The gospel is never heard in isolation…

A robust natural theology may well be necessary for the gospel to be effectively heard in Western society today….

Properly understanding our culture is important because the gospel is never heard in isolation. It is always heard against the background of the current cultural milieu. A person raised in a cultural milieu in which Christianity is still seen as an intellectually viable option will display an openness to the gospel. But you may as well tell the secularist to believe in fairies or leprechauns as in Jesus Christ!…

It is the broader task of Christian apologetics, including natural theology, to help create and sustain a cultural milieu in which the gospel can be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women. It thereby gives people the intellectual permission to believe when their hearts are moved.

William Lane Craig, from God Is Not Dead Yet, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/july/13.22.html

False ideas are the greatest obstacles…

False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervour of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion.

J. Gresham Machen, quoted in Lover Your God With All Your Mind by J. P. Moreland, kindle location 683

The difficulty we are up against…

The difficulty we are up against is this. We can make people (often) attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so; but the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted. As long as that situation exists, widespread success is simply impossible. We must attack the enemy’s line of communication. Continue reading

We all experience Jesus differently…

We all experience Jesus in a different way—he is seen through many eyes, heard through many ears, and loved by many hearts. Inevitably, our attempts to describe this experience are going to be highly impressionistic, probably conveying more information about ourselves than about Jesus. Our backgrounds, our hopes and fears, our understanding of the world—all these things colour our impressions of Jesus.

Alister McGrath, from Understanding Jesus, p. 33

Men and women of the university…

A Paraphrase for the University (Acts 17:22-31)

Men and women of the university, I see that in every way you are very religious. As I walked around the university, I observed carefully your objects of worship. I saw your altar called the stadium where many of you worship the sports deity. I saw the science building where many place their faith for the salvation of mankind. I found your altar to the fine arts where artistic expression and performance seem to reign supreme without subservience to any greater power. I walked through your residence halls and observed your sex goddess posters and beer can pyramids. Continue reading