Broken Down on the Roman Road

Many of us who live in the Bible Belt have had a lot of experience with the Roman Road to Salvation. This is a set of scriptures from Romans that some people have used in their attempts at evangelism (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10, & 10:13). Although this is used as a convenient way to summarize salvation, there are those of us who are uncomfortable with how simplistic it seems to be. In one of his letters to emerging Christians over at the Jesus Creed blog, Scot McKnight shares one of the best takes on the limits of the Roman Road that I have ever heard. If you’ve ever experienced this evangelism technique from either side of the equation, or if you simply want to read a terrific exposition on the difference between “salvation” as laid out in this distillation and a biblical understanding of entering the Kingdom, go check this out. Great stuff.

4 thoughts on “Broken Down on the Roman Road

  1. Thanks for steering me to a good morning reading, Matt. The foreshortening of the race so that the finish line is but one step from the starting gate has long been one of the reasons that “revivalism” has left a bitter taste for so many who grew up seeing the quick failures of many a promising crop of righteousness when the first drought appeared.

    Among the best of the Wesleyan/Methodist heritage for me is John Wesley’s plan for discipleship and accountability AFTER the revival conversion.

  2. Anytime friend. 🙂
    I like your comment about foreshortening the race until the finish line is one step from the starting gate. Wesley is indeed a good tonic for minimalistic accounts of salvation.

  3. Matt I am going to assume you are one of the folks who are uncomfortable with the simplicity of the Roman Road. Why do we need to sophisticate the gospel, that is in itself a worldly trait. Example there is more than one way to say the same thing as there is more than one way to evangelize.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  4. Ummm…I’m not sure it’s about sophistication or simplicity really. Instead, I’d the “Roman Road” potentially fails to capture a holistic understanding to salvation. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t doubt God’s ability to use anything (including the “Roman Road”) to bring people into a dynamic passionate relationship with him.

    On the second statement, I would say yes, there is more than one way to evangelize. I would still argue that all ways of saying the same thing are not equal, just as all evangelistic techniques are not equal.

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