Twenty-first Century Challenges to the Gospel
The world gets smaller every day. Advances in technology make communication across great distances instantaneous. Increasing access to education exposes people to a variety of religions, worldviews, and ideologies. And immigration across national boundaries brings people from very different cultures into close proximity with one another.
As the world gets smaller, Christians must face new ideas that challenge their understanding of God and His purposes for humanity. The summer 2012 issue of Enrichment examines some of those ideas, especially ones that challenge core elements of the gospel. Its theme is “Twenty-first Century Challenges to the Gospel.”
Craig Keener kicks off the issue by using John 3:16 to explain what the gospel is. Other authors reply to specific challenges to the gospel: atheism (Paul Copan), Calvinism (Roger Olson), rationalistic critiques of the Atonement (Frank Macchia), annihilationalism (Jim Railey), universalism (George Paul Wood), Buddhism (Alan Johnson), Islam (Joseph Cumming), pluralism (Ivan Satyavarata), and indifference to personal evangelism (Randy Hurst). George O. Wood concludes the issue with reflections on the practical importance of sound theology.
This issue will inform you about challenges to the gospel and equip you to respond to them in a biblical way.
George Paul Wood
We often quote John 3:16 without considering what it teaches about salvation. If we want to fully understand this verse, we must hear it the way John’s first audience heard it — in the context of the rest of John’s Gospel.
New Atheists question God's goodness by raising abundant complaints about Old Testament ethics. Their assertions present a lopsided picture of Yahweh's character.
Roger E. Olson
The doctrine of limited atonement is probably the most hotly debated of the five points of Calvinism among evangelicals. It is also Calvinism’s Achilles’ heel; without it the other points fall.
Frank D. Macchia
The one-sided and distorted emphasis on the cross as the appeasement of the Father’s violent wrath toward humanity has come under fire. We need to address this genuine distortion.
The more you equip your congregation to understand sound doctrine about the person of Christ, the more you will have equipped them to respond faithfully to questions raised by their Muslim friends.
In the midst of a society that is increasingly multireligious and culturally diverse, what should the Christian posture be toward the diverse faiths of our neighbors?
A number of present-day teachers eloquently propose that once you have gained salvation, you cannot lose it. Does Scripture clearly refute this position?
Alan R. Johnson
Because of the rising prominence of Eastern religions in mainstream popular culture, Christians need to understand Buddhism as it relates to practical approaches to sharing their faith.
James H. Railey, Jr.
While we might debate the precise nature of hell — literal fire, literal darkness, or figurative torment — the eternal nature of human destiny is clear.
George Paul Wood
Does God’s loving nature mean everyone will ultimately be forgiven and saved? Apparently, one popular author thinks so.
It is a reasonable goal for people to share their faith with a few people a year. If it is reasonable, why don’t more Christians do it?
Kinnaman discusses how the church should find new ways to minister to the Mosaic Generation and challenge them in wholehearted pursuit of Christ.
From the General Superintendent
George O. Wood
While the specific nature of the challenges the gospel faces changes from generation to generation, the fact there are challenges and the need for spiritual discernment stay the same.
The Family of Jesus (PDF)
Dealing With Doubters
LEAD LONG…LEAD STRONG
MANAGING THE MAYHEM OF MINISTRY
MOVING LEADERS FORWARD
MINISTRY & MEDICAL ETHICS
Christina M.H. Powell
Church, Clergy & Law
Richard R. Hammar
Q&A for Ministry Wives
- Book Reviews
- News and Resources
- With Christ
- Advertising Index
Next Time in Enrichment:
Faith and Science:
Interpreting God’s Word and God’s World
The fall 2012 issue of Enrichment will address various aspects of the often-tense relationship between faith and science in Western culture. This issue will feature articles by three prominent Christian scientists about the biblical and scientific evidence for the age of the earth. These articles with rebuttals will illuminate basic issues in the faith-science debate. Other articles will address models for understanding the relationship of faith and science, how Pentecostal scientists integrate their faith with their scientific profession, how to minister in a scientifically literate culture, and how to respond to New Atheist misuses of science. Read compelling articles by Paul Copan, William Lane Craig, Gregory A. Gannsle, Timothy J. McGrew, Christina M.H. Powell, Hugh Ross, Mike Tenneson, Amos Yong, Davis A. Young, Kurt P. Wise, and George O. Wood.