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Two questions vs. ten cannons vs. what... (part 2 of 2)

Several months ago, in part 1 of this post, I wrote about the difficulty of calling men to follow Christ in an age which has reduced discipleship to constant repetition of the mantra, "I believe in Jesus." Though Scripture warns, "Without holiness, no man shall see God," modern evangelism leaves out the call to holiness or obedience.

In part 1 I mentioned the problems of using Evangelism Explosion's famous "Two Questions," to call men and women to Christ. Modern evangelism stresses belief and ignores obedience, leaving us without response when those we're seeking to evangelize claim to know Jesus as Saviour, yet show no fruit of the faith they claim.

In part 2 my intention was to introduce a system I grew acquainted with years ago when it went under the name, "The Ten Cannons of the Law." 

Taught by Ray Comfort, a man I respect, the Ten Cannons approach seeks to rehabilitate the Law of God as a primary tool in evangelism. I believe Ray Comfort's "Ten Cannons of the Law" now goes by the name "The Way of the Master."

The problem with the Ten Cannons/Way of the Master approach is that though it begins with the Law and thus is far superior to the average Evangelical call to salvation, it doesn't end differently. 

My nephew Joseph Bayly, pastor of ClearNote Church Indianapolis posted a comment earlier today about "The Way of the Master" that says everything I was going to say about the "Ten Cannons" and more. And so I happily place it here as the long-delayed conclusion to my initial post.



First things first. The "Way of the Master" material is good in many, many ways. Most significantly, it correctly identifies the need to proclaim the law of God before offering people grace and salvation. Grace is graceless, and salvation is meaningless unless we see our guilt before the Holy God. And the 10 Commandments is ground zero for declaring God's law. This is something that has been lacking in many evangelistic "techniques" for some time. The 180 movie is also an excellent resource for ideas of how to interact with people and show them the horror of abortion. It gets at many truths, makes people think about difficult questions, and I'm quite thankful that it is available. I could spend more time talking about the good things, but these clearly demonstrate that I am serious when I say it is good in many ways. 

WORLD enters the Promised Land...

Father Bill Mouser submitted this excellent comment under the post, WORLD's schtick.... Reading the original post may be necessary to understand this comment. (TB)

Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. (Leviticus 18:24, 25)

Imagine for a moment Joshua facing Israel as it's perched on the east side of the Jordan river, addressing that nation this way:

"For the longest time I’ve struggled to put my finger on just what I believe about homosexuality. Or, for that matter, about incest. Or, for crying out loud, Moloch worship. Forty years ago, after all that sturm und drang at the foot of Sinai, I think I would have come down pretty solid on the line of “absolutely not.”

"But, I’m not sure I can say that anymore. Wait a minute: It isn’t that I think homosexuality, or incest, or Moloch worship, or anything else Moses wrote in Leviticus 18, is OK and is something YHWH overlooks or agrees with. But it is that I’m understanding a little better that what is commanded of us Jews is simply not the same as what we should expect from those who inhabit the land YHWH has given to us...

My friend responds to those who disagreed with his proposal...

(Tim) A couple days ago, I posted concerning an oped written by a friend of mine dealing with problems with homeschools, and my friend's suggestion that it would help for state authorities to take more authority over them.

Saturday, I spoke with my friend, Pastor Tom Stein of Richmond, Indiana. We had a good conversation. Afterwards, he forwarded this e-mail he's sent to those who wrote to complain about his column. I post it here because I think his response is good.

Tom and I still disagree over the role Covenant Seminary may or may not have had in what he proposed. Yet we've both heard one another's arguments, so misunderstanding is not the source of our disagreement.

Anyhow, I thought you'd all want to read his e-mail...

Good comment posted...

(Tim) Because we no longer have a comment feed, you wouldn't know that a 2006 post has just had a comment posted. This is to inform those of you who might be interested.

The subject is Christian Bible software and the open source movement and you can find the comment here.

What passes for professing at Covenant College...

