New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

Oct 3, 2001 Vol 01 : 071
NT Church Proliferation Digest Wednesday, October 3 2001 Vol 01 : 071

Re: [ntcp] quakers
[ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism
Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism
Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism
Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism
Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism

Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 19:56:14 -0400
From: David Anderson
Subject: Re: [ntcp] quakers

Thank you for this fascinating summary of Quakerism, Link.

Quakers have a long and rich history that can be studied with
encouragement and profit, methinks. The charge, by some, that they were
so "heavenly minded that they were no earthly good" is completely
unfounded, me also thinks. Take William Penn as an example - his apparel
was dapper to the max and he had an oatmeal recipe for everyday of the
month. Seriously, it was none other than Thomas Jefferson who declared of
him that he had the greatest understanding of civil law in the entire
colonies. Wow!

I don't consider the following to be an accurate analysis, but pass it
along for it's historical worth from those who opposed the Quakers. It's
from Neal's History of the Puritans, published in the 17th century.

"By this time there began to appear some other visionaries, of the same
make and complexion with George Fox, who spoke in places of public
resort; being moved, as they said, by the Holy Ghost; and even some
women, contrary to the modesty of their sex, went about streets, and
entered into churches, crying down the teaching of men, and exhorting
people to attend to the light within themselves.

It was in the year 1650 that these wandering lights first received the
denomination of Quakers, upon this ground, that their speaking to the
people was usually attended with convulsive agitations, and shakings of
the body. All their speakers had these tremblings, which they gloried in,
asserting it to be the character of a good man to tremble before God.
When George Fox appeared before Gervas Bennet, esq. one of the justices
of Derby, October 30, 1650, he had one of his agitations or fits of
trembling, upon him, and with a loud voice and vehement emotion of body,
bid the justice and those about him tremble at the word of the Lord ;
whereupon the justice gave him and his friends the name of Quakers, which
being agreeable to their common behavior, quickly became the
distinguishing denomination of this people.

At length they disturbed the public worship by appearing in ridiculous
habits, with emblematical or typical representations of some impending
calamity; they also took the liberty of giving ministers the reproachful
names of hirelings, deceivers of the people, false prophets, &c. Some of
them went through divers towns and villages naked, denouncing judgments
and calamities upon the nation. Some have famished and destroyed
themselves by deep melancholy; and others have undertaken to raise their
friends from the dead. Mr. Baxter says, many Franciscan friars and other
Papists have been disguised speakers in their assemblies; but little
credit is to be given to such reports.

It cannot be expected that such an unsettled people should have a uniform
system of rational principles. Their first and chief design, if they had
any, was to reduce all revealed religion to allegory; and because some
had laid too great stress upon rites and ceremonies, these would have
neither order nor regularity, no stated seasons of worship, but all must
arise from the inward impulse of their spirits. Agreeable to this rule,
they declared against all sorts of clergy, or settled ministers; against
people&Mac185;s assembling in steeple-houses; against fixed time of public
devotion, and consequently against the observation of the sabbath.

Their own meetings were occasional, and when they met, one or another
spake as they were moved from within, and sometimes they departed without
any one&Mac185;s being moved, to speak at all...

But the disturbance they gave to the public religion for a course of
years was so insufferable that the magistrates could not avoid punishing
them as disturbers of the peace; though of late they are become a more
sober and inoffensive people ; and by the wisdom of their managers, have
formed themselves into a sort of body politic, and are in general very
worthy members of society." END QUOTE.

Here below, I believe, is a more accurate picture of Quaker life from the
tricentennial edition of Penn's biography, published by the state of PA.
Try reciting this to your own kids and use lots of expression, OK? :-)

... Hear my counsel, and lay it up in your hearts; love it more than
treasure, and follow it . . . In the first place remember your Creator in
the days of your youth ... eschew the appearance of evil . - . and flee,
my dear children, from all youthful lusts; the vain sports, pastimes, and
pleasures of the world ... Be obedient to your dear Mother; a woman whose
virtue and good name is an honor to you; for she hath been exceeded by
none in her time for her plainness, integrity, industry, humanity,
virtue, and good understanding...

