Since you think it’s just my opinion, let’s look at it:
"How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Rom. 10)
Note the first sentence: You can’t call on someone in whom you haven’t believed, and you can’t believe unless you have first heard. In other words, a person cannot believe in something they haven’t first learned. Faith is always a response to something that God has revealed. It’s no surprise that the last sentence says that faith comes through hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. And Paul was talking in this passage about people going out and preaching–the very thing you think is insufficient. There is no indication in Scripture that this method works only in certain cultures and time periods.
So do you think my interpretation is wrong? If so, why?
Study of history and theology, actually. Theology tells me that we must consider the context of the writing (hence the sword example - clearly it would be ridiculous for us to go around carrying swords!).
Yes, that’s true, context is always key. How would you interpret the above passage from Romans using the context?
History tells me that what I see in the NT are standard ways for the time of reaching people with a new philosophy or religion.
This is what many Protestants say, too, but it’s not enough to prove your point. It wasn’t just done at that time. It had been done for thousands of years before that, too. Jonah preached in public, as did the prophets in Israel. And Jesus, in the Great Commission, told his disciples to go into all the world and preach and teach. If He wanted that method to be open to change, He didn’t say so.
A study of the history of the saints tells me that they adapted to what was best for people, insofar as it did not contradict moral law.
And are the saints’ writings considered to be inspired, and divine revelation?
[quote]Would you agree that it is necessary for someone to hear the gospel and understand it in order to be saved?
Yes, but I know that is not sufficient, and I doubt that the methods you mentioned will lead to the sort of hearing and understanding that brings about faith.
Why do you doubt that? What must be added to the communication of the gospel, in your view, to make it work? And did you derive that understanding from anything that God has revealed?