Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Anyone any good at drawing stick men?

I love the 2 ways to live gospel outline for so many reasons. It roots sin in creation, it (sort of) attempts to incorporate elements systematic and redemptive-historical theology, and yet...

Having read (and chatted about) this post I've been reminded of something I have been thinking about for a while now on and off.

I think we need another (maybe more than one more) gospel outline in our armoury for use in evangelism and in tracts etc. One that (for example)

a. Does not assume pagans that someone's initial interest in the gospel stems from a feeling that he/she 'needs to be right with God'.

b. But perhaps (for e.g.) starts from the big concerns and worries and hopes and dreams people do have (the environment, relationships, hedonism, and so on) and gets to the big themes of creation-sin-wrath-cross/resurrection etc. from there.

c. Even more than 2ways2live (which is probably the best on the market for this type of thing) marries biblical with systematic theology (story and proposition).

d. Incorporates the communal/corporate aspects of the gospel (and of what the gospel creates i.e. Church) with the appropriate challenge to the individual.

I imagine getting c. right is a key to the others.

After all the gospel is rich and the links between it and people's needs, concerns, questions, failings, fears, dreams etc. are multiple. A big understanding of the gospel and its application more than appropriately equips us for engaging with postmoderns/goths/new-agers/Hindus/political extremists/hedonists/every other sub-group and 'tribe' in out culture.

So, if anyone wants to help me devise one (and especially if you are good at drawing)...


Daniel Newman said...

I'm sure it has been powerfully used by God, but I always feel slightly uncomfortable with Two Ways To Live. Part of me wonders how patronised people feel when being told the gospel using stick-men illustration. And surely there's only one way to live, and it's a call we must obey!

I'm also not too sure about depicting God as a crown. God is so much more than just King. Isn't there something in the Bible about not making images of God, for that very reason...lqhsmnzc

Pete said...

I think it could be patronising, but it's all about the way you use it and the context etc. Any gospel outline can be patronising or (worse?) feel like a sales pitch.

There is one way to live, and it is a command, but we have the choice (insert biblical and reformed understanding of choice) to be obedient or disobedient.

And then the bible does present the gospel-command sometimes as a choice of 2 options (Deuteronomy 30:11-20, Joshua 24:14-15. In both cases it is clear what Israel must and should and ought to do, but there is still a choice and a decision to be made).

The other issue you raise (use of images) is way too big for a blog comment. My thinking is that there's a difference between 2ways2live and the kind of thing outlawed by the commandments. But then, I can't say I've given it loads of thought, maybe sometime soon...

Daniel Newman said...

The bit about the one way to live and the call we must obey was admittedly a little tongue-in-cheek.

I'm not convinced that the prohibition on making images of God doesn't apply here.