(Tim) A couple days ago, under the post "Why Same-Sex Intimacy Is Sin," a comment appeared written by Baylyblog's resident scoffer, Cliff Foreman. For twenty-five years, Professor Foreman's day job has been professing Reformed Christian faith as a member of the English Department at the Presbyterian Church in America's Covenant College. Most of our readers are aware that David and I aren't fans of Covenant College. We think it would be best for our denomination to sell it to Tim Keller, but to this point no one's taking our suggestion seriously.

As a simple defense of our position, consider this exchange between Prof. Foreman and a mere graduate student here at Indiana University--a young whippersnapper who lacks the terminal degree as well as the wonderful privilege of a quarter-century of spiritual and theological growth there at Covenant College, at ease in Zion on top of Lookout Mountain within the wonderfully safe cocoon of scores of like-minded Reformed PhDs sharing his commitment to the Westminster Standards.

Here then is Prof. Foreman's explanation to a shake-the-dust-off-your-feet hard-hearted unbeliever of why sodomy is wrong, followed by Josh Congrove's deconstruction of Prof. Foreman's explanation:

* * *

CLIFF FOREMAN WRITES: How about this: God created human beings and intended them to find happiness and fulfillment in committed heterosexual marriages. Then human beings fell and sin entered the world. This meant that people would be born with sinful desires and that through life experiences those desires would solidify into sinful patterns of behavior. But God set his son to offer us forgiveness and the opportunity for significant healing in this life. Our struggle against sin is difficult, but success is possible because of Jesus' sacrifice and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. But of course, in order to be healed and to enjoy the blessings of health, we need to admit that we are sick. If we say that our sinfulness is normal, we won't seek healing. We may tell ourselves that our disease isn't contagious and that it hurts no one, but we will never, then, know what it is to be healthy.

If this scenario, which is what the Bible teaches, is true, then the people who are condemning your behavior are doing so because they think you are missing out on something that would be better for you...

The necessity of self-criticism...

(Tim) There's an excellent online community called the Puritan Board (just to the left) where discussions have been carried on, recently, concerning a couple posts, here. Predictably, The longest discussion focused on the Complaint filed against Metro NY Presbytery after their recent adoption of a position contrary to the PCA Book of Church Order--namely, approving the practice within her bounds of withholding ordination from male deacons and affirming male and female deacons serving together in diaconal ministry without sexual distinction.

The apologist for Redeemer's practice frequently posting here under the name "Mason" has been active in the discussion there, also, but with a somewhat different posture. You don't need to be a member of the Puritan Board to read the comments and I encourage our readers to note the common sentiment expressed that Metro NY, Redeemer, and other churches, presbyteries, and elders taking similar positions may need to be questioned concerning their practice.

More interesting to me, though, is the discussion recently put on ice by the Puritan Board's moderators because it was getting warm. Started by a man who posts under the nom de plume, Pergamum/MacDaddy, he wrote:

Article about the PCA

Is this a good article, bad article, accurate, inaccurate?

BaylyBlog: Out of our minds, too...: The demographics of the PCA: Follow the money...



Interesting discussion, and a couple noteworthy things:

First, even reformed men seem to have fallen into the pomo trap of thinking they can reason while avoiding generalizations...

He was nice and funny and normal...

(Tim: from David Wegener) Regular readers will recognize the author of this post, David Wegener, as one of David's and my closest friends and longtime resident sage here at the Baylyblog. David and his wife, Terri, are missionaries under Mission to the World. David is seconded to the Theological College of Central Africa in Ndola, Zambia, where David teaches and serves as Academic Dean. David and Terri's daughter, Lizzie, has been living in our home for the past two years, bringing us constant joy.

David posted this as a comment under "Christianity Today: In numbers too big to ignore," and I thought it should to be here, on the main page.

* * *

I started reading CT in the 70s and continued to read it through the 80s and 90s. But I let my subscription lapse. Though I have access to it in my college library, I rarely read it. No point, really; everything is very predictable, especially as long as those who are in charge remain in charge.

