Thursday, October 24, 2013

Look Honestly at Evangelism: From an Atheist's Perspective

While some people experience dramatic conversion experiences after a single presentation of the gospel, many do not.  All people are on a journey, and we Christians need evangelism strategies that meet people at various points along their journeys.  More than strategies, however, we need relationships.  Jim (currently a pastor) and Matt (currently an atheist) give us a picture of what such a relationship can look like in Saving Casper.

I cringed as Matt Casper related some of his experiences with those seeking to reach him with the gospel.  Many of them seemed all too eager to tell him he was going to hell, while few bothered to see Matt as a human being much like themselves.  Respect seems to be the missing ingredient in many evangelism efforts. 

When I consider how Jesus approached people, as recorded in the Bible, I don’t see Him hitting people and telling them all about the hell for which they were bound.  Yes, He taught about hell; but when we see Him with individuals, we see how He saw them as unique people.  He cared about their families, their sorrows, their illnesses--and their eternal souls.  We should follow his example.  Matt Casper points out how confusing it is for someone on the outside to look at Christians and not see them doing what even he, an atheist, knows Jesus told them to do.

Please read and share Saving Casper.  Then build some relationships with people of all beliefs.  Respect them, learn about them, and let them see Jesus in you.

I received a free review copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Ultimate in Independent Learning

Ministry in Dangerous Places

Based on the premise that God has not called us to be safe, but to be faithful, Caleb tells exciting stories from his life as an "unusual soldier" for Jesus Christ.  He has gone on missions to some very dangerous and dark places.  He also trains others to do the same.

From page 46: "…we often equate God's "blessing" with personal safety." Yet Caleb found himself wanting a life more like William Wallace and less like Mr. Rogers.  Read the stories of people who went to minister in dark places, in dangerous places, or among despised people.  Learn that God reaches out to all those people and places.

This would be an excellent book for a group of young men or women to study together with an older, seasoned missionary or minister.  In a nation obsessed with keeping kids perfectly safe from every "danger," including non-organic food, refined sugar, and ordinary bumps and bruises, this book is a breath of fresh air.  Some risks are worth taking, especially for those of us who already have eternal life.

I received a free review copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.