Eric Russ

2016 NYC - Jan 1 Morning Rally by Eric Russ

In the final rally of the All In Conference, we are privileged to hear from Eric Russ on his thoughts about leaving a legacy in the form of discipleship. Again using his theme verse from the end of Matthew, and II Tim. 2:2, we learn that God’s method to win the world is for his followers to become a “multiplying people”.

What does it mean to multiply? Eric’s definition is helpful:

“Pouring into men and women who are growing prayer, the Word, de-mythologizing their hearts, walking by faith, proclaiming the gospel in word and deed, and multiplying [their] faith.”

This is practically pursued through the reading of God’s word, ministry, and relationship with other people. If one or two of these disciplines is emphasized in the process of multiplication, then the quality of the discipleship will be less.

Flawed theology, an unhealthy view of intentionality and commitment, the lack of appeal, a self-centered gospel, and the fear of failure are five reasons that could keep Christians from discipleship. Eric works through each of these and aims to encourage the hearts of the audience in multiplying their lives, despite those hindrances.

2016 NYC - Evening Rally Dec 31 by Eric Russ

Evangelism is considered to the way that God reveals Himself in the present context. In his third talk, Eric proposes that it should even be considered a spiritual discipline, such as Bible reading, or prayer. Just like other spiritual disciplines, evangelism is found to be sufficient in knowing God and loving him more, and it is not divorced from the gospel--rather, all about it! It is also a means to know God, and not an end in itself.

In light of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20), we are reminded of the story of Israel, how they were called to be a light to the nations, and how, instead, Jesus fulfilled that himself. We now, as believers in him, get a chance to retell his story to those that are in this world.

Not only is it a commandment, but Eric argues for the personal benefits of sharing the gospel with others, like building up faithfulness in us and causing us to be assured in the good news.

He encourages us to work the discipline like a muscle and move in faith, trusting that God will give us discernment and growth. Before ending, the audience is encouraged to fight against typical reasons that Christians do not evangelize. These include (lack of) opportunity, accountability, and growth. To combat these difficulties, Eric gives advice and encouragement for each.

2016 NYC - Morning Rally Dec 31 by Eric Russ

Community continues its theme at the All In Conference, this time with our second speaker, Eric Russ. Starting out with Matthew 28:18-20, Eric discusses some themes of the verse, which include truths like 1) Jesus is the King, and 2) He is empowering us to be His “sent” people. In other words, our mission, based on these verses, is to make Jesus’ name known among the whole world.

In light of the topic of Community, there are two main postures Eric talks about that are common among Christians. The first is Individualism (or Independence), where one feels the freedom from any outside control, no accountability, and a sense of triumphalism (excessive exultations of achievements). The second posture is Codependence. This is where an individual refuses to have their identity informed until it is done so by a certain community. The aim of a healthy Christian community, however, is to avoid these two postures and have a stance of Interdependence. This implies that the whole community is informed by and utterly dependent on Christ.

Finally, Eric ends the message by discussing two ways to avoid unhealthy community. That is, firstly, embrace one’s creaturely identity. Eric states, “God is the bomb, and you are not!”. Secondly, retell the Trinity’s relationship, and model Christian community after its sameness and perfect love.

2016 NYC - Ethnic Diversity By Eric Russ

From his perspective, Eric tells about the racial tensions in our country, and the theology behind reconciling and loving across differences. A truth to remember during this talk is that all Christians have an opportunity in this day and age to remind others of reconciliation in Christ with him and others.

Ephesians 2:13-17 points to Jesus’ desire to be made “one man” that breaks down the walls of hostility between different groups of people, making one body under his Lordship. This implies that when one part of the body is hurting, then another part should naturally be hurting. Eric challenges the audience by saying that when there is injustice done to the body of Christ, it is our problem to deal with.

The practicals that the audience is left with are prefaced by the question, “How do we Love Across Difference?” To apply it, inward assessment is necessary to consider who our “others” are, and what our narrative is. Assessing our thoughts on this subject with those two points will help us in being a loving and reconciling body in the context of racial tensions.