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WHI-1175 | God's Story vs. Our Stories

Posted by on in 2013 Show Archive
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When sharing the faith with others, should we primarily focus on what happened to Christ, or what happened to us? In other words, should we focus on the gospel of Christ as we find it unpacked in the New Testament, or should we emphasize our personal testimonies, explaining to others what God has done in our own lives? We put this question to a number of attendees at a Christian convention, and you might be surprised by their answers. (Originally broadcast June 14, 2009.)When sharing the faith with others, should we primarily focus on what happened to Christ, or what happened to us? In other words, should we focus on the gospel of Christ as we find it unpacked in the New Testament, or should we emphasize our personal testimonies, explaining to others what God has done in our own lives? We put this question to a number of attendees at a Christian convention, and you might be surprised by their answers. (Originally broadcast June 14, 2009.)


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  • [...] Gods Story or My Story: This podcast from the White Horse Inn challenges members of the church to share the one true gospel message with unbelievers rather than our personal testimonies. Michael Horton makes the point that the good news is only good if it is about what Jesus has done. Definitely worth a listen! [...]

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  • Guest - Adam

    It is always a nice to seem a new episode awaiting me when I open my podcast app. I always appreciate the podcasts' teachings.

    I'm not clergy, nor have I gone to seminary, so I may be wrong. However, when Michael stated what the Gospel was there was no mention of Christ's Kingdom, only that Christ was crucified for our sins (I may need to go back & re-listen just to be sure). I thought the proclaimed Good News was that Jesus was THE promised (through the story of Abraham & Israel's story) Messiah who would establish God's kingdom.

    I humbly await corrections if I am in error.

    Thanks again for this fantastic podcast!

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  • Guest - rayn

    You might want to search the blog here for posts on the new perspective, N. T. Wright, And Scott McKnight. Kingdom is very important to the way the gospel is recorded in scripture but the basis and heart if the kingdom is justification. Without that, the only kingdom is Satan's kingdom

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  • Guest - Bill

    This was an amazing previously recorded episode. I think this is what the White Horse Inn is all about, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ which is not preached or understood in evangelical circles as these interviews show. One of the strengths of this episode is that it touched on how the gospel and personal transformation (which is not the gospel) relate to each other, also how limited our personal transformation is. My only caution for the future is, keep this message. I have noticed over the last 2 or 3 years that when Mike Horton writes on sanctification, he doesn't seem to speak the same way he spoke on this program. It is critical that the core message of this program be spoken when talking about sanctification. It is critical to point out that sanctification is not moralism or personal transformation, or if we want to define it that way, then it has to be clearly pointed out as it was in this program the place where sanctification (personal transformation) belongs to. The lutheran and neo-orthodox understand this very well, the Reformed sometimes have a tendency to focus on personal transformation, and I think as long as they stick to what was said on this White Horse Inn program they will stay out of trouble. Here's another great message from Melissa Kruger who was interviewed by Camden Bucey at Reformedforum.org , she truly understands that a focus on personal transformation takes our eyes away from Christ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc301/
    This goes to prove the Reformed are perfectly capable of having a view of sanctification that is indistinguishable from the lutheran or neo-orthodox, which takes the focus away from us and puts it on Christ.

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  • Guest - RM

    I have been listening to a lot of WHI this past week which really filled me with zeal and joy again. The gospel is so very clear to me now, and I know what to say when I have to speak on it.

    So today I went out on the streets again to evangelize with a small group of people from various churches around here. This is my fifth time maybe, but usually I stay indoors praying for the other people. Honestly, I'm just terrified to approach anyone in the busy marketplace, but I know that I'm doing the right thing and pray that I'll be filled with courage to tell people Gods story.

    Unfortunatly, today I was too scared and it didn't really go away. Now, the irony is that some of my partners there had less trouble approaching people, but what came out of their mouth was not quite the gospel. In fact, I was quite shocked with the approach one man in particular had, starting off with 'Jesus loves you' and never clarifying what that meant.
    They know the gospel, I know they do, and yet they won't preach it clearly. Some people even believe that just being there makes a difference. That people know you are with the kingdom of light and that's enough. Or just praying, or just listening. But no! I don't believe that! That's not the gospel. That's not what saves people.
    I can just see people at the gates of hell now, saying: "Wow, it looks like I'm going to a really bad place. And you're telling me this guy knew how to prevent me from going there, but all he did was stand there and be nice? What an ***!"

