Witnessing to Family Is Like Witnessing to Everyone Else . . . Only More So - page 5


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From the Winter 2014 issue of Knowing & Doing:  

Witnessing to Family Is Like Witnessing to Everyone Else ... Only More So

by Randy Newman, M.Div.
Senior Teaching Fellow for Apologetics and Evangelism, C.S. Lewis Institute

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  We experience a similar duality as we live at this moment in salvation history. We remember what the world once was before the first man and woman’s rebellion, and we anticipate what will someday be, after the return of Christ. We recall a creation before the fall, mostly through Scripture but also through an internal sense of how things ought to be. And we anticipate a consummation after the second coming, mostly through Scripture but also with a confidence assured by Jesus’ resurrection.
  In between these two bookends of biblical history is the world we live in, full of reminders of beauty and evidence of corruption. We see people who display goodness, love, and the image of God along with sin, rebellion, and brokenness. Some of those people live with us, grew up with us, look a lot like us, and celebrate holidays with us. When we share the gospel with them, we point them to the God who created everything and the Savior who will make all things new.
  In a sense, witnessing to family members, close friends, and others who know us well fits into our waiting for the second coming. It’s like the Hermitage staff waiting for the artwork to be restored . . . only more so.

1. All Scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version.
2. James R. Edwards, The Gospel according to Mark (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 142.  
3. I first read about this story in Max De Pree, Leading without Power: Finding Hope in Serving Community (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003), 188. You can read much more about it in Sergei Varshavsky, The Ordeal of the Hermitage (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986).

Randy Newman is the Senior Fellow for Evangelism and Apologetics at The C. S. Lewis Institute in the Washington, DC area. He is also an adjunct faculty for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Patrick Henry College. He received his M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. After serving for over 30 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, he established Connection Points, a ministry to help Christians engage people’s hearts the way Jesus did. He has written three books and numerous articles about evangelism and other ways our lives intertwine with God’s creation. He and his wife Pam live in Annandale, VA and have three grown sons. Randy blogs at www.connectionpoints.us.


Recommended Reading:
Randy Newman, Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family Members, Close Friends, and Other Who Know You Well (Crossway, 2011)

Jesus is off limits for a lot of families and friends—or at least that’s how it appears sometimes. Why does sharing the good news with a stranger often feel less frightening than telling those you love most?

For the vast majority of Christians, evangelism does not come naturally. We find ourselves sounding like someone we’re not or beating ourselves up for not being bold enough, smart enough, or quick enough.

Randy Newman understands the complexity and consequences of this all-important task.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  Knowing & Doing is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.
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