Vol.XVII No.XII Pg.6
February 1981

Contents And Realities

Robert F. Turner

What is the Christian's task in the world today? Some quickly answer, "evangelism" — and then proceed to separate this vital aspect of Christianity from the rest of human life. Evangelism becomes stuffing the gospel down some unconverted throat, and preaching Christ becomes the propagation of a canned message plus the call for a decision. Being a Christian ...means much more than this type of "evangelism." It includes a balanced grasp of doctrine and theology, worldview and lifestyle, faith and practice. As Francis Schaeffer says, it involves "two contents, and two realities."

FIRST CONTENT. A Christian must be deeply concerned with knowing exactly what the Bible teaches. He must totally immerse himself in the content of Scripture. How can we effectively teach others about Christ without a thorough grasp of the Book of God? We must accept what the Bible says about history, morals, miracles, and Jesus; and strongly reject the modern teachings which reduce the Bible to ancient myth and legends. Sound doctrine is the first content.

SECOND CONTENT. If Christianity is Truth, it can answer questions; even the questions of the intellectual. We must always be willing to study and give answer to everyone who asks concerning the hope that is in us. We must not simply ask people to "believe," without answering their questions. This is a dangerous way to "preach Christ." We must study constantly, and strive to apply truth to man's honest questions. This is the second content. FIRST REALITY. Christianity is not merely propositions and doctrine. If the NT teaches us anything at all, it is that mental acquiescence alone is not sufficient to become and be a Christian. What we know must become what we are. Hunger, thirst, zeal, as well as enthusiasm are all involved in forming a personal relationship with God. Content alone is meaningless. Christianity becomes simply another philosophy if there is no reality involved. True spirituality is the first reality.

SECOND REALITY. Not only must the Christian love the Lord, and maintain a personal relationship with Him, but he must also treat all men with dignity and honor. Jesus tells us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. Christianity demonstrates that the nature of man is quite distinct from the rest of creation. Man is made in the image of God. We must treat all men well because of this. This involves all aspects of our day-to-day lives. Our family and friends and our colleagues and peers are all made in the image of God; just as our brethren in Christ are made in the likeness of God. So, we must preach Christ both in content and in deed. What is the duty of the Christian in the world today? It is much more than simply attending a few religious services each week. There are two contents and two realities in genuine Christianity. We must know God's word and be able to apply it; we must practice Christianity toward God, and toward our fellow men. When all four requirements are present, something wonderful happens. Ramon Madrigal