January 25 Today in OPC History

Calvin K. Cummings



“What is Reformed Evangelism?” was the title of an article by the Rev. Calvin K. Cummings in the January 25, 1948 issue of the Presbyterian Guardian. Cummings emphatically underscored the priority of evangelism in the work of the church: “An unevangelistic church of Christians is a contradiction in terms.”

Cummings went on to assert that Reformed evangelism was simply Biblical evangelism, and he then described distinguishing characteristics of Reformed gospel witness. It is “very jealous to make Christ the crucified and risen Savior the sum and substance of its message.” Further, the preaching of Christ “must be presented in the context of the whole counsel of God, revealed in Holy Writ. Not to do this is to present a truncated or emaciated gospel.”

Toward the end of his article, Cummings raised the question, “Will the Reformed evangelist use ‘the invitation’?” Yes, was his emphatic response, though not in the sense in which the term was commonly understood. In the gospel proclamations of both Jesus and Paul, invitations to come to faith in Christ were plainly extended to hearers. “Those methods, however, which tempt the listener to do something to be seen of men, or which become occasions for the evangelist to glory in the flesh, are to be shunned. All trickery and the employment of mass psychology is to be avoided.”

Picture: From left, Les Dunn, Bob Atwell, Bruce Coie, Calvin Cummings, and unidentified.



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