Picking up from the previous post in this series, let me train my theological spotlight on the aims of proclamation. What are we aiming to do as we open our mouths to speak ‘as one speaking the very words of God’ (1 Peter 4.11)?
Straight up — and despite what I said last post about the need to focus on the ‘horizontal’ rather than the ‘vertical’/Godward dimension of proclamation — I want to say that it’s about serving God faithfully.
I don’t know what kind of questions get thrown at you in your workplace (or whatever situation you find yourself rubbing shoulders with non-Christians in). But being away at mission with a bunch of people from College, has reminded me about how many different facets of the Christian message and worldview provoke questions.
You know how it feels. Your mouth goes dry. You’re sure they can hear your heart beating faster. A thousand thoughts crowd your head.
There are almost too many places to start — especially when a really curly question comes at you out of left field (my personal favourite in situations like that is something like, ‘Uhhh… I’m not sure. I haven’t thought about that much. Maybe we should sit down and see what the Bible says about that?’).
But if you’re the kind of person who’s happy to hand out IOUs, saying you’ll hook them up with a usueful resource (a book or a DVD or whatever) — maybe you could check out some home grown resources for mission, produced by my friend Andrew Errington. He’s made a grab bag of essays available, with some especially good ones about the historicity of the New Testament. Check them out.