Relating to the Unsaved ‘Christian’

Episode 662: Many people in North America consider themselves Christians, but they lack saving faith. Co-hosts Ed Stetzer and Michael Crawford talk with Dean Inserra, church planter and author of The Unsaved Christian, about working the immense mission field of cultural Christianity.

In This Episode, You’ll Discover:

  • What is meant by “unsaved Christians”
  • That the mission field right in front of us – unsaved Christianity – is very ripe for harvest
  • Three primary characteristics of the unsaved Christian
  • Why it’s tricky to say what’s a cultural Christian and what’s not
  • What the most prominent religion in America is
  • How a cultural Christian’s sees themselves in contrast to an actual believer
  • Why it’s important to ask cultural Christians to share their faith story with you

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Sharable Quotes (#NewChurches):

I’m trying to get people to shift their thinking about cultural Christianity, to see it as an evangelism issue rather than a discipleship issue. @Dean Inserra

They call themselves Christians, but they lack saving faith. They knew there was a God, they just didn’t think they could know him personally. And maybe they knew he wrote a book, they just didn’t think they could understand it. @EdStetzer

If they were asked, they will all consider themselves to be Christians. And by that, that it simply mean they’re not atheists or agnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu. @Dean Inserra

So much of our evangelism training has been geared towards atheists or agnostics or skeptics we don’t know. @Dean Inserra

Most of our evangelistic context are people we already know, who believe themselves to be fine because they either see themselves as good people from a Christian family or not atheists. @Dean Inserra

We might be at a post-Christendom world, but the high 60s percent of people in the American context still use the word Christian to describe themselves. So, it is tricky to say what makes a cultural Christian and what’s not. @EdStetzer

There’s a broad number of people who have a positive enough inclination towards the Christian faith, that they would name their tradition after it. And this is an evangelistic opportunity. @EdStetzer

These are people who oftentimes just don’t know the gospel. If there was a fourth horseman of cultural Christianity, it might be ignorance. That people are just clueless. The most prominent religion in America is that good people go to heaven when they die. @Dean Inserra

One of the main ways we have to do evangelism with cultural Christians is to expose them to something different, where they actually know “this is not what I have been believing or seeing.” @Dean Inserra

A whole lot of people have been inoculated against the truths of the gospel, because they had enough religion in their childhood. How do you help a cultural Christian understand that without Christ they’re lost and need to respond by grace through faith? @EdStetzer

What makes it complicated is it can get very defensive very quickly. Because a cultural Christian is first going to think that you’re declaring to them they need to be like you. “I’m a really good Christian and you’re not a very good Christian, so step it up a little bit.” @Dean Inserra

One of the greatest ways to reach a cultural Christian is to invite them to a gospel-preaching church. They see the stark difference and have to deal with it. @Dean Inserra

Talk about your story. They have to come to grips with that, because they’ll see it as different. And they can’t deny the fact that there’s really a contradiction in their understanding of the Bible and Christianity, and what you now as a believer are sharing. @Dean Inserra


Published April 28, 2022

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