"... a profound intellectual conversion constitutes entry into the kingdom of God. From the beginning the gospel has appeared as foolishness. Belief entails a spiritual appreciation for certain events in history that lie way beyond the plausibility structures of the modern mindset insofar as these structures rule out talk about the agency of human persons and of the supreme agent of all, the Lord God. It engenders a comprehensive and searching understanding of oneself as a child of God who has fallen into sin and rebellion , and into corruption and self-delusion. It calls for a radical reversal of ones vision and values as evoked by a narrative of mercy and love that will forever appear astonishing and incredible. And it evokes a longing for fellowship and community that can be satisfied only by worship and adoration among the saints and martyrs. These beliefs cannot be packaged and marketed like soap and cornflakes. We should be astonished if they are embraced quickly without struggle and without intellectual sweat."
In practical terms, this means that seeing thousands stream forward at a Billy Graham crusade should give us pause. Later, reflecting on Jesus exclusive claim in John 14 that he is the only way to God, Abraham comments,
"Taken in a prima facie manner and in isolation, this claim is absurd. It is surely extraordinary to insist that people can come to God only through a first-century Jewish day-laborer who was sentenced to death and crucified by the conventional legal processes of the Roman judiciary in Palestine. The claim is an obvious scandal, and Christians who make it without reflecting on this can scarcely profess to understand in any deep sense what they are saying. Consider a contrary claim to the effect that the world can be saved only through Johnny Megaw, an Irish house-decorator who was killed by terrorists in Enniskillen on November 8, 1987. No one would take this seriously, yet, stated in a bald fashion, this is what classical Christianity wants to uphold."
So, taking the two passages together, until we admit and even embrace the absurdity of our claims about the action of God in the life, death, and life again of Jesus Christ, we have not truly known what it means to enter into the kingdom of the God to whom we have pledged our allegiance. We have not been fully evangelized.