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FOREWORD : Christian Witnessing

FOREWORD

        The series of articles on Christian Witnessing presents useful insights into ‘witnessing,’ that we, the believers in Christ, are called upon to do. The purpose of this project is to enrich the Christian’s ability to understand the significance of our call to ‘witness’ and the task on hand for the human field.  Today’s humanity is better educated, informed, curious about religious matters and intellectually capable of both inquiring and grasping matters of life and transcendence.  People are also pragmatic in their approach to religion. They want religion to be beneficial to their life.  Viewed realistically, human desire for matters of transcendence (matters of the divine realm) is primarily based on pragmatism (usefulness in life). As such, spirituality and religion are not primarily and entirely of the other world (of transcendence), rather it pertains to matters of life on earth. Christian witnessing cannot bear fruit if this fact is overlooked.

     Careful study of the Bible shows how God’s message in it is applied to this human need in life on earth.  Even so, Christian ‘witnesses’ do well to remember two important things: One, the “first” preoccupation of every person on earth is the concern of daily life; salvation is ‘secondary’ or ‘later’ consideration.   Two, to a person leading a hard life on earth, faith in God must make sense in life on earth. For him, heaven can wait. This is about priorities. This does not mean such person is indifferent to matters of transcendence, - heaven.  The message of the Bible makes sense to him when issues of life are ably addressed. Bible is an excellent historical document on God and human interaction on and about the field of life. Yet, this history should be carefully analyzed for its ‘human value’ rather than overplaying it merely for ‘spiritual’ and ‘religious’ lessons.  

      The story of a suffering man – Job, in the middle of the Bible strikingly bears this practical aspect of ‘life on earth and faith in God.’  The story of Job in its spectacular style presents the basic troubling issue that the entire humanity has been facing since its inception.   Careful study unfolds wonderful avenues to view human suffering, grasp its meaning and appreciate the proper place of spirituality among these experiences.  In addition, we can appreciate the duty to self, to others and to God on a different dimension than we are accustomed to practice.  The story also defines ‘true devotion to God’ in the light of true experience of life on earth. 

      The subject of suffering that Job’s story illustrates is not an oversimplification of the issue (of suffering) merely ‘blaming it on Adam and Eve’ for their disobedience, and the consequent suffering from the curse God inflicted on humanity. In Christian view we will not reject this reason. Yet, there is another reason as well; it is the human propensity to sin, - that means, digressing from the Righteous Path God set before humanity to follow.   As such, suffering of Job invites all humans to develop proper understanding that can stand valid in the sight of God.  In the story, there are three major views held by three major players: God, Satan (represented by Job’s friends – the common human view), and the truly devout Job.  [Study of Job runs on this website concurrently to help understanding of this theme.]

     Yet, “God in human life through His Son Jesus” is the subject that is relevant to all humanity. If not, Christ would not have appeared in this human condition.  Christian witnessing does well when it grasps the very essence of this subject, and how God in Christ has addressed this great issue through the life of His Son made evident in his teaching, suffering with and for humanity, his death and resurrection, finally in the message of the Kingdom of God.  It is with this purpose that these essays are submitted. 

     “Witness” is the term used in this series instead of “evangelism.”  This has a deeper meaning. The connotation would be further explained at an appropriate place. “Witness” is the Biblical term, also used extensively by John in his gospel showing what Jesus said about his role on earth as a “witness” to what he has heard and seen in heaven – the realm of God, his Father. It is for this power in the bearing of direct “witness” that this term is used in application to Christians who share the gospel with others. [Definition and the scope of the term ‘witnessing’ appears in Part III].

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Last modified on Saturday, 07 July 2012 02:10
Dr. John Reynolds

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About Path of the Divine Virtue

Some understanding of the term *The Divine Virtue is necessary. The series of articles on Biblical themes, study of the biblical topics (Bible Study), topics on Christian witnessing, theology, understanding the Bible Read More..

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