, TX: American Vision;Covenant Media Press,   2008.

Baucham Jr., Voddie. Expository Apologetics: Answering Objections with the Power of the Word. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015.

Baucham Jr., Voddie. The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture? Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2004. Kindle Edition.

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Strauss, Gerald. Luther’s House of Learning: Indoctrination of the Young in Reformation Germany. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978.

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Weber, Jeremy and Ted Olsen. “Wheaton College, Larycia Hawkins to ‘Part Ways’” No         pages. Online: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/february/wheaton-college-larycia-hawkins-same-god-reinstatedochawk.html

Wells, David F. No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993.

Wright, Christopher J. H. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2006.

Van Til, Cornelius “My Credo,” in Jerusalem and Athens, ed. E. R. Geehan. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1971.

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