Issue 4: You will be my witnesses
Pointing to someone else: this is what the strange figure in camel’s hair does in the sixteenth-century Isenheim Altarpiece on display in Colmar, France. Arm bent, he stands and points to another figure hanging from a wooden beam, skin covered with sores, sharp thorns on his head, the colour gone from his lips.
John the Baptist points to Jesus. Risen from death, Jesus promised the apostles would also point to him as his “witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, ESV). After Jesus was lifted up, these apostles saw their role as being “witness[es] to his resurrection (Acts 1:22).
A life that points to someone else: what does this look like today? IFES includes students in Jerusalem and at the ends of the earth. This issue of Word & World explores how these students — along with everyone who has heard that Jesus has defeated death — might be witnesses to Jesus Christ in our time.
What does it mean to be witnesses in the university? Vinoth Ramachandra encourages students and faculty to join in conversations that are already going on and take them in a different direction.
What is authentic evangelism? Cathy Ross writes about joining in God’s mission and being with others, recognizing that coming to faith is a process.
Is apologetics passé, or does it play a role today for witnesses to Christ? Benno van den Toren writes that dialogue between religions requires exchanging reasons, even if reason is rarely the primary factor in bringing people to faith.
Do witnesses speak on their own? Fernando Mosquera says no: the whole creation bears witness to God, and human witness fits within the mission of God as king, who involves his servants in going about his business in society and politics.
May these authors inform and inspire you in pointing to someone else.
Robert W Heimburger, Editor
Scripture quotations marked ESV are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.