By: LCMS NJ District President Dr. Tony Steinbronn
One of the more helpful books on mission and evangelism has been written by George Hunter III, professor emeritus at Asbury Theological Seminary; here are a few of Hunter’s observations in his book titled “Celtic Evangelism”:
+. the Christian church, in the West, faces populations who are increasing “secular” – people with no Christian memory and who don’t know what Christians are talking about
+. these populations are increasingly “neo-barbarian” in that they lack refinement and often their lives are out of control
+. yet these same populations are increasingly receptive to exploring worldview options – from Astrology to Zen Buddhism – as they search “in all the wrong places” to make sense of their lives and find their soul’s true home
+. in the face of this changing Western culture, many Western churches are in denial; and most of Western church leaders who are not in denial do not know how to engage the epidemic number of secular, postmodern, neo-barbarians outside of their churches
In light of these observations, Professor Hunter has this thought for us to consider: can the ancient movement known as Celtic Christianity show us some ways forward in the 21st century?
We planned on holding a district workshop this Saturday designed from George’s research, but due to lack of registration and concerns about the coronavirus, we decided to cancel. However, we plan on recording the event and making it available to view. If you'd like access to the recorded material please email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A final piece of information for your reflection: Patrick, and those who served with him, baptized tens of thousands of converts, planted 700 churches, and ordained 1,000 priests; with 30 to 40 of the 150 Irish tribes becoming substantially Christian by the time of his death just twenty-eight years later.
On December 5, 2020, a follow-up workshop will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Westfield, NJ, that will review and discuss various themes and strategies that have been used to evangelize “secular people,” gleaned from George Hunter’s book How to Reach Secular People.