There’s an evangelism technique which has gained popularity over the past few years called, ‘The Way of the Master’. The basic technique involves asking if a person considers themselves good, getting them to acknowledge that they have committed a sin of some sort, showing them that if they have committed that sin then they are a law breaker (according to the 10 Commandments) worthy of eternal punishment and condemnation and then pointing them to Jesus Christ, the Saviour.
For a long time this particular evangelism technique has unsettled me. Definitely not because people are evangelising, but in particular the use of the Old Testament laws to determine guilt or innocence.
In preparations for my presentation on the place of Exodus 32-34 in its literary structure I came upon this devastating point made by Peter Enns in his NIV Application Commentary on Exodus:
As we have seen in a number of other places in Exodus, this is a book written for Israelites and about Israelites. Its application is not for anyone except God’s people. We saw this with the Ten Commandments. It is a misapplication to think that the law given to God’s people should be used as a standard by which to judge unbelievers. (emphasis mine)
So what to do with ‘The Way of the Master’ now that we know that its a misapplication of the Old Testament?