During the last week of October, I attended the Ligonier
Pastor’s Conference in Orlando, FL. I posted my notes from several of the lectures online and they can be quickly accessed by clicking here
. One of the speakers at this year’s conference was Mark Dever (joined by Derek Thomas and R.C. Sproul). His talk on “God-Centered Evangelism
” was one of the highlights of the week! At the end of his lecture, Dever went on an extended rant (I mean that in the most positive possible way.) about both God’s and man’s responsibility in evangelism. I tried to summarize what he said as best I could in my notes, but I wasn’t able to reproduce it word for word. Well now I can! I’m currently reading Dr. Dever’s recent book titled, The Deliberate Church
. In the chapter “Doing Responsible Evangelism,” I found the quote in question. So without any further ado, here it is:
We shouldn’t want our Gospel presentations or invitations to be finally molded by what we think will “close the deal.” If they are, then they reveal that we think conversion is something we can orchestrate, which is the furthest thing from the truth. Instead of using all our powers to convict and change the sinner, while God stands back as a gentleman quietly waiting for the spirtual corpse, His declared spiritual enemy, to invite Him into his heart, let’s preach the Gospel like gentlemen, trying to persuade but knowing that we can’t convert. Then let’s stand back while God uses all of His powers to convict and convert and change the sinner. Then we’ll see clearly just who has the power to call the dead to life (pp. 55-56).