    I'm zealous for the gospel, and know what to say to people but my fear of them petrifies me! What a place to be in!
    Anyway, I will keep going and will keep exposing myself to the fear, hoping God will empower me and lead me to speak to people about the gospel at some point.

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  • Guest - Ann Rupert

    Our new pastor is going to present evangelism training the last Sunday of the month. He is very Bible-centered in his preaching, encouraging all to bring their Bibles to church or use a Bible provided by the church.
    Your program, "God's Story or Ours," is timely.

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  • [...] Here, the guys at The White Horse Inn says all this better than I can. The deeper I fell into the Lutheran realm, the more pointless my testimony gets. It should be useless, because Christ came to me via Scripture and the Means of Grace, not me choosing. [...]

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  • Guest - Stefan

    The podcast was making a good point. The Gospel isn't our story, but God's.
    However, your use of the scattered interviews and exasperation with the answers was poor. The question the interviewer was asking was, "in terms of sharing the/your faith with others, do you prefer...." The way one could understand that question especially in evangelical circles would be, "how would you go about connecting with someone whom you have never met and share with that person the good news of Jesus Christ?"
    I don't think there is anything wrong with sharing one's personal story in order to make a connection with a stranger. In fact, I think it's a necessary step in human relations, in the same way that if that person were hungry I would feed them first and then share the true doctrinal essence of the Gospel.
    I appreciate the program's attempt to remind us that our testimony isn't the essence of the Gospel and that much of modern evangelism has had a very relativistic tone to it, ie "Look at what God has done for me... he can do it for you, too", but bashing a group of brothers and sisters for answering a different and more tactical question wasn't a good set up for it.
    Thank you for all you do. Keep up the work.

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  • Guest - Carl Peterson

    I like the White Horse Inn but I think this podcast was somewhat poor. First like Stefan I think the question could be answered in different ways and for different reasons. Also I think the limiting of the good news of Jesus Christ only to justification is somewhat problematic. Also I think one can find in Scripture and in early Christianity the use of testimony during preaching and the sharing of one's faith. See Philippians 3 for example. Also I think the question and the podcast seems to suggest that the questions is an either/ or question. I think most of Christian history would answer it as both. It is not about rejections God's story and theology for our story but about how our story becomes a part of His story. If becomes is a proper way of putting it. Maybe that our story is part of His story. That by the power of the Spirit we become part of God's family through Christ. This good news includes all of us and all of our salvation. It is because of Jesus' story that our story is part of God's story. Again not an either or thing. The early church fathers often put our story inside of Christ's (like Paul). We are crucified with Christ . . . (Galatians).

    For instance look at a portion of an Easter Homily from Gregory of Nazianus

    Yesterday, I was crucified with Him;

    Today, I am glorified with Him;

    Yesterday, I died with Him;

    Today I am quickened with Him;

    Yesterday, I was buried with Him;

    Today, I rise with Him.

    But let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us — you will think perhaps that I am going to say gold, or silver, or woven work, or transparent and costly stones, the mere passing material things of earth, that remains here below, and is for the most part always possessed by bad men, slaves of the world, and of the Prince of the World.

    Let us offer ourselves,

    The possession most precious to God, and most fitting; Let us give back the image that is made after the Image, Let us recognize our Dignity; let us honour our Archetype;

    Let us know the power of the Mystery,

    And for what Christ died.

    Let us become like Christ,

    Since Christ has become like us.

    Let us become God's for His sake,

    Since He for ours became Man.

    While many would not agree with everything the Theologian believed (unless you are Eastern orthodox), I think this demonstrates how this is not an either/ or question.

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  • Guest - T. Webb

    I think the Machen quote in this episode is from his 1932 address "Christian Scholarship and the Defense of the Faith" which can be found at the following link: http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var2=675

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