Friday, February 09, 2007

Gospel Tracts

I have always been concerned about the nature of gospel tracts. I find it very disgusting to see cartoons present a weak or "scary" gospel instead of the Christ-centered good news that the New Testament presents. In addition, most tracts that I've come across have several things in common (please remember these are generalities and do not necessarily apply to all tracts):

1. Weak theology (as already mentioned) -- Salvation is presented as something less glorious than the accomplishment of the redemption of God's people at an infinite cost. Mankind is made out to be the "diamond in the rough" that God just couldn't do without instead of the biblical concept that man is born in sin and deserves nothing from God.

2. Deceptive hooks -- Many tracts use deceptive hooks to get people to read. Some are meant to be left at a restaurant and say, "Your tip is inside" (or something like that). Others say something such as, "Free gift inside." The sad thing is that people often leave these tracts on the table after their meal at a restaurant...without a decent tip!

3. Pray this prayer -- This is one of my pet peaves. Tracts almost always include a "pray this prayer section." Why is that such a big deal to me? It's not in the Bible! Sola fide, not sola prayer! My hope for eternity does not rest in a prayer I prayed. In fact, we are never even told in Scripture that we must "pray a prayer" in order to become right with God. Yet nearly every tract I've ever seen includes a "pray this prayer" section at the end.

All that to say, I have good news! Erik just posted this week over at Irish Calvinist several good free tracts. You can download the front (picture) and back (text) and have them printed at your local FedEx Kinko's (shameless plug for my employer!).

Be sure to check out these theologically sound gospel tracts. They present the gospel in terms of the crucified and risen Christ. It's not a "I'm scared of hell, so I'll pray this prayer" kind of tract. It's a "I've offended a holy God and Jesus is my only hope for a restored relationship with him" kind of tract. Christ is exalted, and faith--not merely a prayer--is the goal. These are good!

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