Who Can Effectively Introduce Christ To Others? Part I

As I have suggested Christ is perceptibly present in the life of a mature believer. So let’s take a look at why that is the case by talking about the basic conditions for an effective witness, in other words, by asking “what will it take for others to see Christ in us?” According to St. Theophan the Recluse (commenting on Zechariah 8:22) “Those who live always according to the Spirit of Christ…

What is the Nature of the Evangelistic Task? (Part 2)

The Informal Lay Witness of the Church For too long we have neglected this as an aspect of our lives in Christ and as a result few new believers are being brought into the Church. Sometimes we do manage to organize something formally evangelistic like an “open evening,” a lecture, or a concert to which we invite non-believers. But we rarely see anything like the parish-wide, spontaneous urge to witness that characterized…

What is the Nature of the Evangelistic Task? (Part I)

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me. Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me. Christ in every ear that hears me.[1] Until recently many Christians have made a sharp distinction between what they called home missions and foreign missions.[2] As they see it, home missions involves the evangelism and service done using one’s own language within the context of…

How Can Divine Presence Be Perceived? (Part 3)

What Can It Mean Then to Perceive and Be Introduced to Christ?   I have mentioned two places where Christ is especially manifest in the word today: the Eucharist and the life of a mature believer. As for the one we invite to “Come and See” the Liturgy, I think the mere fact of coming into the Church is a sign of humility and submission and qualifies as an initial purification, allowing…

How Can Divine Presence Be Perceived? (Part 2)

What Can It Mean Then to Perceive God (Christ)? As I mentioned, the introduction of persons into our discussion has raised a number of significant challenges rooted in the composite, that is, finite/infinite nature of human beings and the personal, infinite character of God. So in order to be complete, our perception of humans has to somehow include that infinite dimension and that same ability to perceive the infinite in order to…

How Can Divine Presence Be Perceived? (Part 1)

During the past few sessions, I have suggested that we shift our focus away from information to an understanding of the Gospel as a person, that is, the person of Christ. If you accept that idea, then it becomes clear that evangelism has more to do with introducing that person than it does with transmitting information. But the challenge is that we are then expected to introduce a person who is no…

Christ’s Presence in the World Today

If God desires to personally engage the world in Christ, it seems reasonable to ask where and how Christ is present in the world today.  After Pentecost, we can certainly maintain that Christ is generally present in the world through the Holy Spirit. However, we know from numerous biblical examples (burning bush, tabernacle, Holy of Holies) that God chooses to manifest Himself regularly and predictably in certain places and at certain times.…