Is Engels out of date?

The other night at Parkerville I was talking with the group about the Engels scale – a scale that shows where people stand in relation to following Jesus.

– 8 = a long way away – as far as Engels is obviously willing to imagine
+5 = a true disciple – +5 is about stewardship so maybe Engels is saying the discipleship rubber hits the road when you start putting your hand in your pocket!

+5 Stewardship
+4 Communion with God
+3 Conceptual and behavioural growth
+2 Incorporation into Body
+1 Post-decision evaluation
New birth
-1 Repentance and faith in Christ
-2 Decision to act
-3 Personal problem recognition
-4 Positive attitude towards Gospel
-5 Grasp implications of Gospel
-6 Awareness of fundamentals of Gospel
-7 Initial awareness of Gospel
-8 Awareness of supreme being, no knowledge of Gospel

As I was speaking I asked the young people there to try and place their non-christian friends on the scale. For most the scale didn’t go far enough…

Which seems to suggest that a scale conceived in christendom just isn’t going to make the cut in a post-christendom world.

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1 thought on “Is Engels out of date?

  1. I quite agree. It is clearly perfectly possible to be further away than -8. I suppose -9 would be ‘no awareness of supreme being’, and then you could go on with increasing degrees of antagonism towards people who have faith.

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