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You’ll notice that there isn’t a lot of scriptural exegesis in the slides, I kept them pretty minimal. As part of our adult Sunday school experience at East Lanier I passed out several articles, and chapters from books that I found helpful, etc.; these fill out what isn’t present in the slides. I talked around the main points of the presentation and then used the quotations either to open those points up for discussion or to close out the conversation on that quote. I’d add your own scriptural notes and articles to pass out, and possibly put your own quotes in. Use it or just notice it and move on, either or its here for your eyes as well 🙂

Here’s the PowerPoint Slide.

Below is a bibliography on Evangelism to get you started thinking and wrestling with it if you haven’t before…

A Bibliography Of Evangelism

Getting your bearings: General Reads –

(These materials will help you begin to think about evangelism)

The Gospel & Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever

The strengths of this short book on evangelism is that it will guide you through the basic who, what, why, how questions of evangelism in a brief, and biblically supported fashion. Other books in this vein would be Paul Littles’ book How To Give Away Your Faith and James Kennedys’ classic Evangelism Explosion. The weaknesses of Devers’ piece are the absence of serious exploration of the Postmodern Turn or Post-Christian Shift that form part of the context evangelism takes place within, in other words the presence of de-churched individuals isn’t as felt or explored by him here though it may be elsewhere in his preaching and teaching at Capital Hill Baptist Church. Still its a great first read, and is filled with pastoral warnings and charges.

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer

The strengths of Packers work follow from his general strengths as both a Christian academic and churchman. There is a rich relationship of theology and practical living spread throughout this work. Other books in this vein would be R.B. Kuipers’ book God-Centered Evangelism and Jack Millers’ book Powerful Evangelism for the Powerless and Jerram Barrs book The Heart of Evangelism. The weakness of these books again lies on their lack of handling the Postmodern or Post-Christian contextual questions; in addition unless one is from the Reformed and Calvnistic traditions these books will strike the reader as theologically foreign to their own system and tradition. Still it hard not to be able to gain from the insights of Packer’s exploration of the sovereignty of God in relation to evangelism since its biblical presence as a theme features large in the redemptive drama of scripture.

A Faith Worth Sharing: A lifetime of conversations by Jack Miller

The strengths of Miller’s work flow from its autobiographical tone in which Miller records, well, a lifetime of conversations. What’s often missed in books on evangelism is that our methods, strategy, self-understanding, and conversation styles change as we grow in our faith in Christ and our understanding of the how the gospel connects to culture and the lost. Miller’s book is really in a category all its own. I commend it will the greatest affection and appreciation of its contents and author! Other books that use an autobiographical style at least in part include Michael Greens’ book Sharing Your Faith With Friends and Family: Talking about Jesus without offending and Rick Richardsons’ book Evangelism Outside the Box: New ways to help people experience the good news and John Burkes’ book No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a come as you are culture in the church. The weaknesses of Millers’ work spring from the time-stamp on when he was alive, as well the social locations of some of the people he reached out to which at least in this recording were largely Western.

Evangelism, Missions, and Mercy –

Evangelism: Doing Justice and Preaching Grace by Harvie. M. Conn 

The strengths of Harvies’ work lie in his exploration of the mercy question by situating the gospel both in its old testament relation and the very Kingdom of God theology in which it was first expressed through Christ’ teachings, deeds, and actions. Conn is a master of theology, mission, and mercy with experiences that few can say they carry. This text flows as much from his life as from the study of a academic. Other works in this vein include Timothy J. Kellers’ book Ministries of Mercy: The call of the Jericho road and Ronald Siders’ book The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why are Christians living just like the rest of the world? and Robert Luptons’ book Compasssion, Justice, and the Christian Life: Rethinking ministry to the Poor. The weaknesses of Harvie’s work may fall on the breadth of his prophetic vision which while being inclusive to Western questions extended well beyond them and because of that may answer questions or situations that are not as pressing – that being said the real weakness of Conns’ work is not found within it but rather within the Church in the West lack of hearing and living its message. We have not listened to this prophet enough…

Eternal World and Changing Worlds: Theology, anthropology, and mission in trialogueby Harvie M. Conn

The strength of Harvies’ work flow from his ability to have what appears to be an almost encyclopedic understanding of all three areas of interest, his ability to marshall them together in creative responses to old questions, and his repentant tone and pattern as he prophetically calls to the church at large to repent and change. Other books in this vein or one aspect of it include Paul G. Hieberts’ book Anthropological Reflections on Missiological Issues and Leslie Newbigins’ The Open Secret: An introduction to the theology of mission and Craig Van Engens’ God’s Missionary People: Rethinking the purpose of the local church  and Ed Stetzers’ book Breaking the Missional Code: Your church can become a missionary in your community. The weaknesses of Conns’ piece lay on its big picture concerns, and its corporate prophetic calls; you will not find within it as much time or emphasis on the ‘personal evangelism/or mission’ questions so popular today, which may or may not be a rebuke to the current trend of interests.  

Postmodern Evangelism –

Transforming Mission: Paradigm shifts in theology of mission by David J. Bosch

The strengths of Boschs’ text are almost too many to note, its a veritable history of missions which produces a theology of mission, taking his readers through different paradigms of mission at work in the churches life through time. Other books in this vein include Leslie Newbigins’ classic The Gospel in a Pluralist Society and his Proper Confidence work and David F. Wells’ book Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World  and Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch book The Shape of Things To Come: Innovations and Mission in the 21 century Church and Rick Richardsons’ book Reimagining Evangelism: Inviting friends on a spiritual journey and Ed Stetzers’ book Planting Missional Churches or PlantingNew Churches in a Postmodern Age. Weaknesses would be the brevity of certain periods in comparison to his handling of the Enlightenment and Postmodern Turn.

PostChristian Evangelism –

Missional Church: A vision for the sending of the Church in North America ed. by Darrell Guder and Lois Barrett

Guders’ and Barretts’ edited volume offer one among many solutions or proposals of what the Church should be and do in its newly formed Post-Christian context. I choose Guders’ over Jenkins because of its popularity but to be sure Jenkins work may end up being the more likely future of Christendom’s center and shape. Evangelism in relation to the Post-Christian mission must reckon with the global shape of the Church today. Other books in this vein but with at times an entirely different set of concerns include Philip Jenkins’ The Next Christendom: The coming of global Christianity and Leslie Newbigin’s book Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture. Weaknesses again would be that its focus is limited to a North American proposal with little to no exploration of what the global churches relation to North America may mean for its mission and evangelism.