Sunday, 3 February 2008

Todd Friel's response to the Bullhorn Guy: Preach the gospel at all times AND ALWAYS USE WORDS.

This is a video response to the Bullhorn guy from Tom Friel of the Way of the Master. His approach is very different from Rob Bell's. He is certainly convinced of what the gospel is, and because he believes that it is such an urgent message that everyone needs to know, he is compelled to share it.

He believes that man is lost and destined for hell because of his sin. Man can not earn salvation by his own good works and therefore needs a Saviour. God is a righteous Judge but at the same time he is also a God of love. It was therefore because of his love for humankind that he sent his only Son to die on the cross to take the punishment for our sins.

It was here that God’s perfect justice was satisfied; His perfect Son taking the rap for sinful humankind – the just dying for the unjust to bring us to God. Though Christ died to take our sins it is only those who respond through repentance and faith that will be forgiven and become children of God.

Todd therefore can not understand the reticence of Mr Bell and others to warn and persuade others to follow Christ, to be forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice and gain a certain hope of heaven and escape the pains of hell.

Many Post modern Christians find this almost impossible to believe. They can’t believe that God would send his son to die on a cross. It was the Romans and the Jews that killed Jesus but certainly not God because God is love.

The question is: Is Todd right in his approach and message or has he got it wrong? In a few of the articles I did on evangelism Presence, Proclamation and Persuasion ( see the links on this blog) Mr Bell would seem to be more of the ‘Presence’ sort whereas Friel’s mode of evangelism would be that of Proclamation and Persuasion.

Also,what doctor would you be according to Todd?


Anonymous said...

this video in my opinion is pretty ridiculous. He banters around the fact that "these peopl" obviously rferring to Rob Bell and other emergents or post-modern friendlies don't understand God's moral law. When they do full well. THey do however relaise that it is not the be all and end all of God. These people (bell and others) welcome outsiders (sinners) into the family then convert them through love and then make them aware of their responsibility to change their old ways. It's almost like the ways of a baby. We are first of all dependant, a baby can't walk out of its cot to go the refrigerator and take out some milk to heat it in the microwave, but another person becomes responsible for that part of their lives, and thus the baby is dependatn on that person. Later the baby moves to independance were they can do things themseles and undertand things more. A little like evangelism and growing in spiritual maturity in my opinion. THis guy is a little offensive and rubbishes Bell's work. he is striking out against a brother in the faith in a negative way....seems to me he hasn't fully understood God's moral way....ironic really...

Anonymous said...

also his doctor theory is a little backwards.....doesn't really make any sense...

John Fitzsimmons. said...

"He is striking out against a brother in the faith in a negative way." And what is Bell doing to all 'Bullhorn' Guys?

Baby, refrigerator and microwave... what you talking about?

Actually I think this guy is using humor to show how partial Bell is with God's revealed truth. Just like Jesus used humor to show how stupid some of his 'fellow' Jews were.

O and being partial with God's Truth is pretty ofensive to him (Mal 2:1-9), so whose the worst offender - the one who offends man with God's Word or the one who offends God with partiality?

Andrew Kenny said...

I understand that the Pomo approach to evangelism is first belong, then behave and finally believe, as opposed to the traditional way of believing, behaving and belonging. I think both have real value in reaching those outside Christ. Christ used both methods. He was the friend of sinners; he ate and drank with them. He let a prostitute wash his feet with her tears, he touched the lepers, and he called a zealot and a tax collector become his disciples. When he called the all the ‘weary and heavy laden’ he didn’t mention the 4 things God wanted them to know.

Yet on the other hand he did not mince his words when he called people to repent and in his declaration: ‘If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell’. It was also Christ who whipped the traders out of the Temple.

