Anyone interested in the purpose or means of evangelism would benefit from this small work by J.I. Packer. Though small it is significant in that it helps clarify much of the confusion existing today in our churches and our Christian culture as to our role and our support of the Holy Spirit.
Every so often I reach for a book that I read years ago that I remember having impacted me, but due to the passage of time I have forgotten why. This morning I have just completed a fresh reading of J.I. Packer's classic work, "Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God." Packer wrote this book more than fifty years ago and I read it as a college student in the mid-70s. I was amazed to find that it is as relevant today--perhaps more so, at least for me--as it was then. The writer does a masterful job walking the tightrope of divine sovereignty and human responsibility in dealing with the topic of salvation. Clearly a Reformed thinker, Packer presents a clear argument in explaining how both ingredients are essential in order to maintain a balanced approach to personal evangelism that is both biblical and practical. The reader emerges from this small but significant presentation with a strong sense of God's providence as well as a challenge for personal involvement. Packer stresses that evangelism is not an option for the true follower of Christ, and that prayer is an indispensable component in the process of sharing one's faith. While the book remains extremely significant, some of the terminology and illustrations are somewhat dated for younger generations. That should not deter anyone who is serious about sharing the Gospel of Christ with others from reading it.