Simply Proclaim

Posted on March 12, 2019

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By David Ettinger

Duking it Out
Over the years, I have duked it out theologically with unbelievers. It’s not that these exchanges were uncomfortable or hostile; rather, they tended to travel quite far up the apologetics scale.

Much of these exchanges have come while engaging Mormons, who are frequent visitors to my neighborhood and often accompany me while I’m out walking. Other exchanges have come with fellow journalists during my newspaper days.

I often encountered heavy resistance to my claims that 1) there is a God who created all things; 2) Jesus Christ is God; 3) people are natural sinners separated from God; 4) all people need a Savior to rescue them from Hell; and 5) Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.

In stating my positions, it really felt as if I was duking it out in a boxing ring, my opponents fierce and uncompromising. It is natural for the unsaved to spurn the claims of the God of the Bible, and to push back against them. Sharing one’s faith is spiritual warfare, and it often requires us to engage in the battle.

Something More Peaceful
On occasion, however, I have been called upon to simply proclaim what I know and move on, and this is something far more peaceful and pleasant.

There have been times when I have been among those who were expressing atheistic or Christ-denying views, but not in a harsh or confrontational way. In some of those instances, all that was required of me was to counter their proclamations with my own. When they said, “There is no God,” I countered, “Yes, there is indeed a God, and He is the creator of Heaven and Earth.”

Sometimes that was all the opportunity I was granted, but it was enough. For one reason or another, theological/apologetic discourse was not appropriate for the situation. It was as if the Lord was telling me, “Simply proclaim a brief truth about Me; it is enough.”

Simply “Proclaim”
I love the idea of simply proclaiming the truth about the Lord’s existence. In Hebrew, the word “proclaim” is qara (pronounced “kara”) and can be translated, “to call,” “to recite,” “to cry out,” or my favorite, “to utter a loud sound” (though I hope the discussion doesn’t involve yelling!). A few examples of qara are:

  • Deuteronomy 32:3: “For I proclaim [qara] the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God!
  • Psalm 26:7: “That I may proclaim [qara] with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders.”
  • Psalm 96:2: “Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim [qara] good tidings of His salvation from day to day.”

In the New Testament, the Greek word for “proclaim” is kerryso, which can be translated “to herald,” doing so with formality or gravity. In other words, sometimes it is simply enough to proclaim God, but to do so with seriousness and significance. A few examples of kerryso are:

  • Matthew 4:23: “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming [kerryso] the gospel of the kingdom …”
  • Acts 8:5: “Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming [kerryso] Christ to them.”
  • 1 Peter 2:9: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim [kerryso] the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Boldness Needed
In this ever-darkening world, proclaiming God will require more boldness, but it is not an intellectually difficult task. Even if we are not highly proficient at sharing the Gospel in a deep theological way, we can at the least simply proclaim what we know about our Lord – that He exists, that He is the Creator of all things, that He loves the human race, and that He offers salvation to those who would have Him.

May God give us the grace and boldness to qara and kerryso His glorious Name!