Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion - eBook
Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion - eBook  -     By: Os Guinness
Buy Item $9.99 Retail: $17.99 Save 44% ($8.00)
In Stock
Stock No: WW77823EB
InterVarsity Press / 2015 / ePub
Add To Cart


Add To Wishlist
Add To Cart


Wishlist

Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion - eBook

InterVarsity Press / 2015 / ePub

In Stock
Stock No: WW77823EB


Have questions about eBooks? Check out our eBook FAQs.

* This product is available for purchase worldwide.
  • Other Formats (3)
Other Formats (3)
Description
Availability
Price
Add
Include
  1. In Stock
    $14.99
    Retail: $22.00
    Add To Cart
    $14.99
  2. In Stock
    $9.99
    Retail: $17.99
    Add To Cart
    0
    $9.99
  3. In Stock
    $15.99
    Retail: $19.98
    Add To Cart
    $15.99

Product Information

Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN-13: 9780830898503

Publisher's Description

  • 2016 Christianity Today Book of the Year in Apologetics/Evangelism
  • One of Desiring God's Top 15 Books of 2015
  • Hearts & Minds Bookstore's Best Books of 2015, Social Criticism and Cultural Engagement
In our post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism and apologetics. Most of these methods assume that people are open, interested and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. Our urgent need, then, is the capacity to persuade—to make a convincing case for the gospel to people who are not interested in it. In his magnum opus, Os Guinness offers a comprehensive presentation of the art and power of creative persuasion. Christians have often relied on proclaiming and preaching, protesting and picketing. But we are strikingly weak in persuasion—the ability to talk to people who are closed to what we are saying. Actual persuasion requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Guinness notes, "Jesus never spoke to two people the same way, and neither should we." Following the tradition of Erasmus, Pascal, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge and Peter Berger, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on listeners' assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the credibility of the gospel. This book is the fruit of forty years of thinking, honed in countless talks and discussions at many of the leading universities and intellectual centers of the world. Discover afresh the persuasive power of Christian witness from one of the leading apologists and thinkers of our era.

Author Bio

Os Guinness (DPhil, Oxford) is the author or editor of more than thirty books, including and A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, he has addressed audiences worldwide from the British House of Commons to the U.S. Congress to the St. Petersburg Parliament. He founded the Trinity Forum and served as senior fellow there for fifteen years. Born in China to missionary parents, he is the great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer. After witnessing the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to England where he was educated and served as a freelance reporter with the BBC. Since coming to the U.S. in 1984, he has been a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the lead drafter of the Williamsburg Charter, celebrating the First Amendment, and has also been senior fellow at the EastWest Institute in New York, where he drafted the Charter for Religious Freedom. He also co-authored the public school curriculum Guinness has had a lifelong passion to make sense of our extraordinary modern world and to stand between the worlds of scholarship and ordinary life, helping each to understand the other - particularly when advanced modern life touches on the profound issues of faith. He lives with his wife, Jenny, in McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.

Endorsements

Os Guinness's books have been invaluable for the Christian church for decades. A great deal of what I know about communicating the faith in modern times I learned from him. This book does not disappoint. Unlike most books on apologetics, it addresses the actual dynamics of conversation and persuasion - as well as providing an unusually comprehensive range of accessible and useful arguments and appeals for the truth of Christianity. I highly recommend it.
-Tim Keller,
Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

In a battle of ideas, unlike a battle between nations, the goal is not to vanquish the opponents but to win them. Making that challenge even more difficult is that oftentimes, what we win them with is what we win them to. The art and science of dialoguing and debate must bring together the message and the method in concert. No one does this better than my colleague Os Guinness. For years I have benefited from his incisive thinking and carefully studied presentations. Here, he wisely observes that 'Our urgent need today is to reunite evangelism and apologetics, and make sure that our best arguments are directed toward winning people and not just winning arguments.' I am thrilled to see his unique thinking on these crucial subjects, co-extensive with a lifetime of doing apologetics. It is a must-read for anyone interested in engaging the skeptic or seeker. Few thinkers today rise to the level that Os does, even as he plumbs the depth of vital issues in defense of the historic Christian faith.
-Ravi Zacharias,
author and speaker