Next betake yourselves to some honest, industrious course of life, and
that not for sordid covetousness, but for example, and to avoid idleness.
And if you change your condition and marry, choose with the knowledge and
consent of your mother, if living, or of guardians, or those that have
charge of you . . . And being married, be tender, affectionate, patient
and meek . . . Be sure to live within compass; borrow not, neither be
beholden to any. Ruin not yourselves by kindness to others, for that
exceeds the due bounds of friendship; neither will a true friend expect it

Let your industry and parsimony go no farther than for a sufficiency for
life, and to make a provision for your children ... I charge you help the
poor and needy... Know well your incomings . . . And your outgoings may
be better regulated. Love not money, nor the world; use them only and
they will serve you... Pity the distressed, and hold out a hand of help
to them . . . In making friends, consider well first . . . Watch against
anger, neither speak nor act in it . . . Avoid pride, avarice and luxury.
Be no busy bodies . . .

As for you who are likely to be concerned in the government of
Pennsylvania and my parts of East Jersey, especially the first, I do
charge you, before the Lord God and His holy angels, that you be lowly,
diligent, and tender; fearing God, loving the people, and hating

Finally, my children, love one another with a true endeared love . . .

Yours, as God pleaseth, in that which no waters can quench, no time
forget, nor distance wear away, but remains for ever ... W. Penn END

Strangely, the Quakers even denied the use of music in their meetings.
But they felt they had good reason for so doing. And even though they
fully depended upon the Spirit, their scholarly works are filled with
scripture citations.

What have you learned from or about these home church forerunners? Anyone
know where the story of John Bunyan's prison encounter with a Quaker is
recorded. I have his complete works but can't find it.

Regardless of what Q's believe/believed, like most movements - things
eventually shifted from their original foundations. I seem to recall that
they do not view the Lord's Supper as do most. Anyway, I feel a real
oneness with many of them.

David Anderson

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Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 02:49:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: Link H
Subject: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism

'Storying' is a method of ev'ngelism that I've heard of. One HC Church
Planting training working with a 'cousin' UPG I know was working on a doctorate
thesis on storying.

One method of storying is a method used by many New Tribes missionaries. I saw
this once on a NTM promotional video.

A working man in his 30's couldn't get support from his denomination to go do
miss'ns work, even though he felt called to it. So he decided to go through
New Tribes, with the blessing andprayer support of his local church. New
Tribes trained him, and he went to the area he was hoping to reach with his

The NT miss'nary couple went to an unreached village in Papua New Guinea.
Working with a translator, they determined a set vocabulary for translating
certain terms. The people they were dealing with were stone age tribesmen who
hunted pigs, and lived a 'primitive' lifestyle.

The missionary went to work telling the major stories of the Bible. But first,
he gave some information about where he came, explained the concept of a map or
globe, and showed the people where they were, and where he came from. (Sounds
similar to the method mentioned in the 'Intro' thread.)

The village came out to hear him for hours a day- several hundred people. It
took him months, probably, to go through the whole teaching. He told about
creation, Abraham, the sacrifical system of the OT, and major stories in the
Bible. He also recorded his messages as they were interpreted and put them on
a tape. The villagers were provided with a hand-crank tape recorder to hear
the messages over and over again.

One scene showed some men listening to the tape about Abraham. They wondered
if he would sacrifice Isaac to God, and they wanted to hear the rest of hte
story the next day.

On and on the story went. When it came time to tell about the crucifixion, he
made a cross and put a villager on it. Using a baloon, bladder, or some other
contraption filled with animal blood, they simulated piercing the man in the

Finally, the video showed the man telling about gaining salvatio by believing
the Christ died and rose from the dead. By this time, the people had already
learned from the OT to realize that God required atonment for sin. They were
'God-conscious' and conscious of their sin.

The video (a re-enactment, probably, since the women were wearing T-shirts)
showed different people spontaneously standing up and making professions of
their faith. 'I believe Jesus Christ is my sin-bearer.' When they learned
about salvation through faith, and declared their faith, they started jumping
up and down rejoicing about salvation for hours- thrilled to be forgiven for
their sins. The video showed the missionary couples eyes filled with tears of

(I thought the end there would have been a good time for baptism, not just a
profession of faith, but it was still a great video re-enactment.)

I naturally had some questions about this technique of going through Bible
stories to reach an unreached tribe. Here are some objections to the method
that we can discuss.

1. It takes months to get to the part about Jesus. What if someone dies in the
meantime- someone who could have heard the Gospel.

2. Does this pattern conform to apostolic example:

A. The apostles Paul and Barnabas: didn't take 6 months to mention the Gospel
when they shared with pagans. On Mars Hill, Paul told about Jesus in His
introductory speech in front of unbelieving philosophers. A few followed him
and heard more teaching.

