In Evangelism, Climb Out of the Boat . . .

Rick Mattson Evangelism Leave a Comment

In my prior post I suggested that when it comes to the business of evangelism, we Christians don’t “bring Jesus” to others. We’re not salespeople. Rather, we’re detectives, investigators. Our job is to discern what God is already doing in the lives of those around us, then get involved. But how? How do we participate in this work of God? …

God Gets There First

Rick Mattson Evangelism 12 Comments

A kindly man in my neighborhood, Gene, has not spoken to me, nor I to him, in 25 years. Our disassociation is not due to any animosity I’m aware of but, most likely, to simple neglect. Recently, things changed. Gene traversed the vast chasm separating us – our back alley – to initiate contact. He came to tell me the …

Naming Jesus

Rick Mattson Evangelism 9 Comments

I met John at a golf tournament, and at some point in our four-hour tour of 18 holes together, we talked religion. This always happens. I bring it up in one form or another by mentioning church, prayer, hymns, Bible, religion in the media, etc. On the 7th hole he asked what I do for work. The easy reply is …

Slippage Part 5 of 5: Is the Ancient Faith Dismissible?

Rick Mattson Apologetics Leave a Comment

In my prior post I shared about Sean and how his new found progressive religion reshaped the entire faith of his upbringing. Here is my response to Sean: Since traditional Christianity was no longer relevant to Sean – and even seemed to block the pathway toward his ideals of justice and compassion – he merely dismissed it. But it seems …

Slippage Part 4 of 5: How Sean Lost His Faith (or most of it)

Rick Mattson Apologetics Leave a Comment

In my last post I noted how the dismissal of biblical social ethics regarding gender, sexuality, and religious pluralism is often a result of ignorance.   Leavers too often believe the media/cultural hype about the Bible and the “institutional church.” Thus, there is a bandwagon effect of rejecting parts or all of Christianity. But another group of critics is more …

Slippage Part 3 of 5: Injustice and the Bible

Rick Mattson Apologetics Leave a Comment

In my prior post I made the observation that emerging progressive thinkers are often motivated by 21st century notions of compassion and justice, which the Christian tradition, they say, does not support. Examples would be the unjust treatment of women, LGBTQ, and persons of color. As a traditional Christian, I share these concerns from within a biblical framework. But is …

Slippage Part 2 of 5: Observations about the New Progressives

Rick Mattson Apologetics Leave a Comment

In my previous post I wrote about the common practice these days of moving from conservative to progressive on a variety of theological and social issues. A list of such issues might include gender and sexuality, Jesus as a historical figure, the resurrection, religious pluralism – and the doctrines of universal sin, salvation through Christ, and hell. A sampling of …

Explicitly Jesus

Rick Mattson Evangelism 2 Comments

Not long ago I was about to hop an Uber cab in Detroit when I got a prompting from the Lord. He seemed to be saying, “I want you to talk about Jesus in the first ten seconds of this ride.” Ten seconds isn’t a lot of time. The driver greeted me outside his car and stowed my bags in …

Riseaboveability: Do You Have It?

Rick Mattson Devotion 2 Comments

I don’t often write devotional blogs. But the topic of elevating ourselves above the fray of life’s troubles seems important enough to make an exception. I call it riseaboveability. College students don’t have it, much. And I’m afraid I don’t model it for them very well. They rise and fall according to the latest fortunes of class assignments, GPA volatility, …