There is no doubt about it, Christian apologetics is having a renaissance. Oddly though, precious little of it addresses the art of persuasion. Who better to redress this lacuna than the preeminent apologist of our times, Os Guinness. Among the many virtues of Fool's Talk is the presentation of a robust Christian faith that is not predictable. Many people are so sure they know what Christians are going to say that they don't actually listen. Guinness keeps them off-balance, much in the way Jesus' parables caught his audiences off-guard. Faced with a plethora of modern challenges, from technology to globalization to political sales talk to moral relativism, we are tempted to develop a single, safe, reactionary method - ten steps to the punch line. Guinness does the opposite. Like G. K. Chesterton in an earlier age, Guinness reminds us that truth is quite unlikely, that is, dubious to unaided reason. He advocates a broad range of arguments, all of them imaginative, but all of them pointing to the surprising truth, the unpredictable love of God.
-William Edgar,
professor of apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

Fool's Talk is a direct exposition of the inner logic and rhetoric of persuasion, showing how hearers are moved from unbelief and doubt to conviction of the truth of the Christian faith. Guinness's focus is not only on the nature of effective argument but the character, ethics and faith of the apologist. Intellectually profound and immensely practical. I loved the book. So will you.
-James W. Sire,
author, The Universe Next Door, Echoes of a Voice and Apologetics Beyond Reason

A remarkable book. Written with the benefit of decades of experience and reflection - this is one book on apologetics you will not want to miss. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
-Michael Ramsden,
joint director, Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, international director, RZIM for Europe, the Middle East and Africa

In a day when Christian apologetics seems to win battles but lose wars, when evangelism is abandoned by the church and biblical strategies are ignored, Fool's Talk by Os Guinness is necessary and vitally important. Insightfully, he not only guides in the use of wit and weightiness, but also restores winsomeness to the art of communicating Christ. He teaches the reader to 'relativize the relativists' and build on the 'signals of transcendence' with brilliance. He acknowledges his debts to Peter Berger, C. S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, G. K. Chesterton and many others. Readers will be indebted to Guiness for the syntheses and wisdom we have come to expect from him. The benefits of the past are freshly and insightfully applied to the present. All people need to know they are deeply loved and forgiven by God. Fool's Talk will better equip us to tell them. I heartily endorse this book.
-Jerry Root,
associate professor of evangelism, Wheaton College

Hardened skeptics and militant unbelievers are often a puzzle to Christian apologists. Arguments alone sometimes fail to stick to the souls of these unbelievers. Because of this, we need the rhetorical wisdom of Os Guinness, evangelicalism's greatest living social critic. Fool's Talk will make its readers wiser and more creative in commending the matchless gospel of Jesus Christ.
-Douglas Groothuis,
professor of philosophy, Denver Seminary

I have been waiting a long time for this book and I am not disappointed. Os Guinness brings together the rare combination of a firm grasp on a biblical view of unbelief with an acute understanding of people within the dynamics of modern culture. In relating apologetics to evangelism as he does, he engages us in the complexity of the interpersonal relationships that are so overwhelmingly relevant to communicating the gospel today. His discussions of diversion and hypocrisy are especially fresh and helpful.
-Dick Keyes,
L'Abri Fellowship, Southborough, Massachusetts

This is a timely book. It provides a much-needed and magisterial reaffirmation of that most biblical of New Testament models of evangelism - persuasive evangelism - bringing together evangelism and apologetics, heart and mind, objective and subjective, reason and faith. In short, it articulates and defends the most common form of evangelism in the New Testament. One of the most urgent needs of the global church is to recapture the biblical emphasis on persuasive evangelism. If the church (and most public evangelists) are able to heed Os Guinness's urgent call, it will lead to more faithful (and I suspect, more fruitful) evangelism, as well as the unexpected byproduct of greater confidence amongst believers in the truth claims of the gospel.
-Lindsay Brown,
international director, the Lausanne Movement, director, the Fellowship of Evangelists in the Universities of Europe

There is no doubt that Western culture has lost its understanding and attraction to the truth embedded and realized in the life of Jesus Christ. As Dorothy Sayers said in 1947, 'The brutal fact is that in this Christian country not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion what the Church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ.' Os Guinness, in his characteristically clear and insightful style, helps us recover the art of persuasively making the case for the truth of Christianity. Fool's Talk uniquely suggests we use, not the eager-to-win argumentative styles of the twenty-first century, but the persuasive styles of the church fathers, Old Testament prophets, New Testament writers and Jesus himself as our models. The irresistible nature of their reasoning and Guinness's brilliance in explaining them is a sure guide for apologists and evangelists, which he wisely urges be one in the same.
-Mary Poplin,
author of Is Reality Secular?