B. Paul and Barnabas preached about the Gospel to pagans and did miracles. It
seems they got into the presentation of Jesus quickly and did miracles to
verify their message. I am thinking of the miracle among the Lyaconians, who
tried to worship them as Jupiter and Mercury.

A Counter Argument to Objection A: The culture of Paul's day was different in
some ways. There were Gentiles who knew about God who were already
God-fearers. A lot of Paul's ministry to Gentiles would have grown out of his
synagogue ministry. After evangelizing the Jews in the hearing of God-fearing
Gentiles, he would turn to the Gentiles. So a lot of Paul's ministry was to
God-conscious people who knew out the OT.

A Counter Argument to the Counter argument on A: On Mars Hill, the audience
probably contained a lot of non-Jews, yet Paul mentioned the resurrection of
Christ in that speech. In Lyaconia, Paul and Barnabas mentioned the name of
Jesus in their preaching.

Arguments in Favor of Through-the-Bible-Storying: 1. Results- if whole
villages come to Christ at times using this method, there is obviously
something effective about it. 2. The method, in a loose sense, follows the
apostolic pattern of preaching on Mars Hill, since it does introduce men to the
concept of God and the Creation before telling about Christ 3. It can
counteract the effects of synchretism. Just think of the synchretism that could
occur when one tells a polythesist to just 'ask Christ into your heart' or get
baptized before he understands basic doctrine about God, and before he
renounces his polytheism.

So here are some questions for discussion:

1. Is it Biblical/according-to- the apostolic - pattern/acceptable to
evangelize a group of people by changing their world view through telling OT
stories before mentioning the name of Jesus? Or is it better to tell about
Jesus from the beginning?

2. How do we go about making sure that people really understand who God is and
truly repent before we consider them to be 'evangelized.' How do we prevent
idol-worshippers from thinking they can get saved by repeating a prayer about
Jesus, and then go out and put a statue of Jesus on their shelf next to their
other idols?

I welcome comments.

There are some things I really appreciate about the Creation to Christ method
of evangelism. One thing is that it can help change the world view of those
won through this method, so that later, the effects of synchretism could be

I think it's important for the first generation of Christians in a people group
who come to Christ to really get immersed in the word of God, and to really
study it (esp.if it is in their language.) Each generation should teach the
next generation of believers to understand the scriptures in depth. IMO, this
is a weakness in many American churches. If young Christians spent as much
time studying the Bible as they do studying American history, just imagine how
much better we would know the word. Think how much time kids spend watching TV
and compare that to how much time they hear or read the Bible. A lot of kids
get their worldview, the ethics, their ideas about sexuality, marriage, and
divorce from TV.

In an animistic culture, people have learned an animistic worldview from others
around them. This worldview realy has to be dealt with through learning the
word of God, and through the work of the Holy Spirit in the church. But we
western people have our own world-view issues that need to be dealt with, too:
about sexual ethics, wealth, authority, etc.

Link Hudson

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Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 05:07:49 -0500
From: Phillip Cohen
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism

On Wed, 3 Oct 2001 02:49:31 -0700 (PDT) Link H

> 'Storying' is a method of ev'ngelism that I've heard
> of. One HC Church Planting training working with a 'cousin' UPG I
> know was working on a doctorate thesis on storying.
> One method of storying is a method used by many New
> Tribes missionaries. I saw this once on a NTM
> promotional video.

Hello Link,

NTM also has a set of 4 videos explaining their method.

Phillip & Mary Cohen
So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and
worship thou him. Psalm 45:11

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Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 08:15:01 -0400
From: "Dan Beaty"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism


Regarding the time taken to first teach the Old Testament before preaching
Christ: The gentile "God fearers" found in the synagogues were first reached
by devout Jews who taught them about the one God and the Old Testament.This
no doubt took some time.

Many of these were apparently ripe for Paul's preaching of Christ.

On the question of someone dying before hearing the full Gospel, I have
these thoughts: What if a hurried approach led to their rejection of Him
anyways? And also, the Holy Spirit would always be present to lead the
evangelist to move faster with certain individuals who may not be alive for
the final presentation.

Dan Beaty
Columbus, Ohio USA

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Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 09:34:53 -0400
From: "Michael Gastin"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Link H"
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 5:49 AM
Subject: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism

> 'Storying' is a method of ev'ngelism that I've heard
> of. One HC Church Planting training working with a 'cousin' UPG I
> know was working on a doctorate thesis on storying.
> Here are some objections to the method that we
> can discuss.
> 1. It takes months to get to the part about Jesus.
> What if someone dies in the meantime- someone who
> could have heard the Gospel.


