64 thoughts on “Romans Road”

  1. It’s amazing to me how I never realized that people would come to Jesus in different ways. It’s so obvious, but growing up in this thought-line, I somehow believed this road was the answer for all people.

    I’m so grateful for God’s grace leading me to a better understanding. I pray for the same grace to be given to others as well.

    And coincidentally, I was listening to Matt Chandler yesterday talk about this exact idea.

  2. I seem to remember that a certain evangelistic group that travels to neighborhoods to have Bible Times requires that everyone share the Gospel with their materials. If anyone from your church is granted permission to help them — they must use their official tracts. Don’t even think about trying to counsel a child without their “Booster” tract!!

    1. Now you’ve lost me. I can imagine the function of the cross, but what did they do with the drainpipes and stepladders?

      By the way, what’s OH? Old Husband? Orotund Helpmeet?

      1. Neither – Other Half as we Brits say, mind you I’m being generous in saying neither…

        The ladders were placed facing each other to create a gap between. The drainpipes, as any fule no, represent dead works which fail to bridge the gap. Sometimes they would get a fire eater to stand in the gap.

  3. Bad memories on this one…..
    We used it exclusively when soulwinning in FU. It was like a salesman’s spiel. The person more often then not stood there glassy-eyed just waiting for them to finish, bowed their head obediently for the prayer, and went on their way wondering what the heck just happened.

    The “soulwinner” puts another notch in their Bible and walks back proudly announcing they “got one!!”

    And that’s why I don’t go soulwinning anymore….

        1. Loren – I saw one of the commercials last night. Looks like they are putting a different spin on what they do.

  4. I’m not really from a Fundy background, but I spent some time in a very Campus Crusade-ish church while in college. A graphic like the one above was what was suggested for street witnessing.

    My religious experience was so Penal Substitution focused that it wasn’t until years later, when I started digging into the Early Church Fathers and some more “high church” writers that I learned the incredible importance of the Incarnation. I think I had believed God became man just so he could be executed. 😕

  5. I like Way of The Master, personally. WOTM really focuses on the Law and using it to have people admit their REAL standing with God, and that they are condemned to Hell. The Romans Road, to me, just makes it seem like, “Yeah, I’ve sinned, but I prayed to God to save me.” There’s no urgency, there’s no trembling, there’s no fear. And as a result, there’s no TRUE understanding of the grace of God. I’ll admit that I don’t want to scare people into Heaven, but I do want people to have a fear of their condemnation to Hell, because at that point can people really understand the love and grace of God.

    1. If that’s all WOTM was, they would be great. But in my experience of WOTM several years back, their big change was adding the words “I repent” to the prayer (as if saying those words made a difference), and then insisting on putting people under the law of Moses AFTER salvation in order to prove a change had occured, instead of pointing them to God’s grace that teaches us (Titus 2:12). Ray Comfort’s commentary on Matthew 7:21-23 is laughable- he claims these were Christians (despite the Bible saying that they were trusting in works), who still told white lies or looked with lust (despite the Bible saying they were obedient to the commands of God), and therefore, they weren’t “true” Christians (when the Bible says they weren’t saved because they worked iniquity – cross reference Isaiah 64:6 which says all our good works are iniquities).

    2. There are still people who insist that we have to preach on repentance. Well, I disagree! I think we should do it God’s way – preach the goodness of God and allow the goodness of God to lead people to repentance. Such repentance will be true repentance. It will not be motivated by the fear of judgment and indignation. It will be a genuine repentance that is motivated by His grace, unconditional love and compassion. After all, our ability to love God stems from our first tasting His love for us.

    3. For most people that Jesus witnessed to, the sinners, that knew they were sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors etc, there was no condemnation for them, but compassion and mercy, and they came to Him without fear, and Jesus never turned one away. Fear tactics lead to people having no boldness to come before the throne of Grace, because they are constantly thinking about how sinful and terrible their crimes are, instead of how merciful and gracious our God is!

        1. It is just refreshing to hear such a grace-filled message instead of a fear-based one that I have heard most of my life.

      1. My mindset is if one can understand their standing before God that they’re condemned as sinners and are deserving of Hell, then they can understand the love of God that sent Jesus to die for their sins, and the grace of God to provide eternal life. Please let me know if there’s a better way to explain it to people, I’m young and starting to immunize myself from the effects of IFB legalism that I’ve been in my entire life.

        1. Read N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope for a mind blowing experience! He has some critics in Reformed circles, but, seriously, give this book a shot.

        2. NT Wright is truly a wonderful scholar & writer. Surprised by Hope will change the way you read the Bible.

        1. I like that link 🙂

          The Holy Spirit taught me something recently

          Galatians 3:2: This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
          Galatians 3:3: Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

          We can see that life in the spirit is through faith and life under law is through flesh.

          Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

          and walking in the flesh is not about living a life of immorality. It is about living under the law. No condemnation is to them that are in Christ Jesus.

        2. That website is currently protected, where you need a username and password. Is there that I can get that?

      2. I agree but not completely. When I read the book of Acts, I find them continuously preaching about the forgiveness of sins and repentance, so I think that that is an important part of the gospel message as well.

        1. duh, of course, forgiveness of sins is a main part of the gospel – through this man is preached unto you forgivness of sins and all who believe are justified from all things which the law could not justify you of.