Here Os Guinness is ringing the bell that must be heard. Christian abandonment of evangelism, apologetics and discipleship, in a cynical age, is deeply serious. Social justice isn't enough. We simply must quickly recover the art of persuasion that loves and awakens souls. The world, deaf as it may at times seem, is dying for good news. Dr. Guinness shows us the brilliant 'advocacy of the heart' that wins not just arguments but, far more importantly, people. The gospel, Os reminds us, is the highest form of love. The best news. And the only hope for a world awaiting its redemption.
-Kelly Monroe Kullberg,
editor, Finding God at Harvard, founder, The Veritas Forum

The outcome of decades of rich reflection and fruitful ministry, Fool's Talk is a wise, creative, refreshing and unique book on the art of Christian persuasion.
-Paul Copan,
Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Editorial Reviews

"If Twain and Chesterton were writers who marshaled wit and paradox in commending wisdom, Guinness richly mines many a classic vein of wisdom, and wit, to help Christians in our time discern what it means to be winsome, and compelling, in commending faith. . . . How can we speak for our Lord in a manner that does justice to the wonder of who God is, to the profundity of the good news He has entrusted to us, to the wily stubbornness of the human heart and mind, as well as to the wide-ranging challenges of today's world and the mind-boggling prospects of tomorrow's? In short, how can we as followers of Jesus be as truly persuasive as we desire to be? These are questions worth asking—and seeking answers, readers can do no better than turn the pages of this book. For over forty years, Dr. Guinness has crafted learned, witty, and compelling books. This book may be his finest—one rich in simile, parable, and insight."
"Os Guinness's books have been invaluable for the Christian church for decades. A great deal of what I know about communicating the faith in modern times I learned from him. This book does not disappoint. Unlike most books on apologetics, it addresses the actual dynamics of conversation and persuasion—as well as providing an unusually comprehensive range of accessible and useful arguments and appeals for the truth of Christianity. I highly recommend it."
"Guinness offers helpful discourse on the anatomy of disbelief, how to respond to it, and how to avoid compromise while charting a journey toward faith."
"Hardened skeptics and militant unbelievers are often a puzzle to Christian apologists. Arguments alone sometimes fail to stick to the souls of these unbelievers. Because of this, we need the rhetorical wisdom of Os Guinness, evangelicalism's greatest living social critic. Fool's Talk will make its readers wiser and more creative in commending the matchless gospel of Jesus Christ."
"I have been waiting a long time for this book and I am not disappointed. Os Guinness brings together the rare combination of a firm grasp on a biblical view of unbelief with an acute understanding of people within the dynamics of modern culture. In relating apologetics to evangelism as he does, he engages us in the complexity of the interpersonal relationships that are so overwhelmingly relevant to communicating the gospel today. His discussions of diversion and hypocrisy are especially fresh and helpful."
"It is bursting with insights, including some sociological insights into the structure of belief and unbelief (and unbelieving culture) that will enrich our own perspective on these matters. He raises issues that should be discussed in churches about how best to witness to people shaped by a deeply post-Christian society. This is a book worth having and savoring. No fooling."
"There is no doubt that Western culture has lost its understanding and attraction to the truth embedded and realized in the life of Jesus Christ. As Dorothy Sayers said in 1947, 'The brutal fact is that in this Christian country not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion what the Church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ.' Os Guinness, in his characteristically clear and insightful style, helps us recover the art of persuasively making the case for the truth of Christianity. Fool's Talk uniquely suggests we use, not the eager-to-win argumentative styles of the twenty-first century, but the persuasive styles of the church fathers, Old Testament prophets, New Testament writers and Jesus himself as our models. The irresistible nature of their reasoning and Guinness's brilliance in explaining them is a sure guide for apologists and evangelists, which he wisely urges be one in the same."
"Here is a book meant to stir up one's mind—and heart. The author writes that it is a product of 'forty years of thinking,' and it should probe the best efforts of any reader."
"Here Os Guinness is ringing the bell that must be heard. Christian abandonment of evangelism, apologetics and discipleship, in a cynical age, is deeply serious. Social justice isn't enough. We simply must quickly recover the art of persuasion that loves and awakens souls. The world, deaf as it may at times seem, is dying for good news. Dr. Guinness shows us the brilliant 'advocacy of the heart' that wins not just arguments but, far more importantly, people. The gospel, Os reminds us, is the highest form of love. The best news. And the only hope for a world awaiting its redemption."
"The outcome of decades of rich reflection and fruitful ministry, Fool's Talk is a wise, creative, refreshing and unique book on the art of Christian persuasion."
"The great value of Guinness' approach is that he brings enormous erudition and sophistication to his understanding of culture. Rarely is analysis of this quality combined with keen theological insights in the service of the believing church. Guinness, who is certainly capable of being clever, chastens Christians to understand that a truly gospel-centered means of persuasion is based in what he calls 'cross talk' rather than clever talk. . . . This is a book that deserves a careful, slow and generous reading. It certainly deserves a place on the preacher's reading list."
"In what is a distinctive and vital contribution to a deeper understanding of apologetics and the art of persuasion, Guinness skillfully dissects the anatomy of unbelief and analyzes the framework of illusions and deceptions that shape the unbelieving mind. . . . As reads go Fool's Talk isn't light—but neither are the consequences of enfeebled apologetics."
"Guinness is a master wordsmith, using biblical theology, logic, history, philosophy and a keen understanding of worldviews to express his insights. This book about apologetics and evangelism avoids the overused cookie-cutter approach to sharing the gospel. . . . Readers interested in apologetics and evangelism will need time and focus to absorb this profound work."
