In our modern Christian context, the Greek word parrēsia can hardly be noted as having an equivalent reputation to words like agape or koinonia, which promote the spirit of love and fellowship.
Unlike these words, parrēsia falls into a trickier category for Christians.
Put simply, it means to speak boldly and plainly. It can be found in Ephesians 6:19, where Paul asks for prayer in communicating the powerful truth of the gospel.
Currently in the western world, bold proclamation of the gospel has increasing potential for hostile confrontations. Many believers struggle to see how they can be both bold in their commitment to Christ and loving towards their neighbour.
Seeking to address this issue, the Reformed Baptist Publishing House called Parrēsia ran a conference in July, 2022. It was held in the Glaswegian district of Govan, and ‘Preaching Christ in a post-Christian land’ was the topic.
Speakers included Jeremy Walker, Geoff Thomas, John-William Noble, and Daniel Funke. While helpfully diverse in their application and focus, each of the five sessions wonderfully highlighted the centrality of Christ.
Jeremy Walker set the tone for the two-day conference by preaching on the accomplishments of Christ and his saving power.
Working from John 17, Jeremy reminded delegates that because Christ conquered death through the cross, believers can have full assurance of salvation in his name alone.
Expanding on this in a second message, Jeremy called upon us to work like Christ, imitating his diligence, discerning our specific God-given tasks, and ultimately giving God the glory.
In similar fashion Geoff Thomas exhorted attendees to live in the light of Christ’s commands, such as being fishers of men, and in engaging in the work of evangelism.
Geoff also preached on the practical elements of what this might look like and how to give an ‘apologia’ (defence of the faith) as commanded by 1 Peter 3:5-16.
Approaching the sensitive topics of marriage and family, John-William Noble preached on principles of a godly marriage. Considering Joseph, the husband of Mary, John-William underlined his obedience to God, his love for Mary, and his leadership in the home.
Lastly, Daniel Funke preached on the nature of being foreign ‘citizens of heaven’ in a post-Christian land, as spoken of in Philippians 3. He encouraged attendees to await the return of Christ, while living by his commands in the present.
All of the sermons are available at the Parrēsia YouTube channel.
By Jehian Tiley