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Brenda Salter McNeil clarifies what, in her opinion, evangelism should address for it to be relevant in today's largely post-modern world. She argues that, unless the Gospel (as presented to sinners) addresses socially pertinent issues and cultural topics, it will not have the desired effect.
|Title: A Credible Witness: Reflections on Power, Evangelism, and Race|
By: Brenda Salter McNeil
Number of Pages: 132
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2008
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
Weight: 7 ounces
Stock No: WW834822
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Meet Jesus and Sam. Evangelist and teacher Brenda Salter McNeil thinks evangelism that only introduces people to Jesus is incomplete. The picture is much larger than that, she claims: Christ's death and resurrection reconcile us to God and to each other across gender, race and social lines. Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman, introduced here as Brenda's friend Sam, gives you the full picture of gospel reconciliation--reconciliation to God and to each other. In her powerful, prophetic way, Brenda expounds their interaction recorded in John 4 and shares her own story of coming to Christ and learning to relate to other Christians. A Credible Witness tells you why both types of reconciliation are necessary, and moves you to be a person whose evangelism happens through a right relationship with God and others. "In today's world," Brenda writes, "we too are called to embody more than one type of reconciliation. The good news brings us to God, and it also brings life and healing to a broken, dying and divided world. Anything less is not the gospel."
Brenda Salter McNeil is an ordained Christian minister, teacher and evangelist. Through her ministry, Salter McNeil Associates, she is a frequent speaker at churches, colleges and conferences nationwide. She previously served on the staff of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and has been a keynote speaker at several Urbana Student Missions Conventions. She is also coauthor (with Rick Richardson) of The Heart of Racial Justice.
McNeil's thin but meaty book is organized around a close reading of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). Even those who consider this story one of their favorites will gain fresh insights from McNeil's analysis.-- Louis Markos, Touchstone, May 2009
Unless we engage the theology of evangelism as a part of the larger Gospel, we will certainly re-create the dichotomization of left-right Western Christianity we've suffered under over the last 100 years. Hats off to McNeil for this early move in her book.-- Outreach, March/April 2009
No congregation in our postmodern, multiethnic, global world can afford to train evangelists without equipping them to understand dynamics of power and race. A Credible Witness is a labor of love that will make a great first step for churches on the road to effective witness in our complex times.-- Lisa Sharon Harper, PRISM, January 2009
. . .calls all of us, regardless of ethnicity, to examine our following of Jesus to see if our lives include vital relationships with representatives of all other followers.-- Kethy Brawley, The Covenant Companion, June 2008
Using the narrative of John 4, McNeil explains why our evangelism can't just introduce people to Jesus and hope they hit it off. It has to be a force that can overcome barriers of gender, race and social status. These themes should be central to evangelism today, she argues, not the secure-a-better-afterlife themes of yesterday.-- InterVarsity Staff Site, March 2008
"A church that is not unified is a scandal and a contradiction of the gospel. This book is a good place for us to begin in our contemplation of the biblical mandate for us to love one another. Brenda Salter McNeil allows us to look deeply into one African American woman who exemplifies how each of us can be empowered to overcome the social forces of history that have kept us from experiencing the 'tie that binds.' Her book will guide us on a journey to becoming a countercultural people who truly live out the values of the kingdom of God."-- From the foreword by Tony Campolo, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Eastern University
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