I see what you are asking here, but think about how long it took the Father
to 'get to the part about Jesus.') I know it may sound like a sarcastic
answer, but I do not mean it that way.

I have always been concerned about our evangelism techniques in the West
because of our high attrition rate. We are sometimes too quick to try and
get a conversion that we bring premature babies into the world, ill equipped
to live and grow like a full-term baby. Premature babies are usually OK when
they remain on life support ... but as soon as you take that tube off there
is no guarantee they will make it.

Now, to be fair, I do not held that one must give a whole account of the OT
to have a successful convert. I only mention the above as a counter argument
that we sometimes suffer by jumping right to the decision making.


------- <><><> -------

Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 19:05:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: Link H
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism

- --- Dan Beaty wrote:

> Regarding the time taken to first teach the Old
> Testament before preaching
> Christ: The gentile "God fearers" found in the
> synagogues were first reached
> by devout Jews who taught them about the one God and
> the Old Testament.This
> no doubt took some time.

That really does seem to be the case. Paul seemed to have focused on the Jews
first, and then the Gentiles. (Waiting for Michael M to comment on modern
application of this.) The Gentiles from the synagogue may have been the first
people standing in line to hear the Gospel, and then his ministry might have
branched off after that to reach out to pagan Gentiles.

My question is, how did Paul and Barnabas present the Gospel to pagans?
Stone-age animistic tribesmen who don't know about the OT are different from
the Gentile God-fearers. So do we have a pattern from the apostles about how
quickly to get to the part about Jesus when presenting the Gospel to pagans?

Let me share some examples that come to mind out of the book of Acts.
Previously, I mentioned the Lyaconians. Paul and Barnabas were preaching them.
Then Paul did a miracle in the name of Jesus. The crowd mistook them for pagan
deities and tried to sacrifice to them.

I suppose one could argue that the apostles messed up on this one, and should
have held off before doing miracles. If they had waited until they explained
the entire OT, maybe the crowd wouldn't have tried to sacrifice to them. But
if they had talked that loud, maybe the crowd wouldn't have stuck around when
they got to the book of Leviticus. : ) I suspect the man who was healed didn't
think they got to miracles too quick.

Others might argue that this is an apostolic pattern. The apostles explained
the concept of one God, not sacrificing to idols, and repentance during that

The other example I mentioned was Paul speaking before the philosophers and
other pagans in Athens. He was grieved at their idolatry. He started
preaching, and they invited him to the Aereopagos ampitheater to speak. During
his speech, he drew from some of their own literature to present the case for
one God, and proceeded to tell about Christ- within that very sermon.

Another event that comes to mind is the Philipian jailer. It is likely that he
was a pagan. Paul's first line to him was about Jesus. Of course, if Paul had
started at creation, the man might have committed suicide by the time he could
get to the story of Moses.

>On the question of someone dying before hearing the
>full Gospel, I have these thoughts: What if a hurried approach led to
ÿ their rejection of Him anyways? < Another way of looking at salvation is what
Luke says in Acts "And as many as were appointed unto life believed."

But I do see your point about the hurried approach. Paul did baptize the
Philipian jailer quickly. The man had seen a miracle and his heart was
probably very open to what Paul taught. But Paul was able to present the
message in a short period of time- enough to baptize the man. It is possible
that the man had been to the synagogue and had heard a little bit about the
Jewish faith, but we don't know that, and considering that most Greeks and
Romans at the time were pagans, then it is likely that this man was a pagan.

In the case of the people who followed Paul in Athens, we know that some people
heard Paul more on the issue, but it doesn't say that they were immediately

I am concerned about un-thorough presentations of the Gospel which end with an
assembly-line process of telling people to repeat a prayer, and pronouncing
them saved. I believe it's possible to teach people for a while and make sure
they understand the Gospel without doing a Creation to Cross presentation of
the gospel for several months.

Be that as it may, I'm more comfortable with the Creation to Crucifixion method
than with a lot of abbreviated Gospel messages followed by an altar call. From
what little I know about it, it's been a successful method of evangelism. And
I can understand the reason for using it when dealing with animists whose way
of thinking is so foreign, and who have a very different world view from what
we see in the Bible. If someone uses a less thorough method of teaching in
evangelism, it should be 'followed up' by thorough teaching of baptized

End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #71

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