Why don't we evangelize? What is the Gospel? Who and how should we evangelize? And what isn't evangelism?
These are a few questions Mark Dever embarks to explore, explain and answer throughout this relatively short yet powerfully equipping book.
The book sets the stage with; "ultimately we should evangelize because of God". Marks prayer and goal is that by considering these questions it will foster a better understanding, a greater obedience and a lead to the shifting and developing of a culture of evangelism within our personal lives and in our Churches.
This book is firmly rooted and grown out of Gods word. When you read through this book you clearly hear and see Gods objective instructions, mans duty and plenty of helps and advice. Moreover we see a deep well of Godly wisdom being presented, rich in truth, overflowing with practical pertinent examples and illustrations, a clear and readable book.
Mark provides a panoramic glimpse into the depths of evangelism, through a biblical lens, in a way all can relate understand and learn from.
I found this book to be a really helpful in making clear the simplicity of the gospel and how and why we should be sharing it in our every day lives rather than leaving it to the "professionals". A couple of quotes I found particularly good were:
"The good news is not simply that God is love" Being a christian comes at a cost and Dever emphasises the need for honesty, urgency and joy.
"We are not to put forward on,y positives that we imagine our non christian friends presently value and present God as simply the means by which prey can meet their own ends" We are challenged here not to dilute the gospel to make it more attractive and people more likely to come it church. Instead Dever in the book points out Romans 10:1 saying;
"We can work and witness for the salvation of someone but only God can finally bring it about. It is his work so we must pray." Once agin it is encouraging to remember that God is in control and He calls people to Himself. Our job is to declare the good news of the gospel and pray. Lots more packed into this book. Well worth a read.
How can I be an evangelist? Surely my quiet nature and undue fear of others disqualifies me, leaving this for gifted, ultra-confident & charismatic individuals?
No, not at all - this book addresses the many common concerns we have about talking to others about our faith in Christ. This book is tremendously encouraging, drawing from the bible to put personal evangelism into a perspective that can help even the most timid.
A really super book - evangelism can be part of ordinary life, and doesn't have to be a "strange" activity that we do because we feel we ought to (but through gritted teeth). Sharing the good news also changes us - we benefit and are built up.
We just need to remain true and tell the gospel - it is God who imparts the gift of faith, the Holy Spirit who brings spiritual life.
I shall re-read this book in the near future to help retain it's great message. 5 stars
Mark Dever has served the church well by producing this thought provoking book which both exposes our heart and challenges us with grace. The biggest challenge I will take away from it is the need to be engaging with those in the world around us.
Dever encourages us and refreshes us not with a methodology or how to but with examining the reasons why we fail to engage in evangelism, and how and why we must engage in evangelism. I found his appendix to Pastors particularly helpful in the encouragement to get out of the office and meetings and engage in evangelism.
The first chapter brilliantly exposes the excuses we make for not engaging in evangelism and seeing them in black and white shows us how pathetic and vacuous they are, in many wasy it was the highlight of the book.
He then also goes on to suggest 12 steps to overcome our non-evangelising, all are good and challenging encompaasing the obvious which we will easily recognise on ourselves and others which may catch us with our guard down.
It is not a book for the evangelist but for each and every person who claims to follow Jesus and wants to engage with the world around them for God's glory.