Stott believes both these approaches are deficient, and so he offers a third way.
In defining evangelism, Stott points out wrong turns evangelicals sometimes take in our evangelistic efforts such as, defining evangelism in terms of the recipients of the gospel, or in terms of results and methods. Instead, evangelism must be defined in terms of proclaiming the message of the gospel. What is the gospel? Next, Stott turns to the question of dialogue, and he addresses concerns that dialogue is a gateway to compromise. Stott recommends dialoguing with those of different faiths or those of no faith because dialogue is the mark of authenticity, humility, integrity, and sensitivity.
The reality of conversion cuts against the kind of syncretism and universalism currently popular among those in Western cultures. It is difficult to understand the reason why Stott feels it necessary to separate the experiential aspects of regeneration and conversion if these events are indeed simultaneous.
It is true that one cannot reduce every Christian conversion to a one-size-fits-all, dramatic event of embracing salvation. Conversion experiences come in all shapes and sizes. At a fundamental level, Stott is right in his definition of mission and the primacy he gives evangelism.
But when it comes to church practice and the choices of church leaders, there is little here to help us discern the way forward in embracing social ministry as a partner to evangelism while still maintaining evangelistic priority. Is he referring to Christians in their individual vocations seeking to be salt and light in the world or is he referring to the church as a corporate witness? Not only does Stott not answer these questions, but he also muddies the issue considerably by rejecting ulterior evangelistic motives in social ministry.
For this is the natural expression of our love for our neighbors. Langham's vision continues today to see churches in the Majority World equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through nurturing national movements for biblical preaching, fostering the creation and distribution of evangelical literature, and enhancing evangelical theological education. He is a Bible expositor with a worldwide ministry.
Ajith studied at Asbury Theological Seminary and Fuller Seminary and spends much of his time mentoring and counseling Christian workers. He is a visiting lecturer at Colombo Theological Seminary. Can we do both?
In this classic book, John Stott shows that Christian mission must encompass both evangelism and social action. InterVarsity Press Bolero Ozon. Christian Mission in the Modern World. Some emphasize Christian mission as verbal proclamation and "saving souls. He offers careful definitions of five key terms--mission, evangelism, dialogue, salvation and conversion. Through a thorough biblical exploration of these concepts, Stott provides a model for ministry to people's spiritual and physical needs alike.
Ultimately, Stott points to the example of Jesus, who modeled both the Great Commission of proclamation and the Great Commandment of love and service. This balanced, holistic approach to mission points the way forward for the work of the church in the world.
The Context of Evangelism. Dialogue in the Bible.