If we are truly entering, or are in the midst of a post-modern era we must be aware of that culture, as we must be also sensitive to the culture of youth, minority groups, and ethnic groups as we seek to reach them with the message of God. Truth is truth whether we are in pre-modern, modern or post-modern era. The message is still the same and Christ still sends us out as the Father sent him. We must also be flexible in our approach and be prepared to rely on the Spirit within for guidance.We don't necessarily have to have an approach that rejects the other.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

I have nothing else to comment, Andrew my brother, nor anything to add to what you have said just above. I don't get into talking or thinking in the terms of "post modern", "cultural relevance", etc., but what I actually believe and do is what you are describing.

But I do want to affirm this: There is no single approach to evangelism.

I do not as a rule use the frontal attack, nor do I go and preach the bad news followed by the good news in public. That doesn't mean I never will. That just means, God hasn't assigned me that job. When I witness, I read the scriptures publicly, without commenting on them, taking turns with one other. We read one gospel aloud, cover to cover, whether there's a constant audience or not, though we always pick a spot where there is constant foot traffic. We never stop to defend ourselves (we are rarely attacked) or interpret what we're reading (the Word of God speaks for Himself to an honest man). We do stop, however, when God sends us someone who needs immediate prayer or material help, sometimes even if it causes us to abandon the reading for that day. We let God direct us by what happens. Some people in the (Baptist) church, who wouldn't dream of going downtown themselves and witnessing or street preaching, still criticized us as being unfruitful, ineffective evangelists. The gang of "pit bulls of God" who blasted the public with a mega-phone and held up placards announcing the eternal punishment of sinners didn't consider us even as fellow disciples, because we didn't do what they did, nor did we adhere to only the one Authorized Version of the Bible (King James) but actually read from two different versions (I use the Jerusalem Bible, Brock uses NIV).

But you see, it's God's work, not ours, His call, not our self-centered ideas of how to serve Him, that matters. We are just unprofitable servants, and we know it. We only want just another chance to follow Jesus and do what He does, every day till the end of time.

Andrew Kenny said...

Thanks Romanos for your comments.It makes me very sad that a Baptist group that doesn't do evangelism criticises your group that does,and another group that does do evangelism does not even consider your group brothers in Christ, because you do not do it their way.

I do agree completely with you that there is more than just one way to do it.THere are many types of fish and there are as many different ways of 'catching' them.

One way doesn't fit all and we must adapt the method to the hearers without essentially changing the message.Jesus and Paul used different methods depending on the circumstances.For instance the great apostle declared:'I have become allthings to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.'

Romanos, I find your method very interesting.Would this be the normal practice used by the Orthodox Church in evangelism?

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

There is no "normal" method of evangelism in the Orthodox Church, especially now in these modern times. Unfortunately, Orthodoxy in America is very lazy, waiting for converts to come to the church on their own. Until recently most converts came thru marriage to an Orthodox man or woman (as in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" the movie). The last twenty years or so has seen Orthodoxy capitalizing on the frustrations of Roman Catholics (against modern worship) and Protestants (against modern worship and deconstruction of scriptural faith). In Northern Ireland, Orthodoxy capitalizes on the frustrations of both groups with the endless cycle of animosity between them. Fr Irenaeus has told us that Protestant clergy often visit him secretly for help that they cannot get elsewhere. (Orthodox Belfast website:

In general, the Orthodox Church doesn't evangelize as an institution. It simply maintains order in doctrine and practice, and disseminates information about itself as a faith community, focusing on what makes it distinctive, and letting people come to their own conclusions. Real evangelism takes place almost exclusively thru the unsupported efforts of ordinary Orthodox Christians, like myself. The style varies, but I would say that what we do, reading the Bible aloud publicly and the rest of it, is very much in the Orthodox tradition. Orthodoxy is the faith of the martyroi, the witnesses, and that's what we do, wherever we are. No frills, no strings attached, leaving God to do the work of converting men's hearts. All we do is tag along behind Jesus. He does it all.

We have a saying, "All we do is catch the fish. He cleans 'em and sorts 'em out."