"In a battle of ideas, unlike a battle between nations, the goal is not to vanquish the opponents but to win them. Making that challenge even more difficult is that oftentimes, what we win them with is what we win them to. The art and science of dialoguing and debate must bring together the message and the method in concert. No one does this better than my colleague Os Guinness. For years I have benefited from his incisive thinking and carefully studied presentations. Here, he wisely observes that 'Our urgent need today is to reunite evangelism and apologetics, and make sure that our best arguments are directed toward winning people and not just winning arguments.' I am thrilled to see his unique thinking on these crucial subjects, co-extensive with a lifetime of doing apologetics. It is a must-read for anyone interested in engaging the skeptic or seeker. Few thinkers today rise to the level that Os does, even as he plumbs the depth of vital issues in defense of the historic Christian faith."
"Os Guinness has done Christians a great service in writing Fool's Talk. He provides a way of persuasion and a way that does not artificially separate apologetics from evangelism. It is this point that is the book's greatest strength. . . . For the Christian looking to gain a seat at the table of world views, this book gives him or her plenty of preparation."
"I appreciate Os Guinness' concern that he not become a professional apologist and along the way neglect the actual work of apologetics. But after many years of doing such work, he has written a good book, Fool's Talk, that introduces readers not to technique, but to the art of Christian persuasion—the kind of persuasion we see modeled in Jesus, in Paul, and in the Old Testament prophets before them. Eminently quotable and packed full of helpful insights, Fool's Talk is a well-written, well-structured, and well-argued book that I enthusiastically recommend."
"I've not yet been disappointed by a book Os Guinness has written. Fool's Talk is no exception. This is one of the best books on apologetics that I've read."
"This is a timely book. It provides a much-needed and magisterial reaffirmation of that most biblical of New Testament models of evangelism—persuasive evangelism—bringing together evangelism and apologetics, heart and mind, objective and subjective, reason and faith. In short, it articulates and defends the most common form of evangelism in the New Testament. One of the most urgent needs of the global church is to recapture the biblical emphasis on persuasive evangelism. If the church (and most public evangelists) are able to heed Os Guinness's urgent call, it will lead to more faithful (and I suspect, more fruitful) evangelism, as well as the unexpected byproduct of greater confidence amongst believers in the truth claims of the gospel."
"With a finger on the heartbeat of our culture, Guinness shows the need for Christians to be persuasive when sharing the Gospel with the world. Our culture is not one ignorant of the content of Christianity; rather, it is one indifferent to it. In such an environment, Christian persuasion is essential to the fulfillment of our call to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). Fool's Talk is a timely volume that is a great asset for those interested in improving their ability to communicate the Gospel."
"Unlike many apologetics books, Fool's Talk is not a series of quick-fix answers to questions most folks are no longer asking or one-size-fits-all 'McTheories' (Guinness's term) for any situation. Rather, Guinness draws upon a lifetime of diverse experience to explore and invite us in the art of 'creative persuasion.'"
"This is the best apologia for apologetics, and the best example of how to do it, that I have ever read. When I grow up I want to be like Os! The Bible, in an unerring prophecy of the forthcoming desktop publishing, tells us that 'of making many books there is no end and much study wearies the body' (Ecclesiastes 12:12). With thousands of Christian books published every year we need to be discerning. Fool's Talk is a diamond in the rough—and well worth 'wearying the body' in order to study!"
"There is no doubt about it, Christian apologetics is having a renaissance. Oddly though, precious little of it addresses the art of persuasion. Who better to redress this lacuna than the preeminent apologist of our times, Os Guinness. Among the many virtues of Fool's Talk is the presentation of a robust Christian faith that is not predictable. Many people are so sure they know what Christians are going to say that they don't actually listen. Guinness keeps them off-balance, much in the way Jesus' parables caught his audiences off-guard. Faced with a plethora of modern challenges, from technology to globalization to political sales talk to moral relativism, we are tempted to develop a single, safe, reactionary method—ten steps to the punch line. Guinness does the opposite. Like G. K. Chesterton in an earlier age, Guinness reminds us that truth is quite unlikely, that is, dubious to unaided reason. He advocates a broad range of arguments, all of them imaginative, but all of them pointing to the surprising truth, the unpredictable love of God."
" Fool's Talk is a direct exposition of the inner logic and rhetoric of persuasion, showing how hearers are moved from unbelief and doubt to conviction of the truth of the Christian faith. Guinness's focus is not only on the nature of effective argument but the character, ethics and faith of the apologist. Intellectually profound and immensely practical. I loved the book. So will you."
"A remarkable book. Written with the benefit of decades of experience and reflection—this is one book on apologetics you will not want to miss. I wholeheartedly recommend it."
"In a day when Christian apologetics seems to win battles but lose wars, when evangelism is abandoned by the church and biblical strategies are ignored, Fool's Talk by Os Guinness is necessary and vitally important. Insightfully, he not only guides in the use of wit and weightiness, but also restores winsomeness to the art of communicating Christ. He teaches the reader to 'relativize the relativists' and build on the 'signals of transcendence' with brilliance. He acknowledges his debts to Peter Berger, C. S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, G. K. Chesterton and many others. Readers will be indebted to Guiness for the syntheses and wisdom we have come to expect from him. The benefits of the past are freshly and insightfully applied to the present. All people need to know they are deeply loved and forgiven by God. Fool's Talk will better equip us to tell them. I heartily endorse this book."