There is a definite trend in the articles, the authors of the articles, the editorial positions taken, etc. I'm waiting for some sharp young historian of American evangelicalism to do his dissertation analyzing CT from its inception up to the present day. What would he find?

Gratitude for recent comments made here by our wives and daughters...

(Tim) Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, "The cruelest lies are often told in silence," and as I noted a week or so ago, it's been interesting to watch how the recent post about Emergency Contraception (sic) Pills, birth control, and abortion has been carefully avoided by men, but embraced by women. There are lessons here, one of which I think is that pastors today are about as concerned about the blood guilt of our sheep as the chief priests and elders were about the blood guilt of Judas when he came to them in anguish, confessing...

Obama supporters claiming to be "pro-life" were never, really, opposed to abortion...

(Tim, from Prior to the election, I found those who called themselves "pro-life" while shilling for Senator Barack Obama to be morally repugnant. Now, these hypocrites have had more than enough opportunities publicly to acknowledge their mistake; they've had weeks to cry "foul" or "I was misled by Senator Obama's lies concerning abortion;" yet they are silent.

Where are their protests? Where are they denouncing the aggressive promotion of abortion, internationally, that President Obama has given himself to since taking office at the White House? Where have the voices of Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo been raised in protest of President Obama's advocacy of child-slaughter? And turning to McLaren's and Campolo's useful simpletons, do any of them feel just the least bit betrayed and ashamed of their naivete?

It would be hard to prove, but I'm convinced that many of those who supported Senator Obama's presidential aspirations while claiming, themselves, to be Christian and pro-life were not pro-life at all, but rather, themselves often had had one or more abortions (or helped others to get one) and voted for Senator Obama as a coping mechanism employed to silence their conscience. And I do not say this from any anger at President Obama being elected to our nations highest elected office. Rather, it's my own personal observation.

Well, again, when guilt and complicity have silenced Emerjellicals, Rome speaks.

Here's Roman Catholic leadership that I, a Protestant Presbyterian pastor, agree with entirely..

The blog pays off...

(Tim) Believe it or not, neither David nor I would rate the blog very high in our "Why I love the ministry" column. It's work we believe necessary, and it does have its rewards, but they're not usually of the warm fuzzy sort.

This weekend, though, the Bloomington side of the blog is getting a payoff that is, in fact, warm and fuzzy. For the first time, we're meeting our dear sister in the faith, Kamilla Ludwig, who's come for a visit. Last night she arrived in the middle of...

Our American-African correspondent summarizes the McCain/Palin debate...

(Tim) Despite his false statement about yours truly (his daughter does live in our house, after all, so the man knows which side of his bread is buttered), I do think the comment just made by our Zambian Mission to the World correspondent, David Wegener, summarizing his conclusions to our lengthy discussion of Governor Palin's Vice-Presidential candidacy is about right. For those of you who've given up on the Palin comments, here's what David has to say:

* * *

As best I could, I’ve tried to follow the debate that has gone on here over Sarah Palin and how we should then vote. I haven’t done very well, nor of following the thread over on Pastor Wilson’s blog, but here are my two cents.

Sarah Palin is a very conflicted woman and I feel very conflicted about her. She is a Christian, a member of Feminists For Life, a wife and a mother who is running for Vice President. You can’t be a feminist and pro-life. Islam is built on five pillars...

"I think you want a wife" revisited...

(Tim) My daughter-in-law, Heidi Bayly's poem, "I Think You Want a Wife," drew some of the most vitriolic responses this blog has ever received. Most of the ruckus happened in places none of our readers would have any reason to know about or read--a news site run by and for sodomites where special attention is given to the biblical doctrine taught in reformed churches (how's that for exotic, huh?); and several other blogs where women talk to each other about how much they hate God's order of creation.

Contrary to what some think, David and I are not impervious to slander and hatred. It bothers us when people misrepresent our doctrinal commitments, attribute to us statements we've never made and convictions we've never held, claim that we delete comments disagreeing with us, and so on. Having learned long ago that some fools shouldn't be dignified with an answer, we dont' respond, generally speaking. We're fond of the old barnyardism, "Don't wrestle with a pig in mud because a pig likes mud."

