A sad commentary on what happens when Christians try to adapt their beliefs to the prevailing scientific theories of their day, in this case the notion that the Tasmanians were the least evolved of all human beings:
“Clergyman in the early days of the colony ignored the aborigines completely, believing them to be so far beneath the level of humanity as to be not worth teaching. As late as 1829, some twenty-six years after the first settlement, Henry Widowson wrote [the Church]…made no attempt to convert the “poor wretches” he noted, and added: “I have never heard, nor do I believe, that any teacher of the gospel ever went half a dozen miles from Hobart Town to enquire into their conditions.” In fact when Governor Arthur asked the Church Missionary Society in 1828 for a missionary he was refused (Travers 1968, 35).”
[Travers Robert. 1968. The Tasmanians: The Story of a Doomed Race. Sydney: Cassell Australia]
~The Darwin Effect: It’s influence on Nazism, Eugenics, Racism, Communism, Capitalism & Sexism by Jerry Bergman (Master Books, 2014), p.99-100 (incorrect form of “its” occurs in original)
Brett Kunkle (Stand toReason) on an alternate to seeking conversion in every conversation:
“Instead, here’s a more realistic goal: put a stone in their shoe. What’s your reaction when you get a stone in your shoe? It bothers you. You can’t stop thinking about it until you take the shoe off and deal with the annoyance… Give them one good thing to think about.”
“The fact that everyone has to function as though Christianity is true opens a creative opportunity for addressing the secular world. Christianity provides the basis for the way humans can’t help behaving anyway. In making the case for a biblical worldview, a strategic place to start is by showing that it alone gives a basis for the ways we all have to function, no matter which worldview we hold.”
Evangelism must rather be conceived as a long-term enterprise of patient teaching and instruction, in which God’s servants seek simply to be faithful in delivering the gospel message and applying it to human lives, and leave it to God’s Spirit to draw men to faith through this message in His own way and at His own speed.
All the Puritans agreed that the way by which God brings sinners to faith is through a “preparatory work,” longer or shorter, of contrition and humbling for sin. This is not repentance (actual turning from sin, which follows faith), but the soil out of which, upon their believing, repentance will spring. The reason why they held this preparatory work to be necessary has nothing to do with the question of the warrant of faith; it is simply because fallen man is naturally in love with sin, and it is a psychological impossibility for him to close whole-heartedly with Christ as a Saviour from sin until he has come to hate sin and long to be delivered from it.
Somewhere along the line, we have individualized the gospel. We said it was just about “you and Jesus.” We forgot that the gospel doesn’t just change eternal destinies; it changes everything. The gospel transforms societies, renews families, and heals relationships. That’s why Jesus called it “the gospel of the kingdom” (Luke 16:16). The gospel is all about the rule and reign of Jesus. And where Jesus is rightly honored as Lord, there is more than just personal salvation; there is redemptive action! The gospel is holistic. For me to say that I cared about Ryan’s soul without caring about his relationship with his family would be the pinnacle of hypocrisy. The answer wasn’t, “Get saved and then we’ll deal with your family relationships.” The answer was, “God wants to heal the wounds in your family. He is a redemptive God.”