I concur with Packer’s concerns. I can’t even begin to count the number of self-professing Christians I have met that are not baptized, unchurched, and an authority unto themselves. This creates a whole host of pastoral problems and a huge roadblock for the discipleship of such “believers”. I’m not knocking the “4 Spiritual Laws” and the task of concise evangelism, but pleading for the greater and more invasive work of discipleship. It’s easy to share the Gospel, pray, and encourage them to attend a local church. It is much more difficult to meet with that person regularly for prayer, Bible Study, etc. The task of the church is to create “disciples”, not unbaptized, unchurched “professors”.
In such a milieu, a truncated version of the gospel message, presenting Christ the Redeemer apart from God the Creator, and remis-sion of sins apart from personal regeneration, and individual salvation apart from life and worship in the church, and the hope of heaven apart from the pilgrim path of holiness—which is what in practice the ABC approach does—becomes a misrepresentation, one that sows the seed of many pastoral problems down the road.
© 2011, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.