In the Round

In the last few weeks this new approach to explaining The Gospel has gotten some interesting buzz. Unlike your traditional “Bridge Model” or “The 4 Spiritual Laws,” James Choung created a new approach in explaining The Gospel to his college friends at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Take a look at the Four Circles and lend thoughts:

You can find out more about Choung in this Christianity Today interview, as well as clicking HERE to see Part 2 of his “four circles”


~ by Dave Smith on July 24, 2008.

6 Responses to “In the Round”

  1. My humble opinion:

    His greatest strength is that it’s no individualistic; rather, it’s holistic. He talks about salvation in terms of the whole creation, creation that is “groaning” for redemption. We are but one part of that redemption. Equally important is his focus on mission, which also protects salvation from being only about me.

    But, it is still a little gimmicky for my taste. I have never been attracted to any of these models of explaining the gospel, mostly because I think evangelism is most effective when it presupposes relationship. Not always, of course, but at least in my experience this is the case.

  2. Thoughts…

    Complicated, incomplete, a nice little tool…but like Gulker says above, can’t replace the need for a relationship

  3. I’ve been mulling over this type of evangelistic approach since watching the video… and I’ve been questioning how it would come across in the context of a relationship. Don’t you think it might come across as quite canned and artificial?

  4. interesting…but i think that i like mcknight’s more still.

    as for gulker’s last question…i agree that evangelism should happen in the context of relationship…that’s when it will be most effective. however, even in relationship, we still have to have ways of communicating things. some shell around which we communicate them. for very talented people, perhaps they can make that up on the spot. for less communicative people, having something like the 4 circles is helpful because it gives a leaping off point. i agree it could appear canned if you just memorize an exact presentation and replicate it. but if you take the shell of the presentation and contextualize it to the individual, then i don’t think it would have to appear canned and would be an aid to someone who doesn’t have as much confidence.

  5. I still felt like I was listening to the “4 spiritual laws” or the “bridge model” but without the scripture. I understand what JDH said about those less comfortable communicating their faith but struggle with the thought of anything memorized tnen regurgitated.

    As we interact with those who don’t know Jesus I think we all could learn to ask more questions. What if a person doesn’t fit into any of the “circles”? Maybe they don’t even believe in God…then what? My experience (as limited as it has been) has shown me that each time I share the gospel I must first know at least a little of the persons “story”.

    Not sure if any of this makes sense 😦 I’m not as gifted a communicator when it comes to blogging but I do believe that when it comes to talking about how God has changed me, I don’t want to follow what anyone else has “designed”, it needs to be more personal.

    What if our churches stopped teaching on and training people in evangelism and just had a community where people could grow in their love for God and the body of Christ then the outflow would be their lives being a testimony that lead non believers asking them questions about God?

    What if we didn’t need formulas or steps to follow to talk about Jesus because he was so alive in us that everywhere we went people would see Jesus? So many what ifs…

  6. Yea, this one is formula driven…but I do like the more holistic approach to God’s redemptive plan.

    I think if Choung chimed in (say that fast four times), would echo everyone’s thoughts on relationship first…for sure. However in how you would go about explaining “God’s salvation” this does give an broader perspective on it.

    This model was suggested to me for a discussion I was going to have with 6 guys in their 20’s spiritually seeking. I realized after watching it, that it was way too complicated for the group of guys I was hanging out with. (now it they were students at MIT…well maybe then).

    Funny how it came down just to the concepts of sin, penalty, grace, the cross, and trust. The evening actually ended with an old-school “sinners prayer” with 4 of the 6 trusting in Christ. Bizzare and reassuring that it just comes down to the basics and getting out of the way of the Spirit.

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