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Hamilton, thank you for taking the trouble to defend the traditional approach to evangelism.

I am less concerned to debunk the Romans Road presentation of the gospel than to bring into the foreground of our reading of Romans what I think actually constitutes Paul’s basic argument in the Letter. His argument does not centre on the individual’s need for salvation but on what God is doing for and through his people as part of his “campaign”, at this particular moment in history, to be acknowledged as ruler of the pagan world. This is Paul’s “gospel” unpacked—the story of how God is proving himself to be righteous in the eyes of the nations. It entails i) divine judgment or wrath against both the Jew and the Greek, against both Israel and against the dominant pagan culture; ii) the redemption of God’s people through the death of Jesus; and iii) the prospect that in the not too distant future Jesus—and not Caesar—will rule the nations.

This “political” narrative had implications for individuals at the time—for Jews and Greeks—though not exactly the same implications. It also has radical, life-changing implications for people today, which is a point I have been labouring to get across recently.

My argument back to you would be that this approach takes the Bible more seriously and, frankly, more literally than the approach which treats it as all written primarily and directly for the universal reader. You say:

When we decide to say that some parts are relevant for us and some are not, we consequently decide that the Bible can not believed wholly.

But the point I made in the post is that that is exactly what the Romans Road does: it selects a few verses that it considers practically relevant for the purpose of personal evangelism and pays no attention whatsoever to the argument of the Letter. I am not saying that personal evangelism is irrelevant, only that it needs to be reframed if it is to be fully biblical.

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