But when it's one of my daughters under attack and the attacks demonstrate such complete ignorance of anything having to do with Heidi or her husband, Joseph, it's much worse.

So readers may understand my delight when I read this kindness from Gwen. To have the integrity to actually call Heidi and find out who she is and what she thinks, and then to be so gracious as to say she's changed her mind about the poem? Well, really: I'm moved and very grateful. Thank you, Gwen.

The B-I-B-L-E, yes that's the book for me...

(Tim) If you don't read Doug Wilson's blog, forget this one and bookmark him. If you have time for two good reads, David and I don't mind being your second, but make sure Doug's your first. Yes, there are positions and friends we don't share with him, but for about fifteen years I've found him more consistently edifying and biblical than anyone else I read.

Typical of his chronic helpfulness is this simple post about why we should all bring Bibles to church. Read it, and then let's all join in making sure each of us and our family members have Bibles in hand in worship next Lord's Day. Deal?

Cool dudes or a pregnant mother of four: evangelicals, take your pick...

-posted by Tim Bayly

So, twice in three days, I was depressed hearing about the influence of a certain cool dude's ear-scratching book telling everyone how wise he is at meeting the culture where it's at, and how unutterably stupid the Church is. Oh, how weary I grow of these Bible-betraying fools and their sycophants. They sell out to the world and call it thinking biblically. They betray the Lord and call it God's new thing. They are cowards and call it tact--sometimes even evangelism!

But do they bear one iota of resemblance to the Apostle Paul? No, the thought of them being lashed or stoned is laughable. The world wouldn't bother.

Well, God just reminded me that there are still many who have not bowed the knee to Baal. He has promised that the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church and He's always faithful to His promises. How was I reminded? I came across this most excellent comment by one of Mom Taylor's granddaughters under my tribute to Mom on her 90th birthday.

May God give us many more mothers like Leslie Taylor. But more, may He fill His Church with Titus 2 women who WILL teach the younger women of the church to be godly women, and therefore godly wives and mothers. If Leslie is the kind of woman evangelical feminists are trying to push into the pulpit, I say "You go, girl!"

Here's Leslie's comment:

It is tragic that home economics has largely disappeared because I am convinced that being a mother requires more education and training than any other occupation.

One of the most noticeable effects of feminism is how unprepared and clueless many of today's mothers are (and I was one of them). I know that there have always been spoiled children and clueless mothers all throughout history, but what is going on in America today is an epidemic of enormous proportions, and the church is no haven.

When Christopher [her husband] and I left the park with the kids yesterday...

More Comments Worth Attention

As I said yesterday, the best material in this blog is usually in the comments. A good deal is still being written in comments to past posts. I'd like to call your attention to two of these again:

From the Modest Yet Modern discussion:

Dear Readers....

Dear Readers,

If you think the best writing and thinking is taking place on the front page of this blog you're mistaken.

The best is on the inside. Even when I vehemently disagree I frequently find the comments on our posts better-expressed and richer than the initial post which spawned the comments.

For examples, please see the comments on the following recent posts:

Modest Yet Modern

Who Killed Motherhood?


Will the Papal Ban on Women's Ordination Stand?

Thanks to all of you who have helped Tim and me write this blog.

I will add several links to readers' blogs you may find of interest later this evening.


Here are several interesting blogs:

Joel Martin's On the Other Foot

(Joel, a convert to RCC, works for a newspaper in the Pacific Northwest. This is a relatively recent blog and he won't be able to sustain the writing he's been doing and remain married and employed at the same time. But it's been a fun ride up till now. By the way, Joel, Mormonism DENIES the one thing you and I have in common, the person and work of Jesus Christ. Don't start down that road. Mormonism is a sub-Christian religion.)

Eric Rasmusen's Weblog

(Eric is a professor of economics and public policy at Indiana University)

Perhaps there are others out there I'm unaware of. Let me know.