Is Evangelism a Presbyterian Practice?

There is something of a Presbyterian caricature which depicts Presbyterianism as being anti-evangelistic. To be fair, where Hyper-Calvinism, nominalism, liberalism and cultural-Christianity have dominated Presbyterian denominations – evangelism has suffered – however evangelism is 100% consistent with Presbyterianism. Renowned Presbyterian theologian, Louis Berkoff demonstrates the presbyterian commitment to evangelism powerfully in his Systematic Theology.

It is not only the duty of the Church to preserve the Word of God, but also to preach it in the world and in the assembly of the people of God, for the conversion of sinners and for the edification of the saints. The Church has an evangelistic or missionary task in the world. The King, clothed with all authority in heaven and on earth, gave her the great commission: “Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe whatsoever I commanded you.” Through the ministry of the Church the Son is ceaselessly gathering out of the whole human race a Church chosen to everlasting life.

The empirical Church of any particular time must be actively engaged in the enlargement and expansion of the Church through missionary endeavors, must be instrumental in bringing in the elect out of all the nations of the world, adding living stones to the spiritual temple that is in process of construction, and must in that manner promote the completion of the number who will ultimately constitute the ideal Church of the future, the perfect bride of Christ, the new Jerusalem of Revelation 21.

If the Church of Jesus Christ should be derelict in the performance of this great task, she would prove unfaithful to her Lord. That work must be continued and must be completed before the glorious return of the Saviour, Matt. 24:14. And the great means at the disposal of the Church for the accomplishment of this work is, not education, civilization, human culture, or social reforms, though all these may have subsidiary significance, but the gospel of the Kingdom, which is none other, in spite of what Premillenarians may say, than the gospel of free grace, of redemption through the blood of the Lamb.