Showing posts from September, 2019

What about postmortem evangelism?

Can those who have never heard the gospel in this life, hear and receive it after death? Dr. Gary Deddo, president of Grace Communion Seminary, answers this question by explaining how Grace Communion International approaches the topic of postmortem evangelism and conversion. "The Good Shepherd," stained glass window (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) First, let's be reminded that the nature, character and purposes of our Triune God, as revealed to us in Jesus Christ, are foundational to our faith. We believe that all people are created according to the image of Jesus Christ. Further, we believe Jesus is Lord and Savior of all---he died for all and God does not want any to perish. These foundational truths are explicitly declared in the New Testament by Jesus and his appointed witnesses. On the basis of these truths, GCI teaches that God will do everything to draw all to himself and enable them to receive all he has for them through Jesus Christ. Understandab

Format change for The Surprising God blog

Grace Communion International  has transferred editorial responsibility for  The Surprising God blog  to its affiliate graduate educational institution, Grace Communion Seminary . GCS faculty member Ted Johnston, formerly GCI publications editor, continues as editor of this blog. Though the comments feature on the blog has been deactivated, comments are being received at Trinitarian Theology Forum and Trinitarian Ministry and Worship -- Facebook groups where posts from this blog are frequently re-posted.

A Trinitarian view of preaching

The church proclaims the gospel by helping people, via Word and Sacrament , encounter Jesus, the living good news of God. In earlier posts, we saw what Trinitarian theologians have written about baptism and the Lord's Supper . Now we'll look at what they have written concerning preaching. "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" by Tissot (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Thomas F. (TF) Torrance According to TF (in  Gospel, Church, and Ministry ), preaching Christ is both an evangelical and a theological activity, for it is the proclamation and teaching of Christ as he actually is presented to us in the Holy Scriptures. In the language of the New Testament, preaching Christ involves kerygma and didache —it is both a kerygmatic and a didactic activity. It is both evangelical and theological. (p. 220) Faithful, effective preachers are thus both theologians and evangelists—concerned about Jesus Christ’s being and his doing, or as John Calvin often said, presenting “Christ