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The Gospel & Personal Evangelism
Good News & Crossway / 2007 / Paperback
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Evangelism shouldn't be an impromptu event, cropping up only infrequently - and awkwardly even then - and timidly supportive of any inclination to religion or spirituality that the other person holds. As Christians, this should be an appalling representation of our Great Commission. Christians should be bold about the Gospel with other Christians as well as sinners, praying and planning and working together to bring the Gospel more into our lives as well as the lives of those around us. In The Gospel & Personal Evangelism Mark Dever has written a book, both instructive and encouraging, for all Christians in the same spirit that he motivates us to move towards.
In about a hundred pages, Dever discusses modern apprehensions towards evangelism, what the Gospel and evangelism are (and are not), who, how and why we should evangelize, and what we should do after presenting the Gospel. He minces no words, stripping his message down to the basics, and covers the topics thoroughly while leaving nuances and theory to other writers. Depth isn't his intention here, as the subject is already incredibly deep. This is for those of us who have the knowledge of the mandate to evangelize, recognize the persuasion of the Holy Spirit to do so, and have enough compassion for a fallen world to impel us to follow His leading.
Seeks to encourage readers to understand the fundamentals of evangelism and to challenge them to develop a culture of evangelism in their lives and their local churches.
Mark Dever is Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and Executive Director for 9Marks Ministries. Dr. Dever has contributed to several books on church health and church leadership, and is a visiting professor at both Beeson Divinity School and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Evangelism is so very central throughout Scripture and yet so oft-neglected. Mark Devers newest book, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, is a fresh challenge to Christians to evangelize. Dever says quite simply in describing the focus of his book, In sum, we discuss in this book the best news that there has ever been, and how we should share that news. (p. 17)
I appreciate Devers humility, his clarity, and his brevity (the book is only 119 pages). The chapters are designed to answer basic questions concerning evangelism: Why dont we evangelize? Who should evangelize? How should we evangelize? Why should we evangelize? Dever does a thorough job answering these questions in a very biblical and logical manner.
The chapters on What is the Gospel? and What Isnt Evangelism? are especially valuable. Both of these chapters get to the heart of true evangelism and set this book apart from other modern evangelistic books. Listen to this challenge from Dever: That which passes for the gospel too often becomes a very thin veneer spread lightly over our cultures values, becoming shaped and formed to its contours rather than to the truth about God. (p. 32)
Dever has a very readable style, including many personal illustrations, highlighting both successes and failures at living out the message of this book. Also, the author does not merely fill the mind with great theology, but gives many practical steps in which the principles he highlights can be lived out.
I highly recommend The Gospel and Personal Evangelism as a clear and concise manifesto for personal evangelism. Pastors would not only benefit themselves by reading this book, but should make this book available to their congregations to stir up the faithful to evangelize. I would especially recommend this book to those who think evangelism is not for them. Todd Burgett, Christian Book Previews.com
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