The Four Spiritual Laws An Analysis of Campus Crusade’s Method of Evangelism
Joshua J. Kellogg
A Senior Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation in the Honors Program Liberty University Spring 2012
FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS Acceptance of Senior Honors Thesis This Senior Honors Thesis is accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation from the Honors Program of Liberty University.
______________________________ Stephen Vandegriff, D. Min. Thesis Chair
______________________________ Gaylen Leverett, Ph.D. Committee Member
______________________________ Mark Harris, Ph.D. Committee Member
______________________________ Brenda Ayres, Ph.D. Honors Director
FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS Abstract The Four Spiritual Laws is a method of evangelism that has sold over one hundred
million copies and has been translated into many different languages. This shows that the Four Spiritual Laws has been effective in its presentation of the Gospel. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the Four Spiritual Laws. This thesis will identify whether the message of the Four Spiritual Laws is biblically accurate. This will be done through an exegetical analysis of the Bible verses that the Four Spiritual Laws cite. Suggestions will be given to improve any weaknesses of the Four Spiritual Laws that are found through this study. Overall, the Gospel presentation in the Four Spiritual Laws is biblically accurate. However, there are some concerns with how the Gospel is presented.
FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS The Four Spiritual Laws An Analysis of Campus Crusade’s Method of Evangelism Background of the Four Spiritual Laws The Four Spiritual Laws is a method that Campus Crusade uses for evangelism.
This method was first published by Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, in 1957.1 The Four Spiritual Laws can be found in a pamphlet titled Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws? In the Four Spiritual Laws, Bill Bright tries to simplify the truths of the Gospel in order to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel.2 The truths of the Gospel are portrayed as spiritual laws in order to help people recognize that just as there are physical laws that the universe is governed by, there are also spiritual laws that govern the relationship between God and man.3 The difference between the Four Spiritual Laws and many other methods of evangelism is that the Four Spiritual Laws starts on a positive note in explaining God’s love rather than starting by explaining how mankind is sinful.4 The Four Spiritual Laws have been very successful. The pamphlet in which the Four Spiritual Laws is published has sold “over one hundred million copies” and has been translated into “all of the major languages in the world.”5
1. “Died. William ‘Bill’ R. Bright,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 27.4 (October, 2003): 164. 2. Richard Quebedeaux, I Found It! (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1979), 179. 3. Ibid., 93-97. 4. Ibid., 97. 5. “Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?” Campus Crusade. http://www.campuscrusade.com/catalog/Have-You-Heard-Of-The-Four-Spiritual-LawsEnglish.html (accessed February 6, 2012).
FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS The First Law
The first law of the Four Spiritual Laws is, “God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life” (emphasis in original).6 The verses that Bill Bright uses to prove this law are John 3:16 and John 10:10. God Loves Everyone John 3:16 declares, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” 7 This verse is in the context of Jesus talking to Nicodemus about being born again. There are scholars who take this verse to be the words of the writer of John rather than to be what Jesus was saying to Nicodemus.8 Regardless, the important part of this verse for this...