          But many people preach on repentance today as if it is something you do – turn from your sins or some other kind of pre salvation work to make you acceptable to God.

  6. My brother, Jasper, had a friend who was a Methodist. One day, we were all eating cookies in the kitchen and my mother asked him if he knew Jesus Christ as His Personal Lord and Savior. He told her that he had been in Confirmation in the sixth grade. She said, “Oh, that’s more of a ‘salvation by pedigree’ approach. To really be saved and go to heaven, you have to pray a sinner’s prayer.”

    Just at that moment, the phone rang for Mother. It was the associate pastor asking if she could coordinate a fellowship to honor another brick being filled in on our Building Fund Wall of Giving.

    While she was gone, Jasper asked his friend if he believed that Jesus was Jesus and if he did what he said he would do. His friend said, “Yes.” “Okay, so when Mother asks you if you’ve prayed the sinner’s prayer, just tell her you have. If you don’t, she will start down the Romans Road and won’t finish until it’s too dark to play outside.”

        1. Thank you! I don’t feel like that was over the top, as everything gets read on a fundamentalist literal/face value level.

  7. I’ve always been bothered with certain bad theology or untrue facts presented in the standard gospel presentation. These include, but are not limited to ‘asking Jesus into your heart’ and ‘God cannot let sin into Heaven’.

    Since I started working with unsaved people however, I’ve really learned the necessity of contextualizing the message to each individual. I’ve also learned the importance of your ‘walk’ or lifestyle to the person you are talking to. Relational evangelism if you will.

    I think a key in this issue is respect. Honestly listening to and talking with the person, rather then being a telemarketer.

  8. The alt text seems (to me, at least) an implicit denial of the legitimacy of systematic theology.

    Although I do agree with this post’s thesis. Lifestyle evangelism is far more Christlike (and effective, incidentally) than the street-preaching/door-knocking/give-a-tract-and-run methodology.

    1. Quite the opposite, in fact. Systematic theology would take into account a lot more than half a dozen hand-picked verses that are memorized and regurgitated rote.

      1. Well as long as we’re focusing on facts, I count 12, not “half a dozen,” verses on your satirical demotivational poster.

        Besides, the legitimacy of systematic theology doesn’t ultimately rest on quantity.

        1. you caught me. I didn’t bother to count. my laziness has given complete legitimacy to whatever point you were trying to make (whatever that was).

          And the question is not one of quantity it is one of scope. As I’ve said before the Gospel is much bigger than one magical moment of praying a prayer. The Romans Road is a little too narrow to account for that reality in any meaningful way.

        2. To your notion that my last comment didn’t even have a point (or at least one you couldn’t decipher):

          “Systematic theology would take into account a lot more than half a dozen hand-picked verses” – barely a factor in systematic theology (ST). An thesis with 6 verses doesn’t make it inherently inferior to an argument with 12. “that are memorized and regurgitated rote” – this has even less weight in ST. Theologians would never agree to settle a ST disagreement with “well I have more verses memorized that you do, so there.”

          If “scope” is what you’re after in ST, the poster does fairly well. A fairly broad range sampled: Prophets (OT), the Gospels, the Epistles (Johannine, Petrine, and Pauline), and the Apocalypse. If by “scope” you meant “comprehensiveness,” the Romans Road should introduce the Gospel (and every person’s need for it), not fully explain every detail of redemption.

          “the Gospel is much bigger than one magical moment of prayer” – so true; well said, sir. So well said that I’d expect you to realize that Fundamentalism’s overuse and abuse of ‘the Romans Road’ does not render it entirely illegitimate.

          Even if we don’t agree on methodology in ST, I do appreciate your promotion of a holistic, contextual presentation of the Gospel.

        3. I’d expect you to realize that Fundamentalism’s overuse and abuse of ‘the Romans Road’ does not render it entirely illegitimate.

          Where did I say that it was?

          Claiming that it is not a panacea for every situation is not the same as saying that it has no value whatsoever.

  9. I am so glad Jesus doesn’t use the same approach on all of us – He didn’t create cookie cutter people, so there can’t be a cookie cutter presentation of the gospel, either.

    I actually overheard a person at college saying that a person who hadn’t walked an aisle to “Just As I Am” was not truly saved – no sarcasm here at all. If that’s the case, we’d better start blaring that song out all our car windows, just so everyone’s covered.

  10. Oh, do I ever agree with this! I suppose the “Romans Road” chart has its place, and I’m sure some have been saved through it, but there’s plenty of other verses and even full sermons in the Bible (Peter and Paul in particular). Christ may be the only way to salvation, but there’s not only one way to lead someone to Christ.

  11. ok- i haven’t read the comments, so forgive me if this has already been mentioned.

    we used to reserve this tract for Catholics: “Oh! you’re a Romish Poperist? Well, let me show you how the bible says you can get saved, all from a letter written to the Roman church!”

    anybody else use this tract to corner the wicked Marialotrists?

    1. I was always embarrased by tracts, half the time I don’t even want the free food samples at stores or whereever, I’ve always had a hard time imagining how anyone would tact religious literature handed out (usually under some pressure) by unknown people who usually seem to minimally be socially challenged would convince anyone but recent immigrant fellow soul winners to want to see more of what they’re doing at that church. Long way to get to my point: I have no clue what tracts they had at the IFB places I’ve attended

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