Product Reviews

4.3 Stars Out Of 5
4.3 out of 5
(4)
(1)
(0)
(1)
(0)
Quality:
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
Value:
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
83%
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
SORT BY:
SEE:
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
Page 1 of 2 12 Next
  1. James Ruberg
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Fool's Talk
    November 3, 2016
    James Ruberg
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 1
    The title of this book intrigued me and I'm always looking for new ways to share my faith. The book started off with a bang, but as I got into it, it was way over my head. I needed a dictionary beside me as I read because of the big words he used that I'd never heard of. On Page 155, Os said, "...a speaker should always speak to where the audience is. In other words, we have to speak to people and be close enough to where they are so that we know we are really getting through to them, and not shouting from a distance or speaking past them and missing them." As I read this book, I felt like Os spoke past me and missed me.
  2. John M Kight
    Michigan
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A book that will alter the way that you interact with the world around you!
    March 18, 2016
    John M Kight
    Michigan
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Fools Talk: Rediscovering the Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guinness is a well-timed reminder concerning the importance of persuasion in the proclamation of the Christian gospel. We are all apologists now, declares Guinness, and we stand at the dawn of the grand age of human apologetics, or so some are saying because our wired world and our global era are a time when expressing, presenting, sharing, defending and selling ourselves have become a staple of everyday life for countless millions of people around the world, both Christians and others (p. 15). It is here that Guinness boldly observes our time and context as the greatest opportunity for Christian proclamation since Jesus and the apostles, and thus, it is here that Guinness persuasively (pun intended) reorients the reader towards the heartbeat of apologetics found in the art of Christian persuasion.

    Guinness guides the reader from beginning to end with noticeable expertise and experience in the field of Christian apologetics. However, for Guinness, Christian apologetics looks much different than the traditional approaches still used by many Christians today. Rather, the approach Guinness is keen to advocates is simple, cross-centered and cross-shaped persuasion. This is not a book for those seeking to catch up on the most recent apologetic techniques to be utilized in the workplace and beyond. It is a call to the Christian to put down the soulless crutch of technique alone and rediscover the all-encompassing power of the gospel of the cross. Technique has its place, as Guinness rightly acknowledges, but it is time to challenge the imperialism of technique and keep technique in its place (p. 46).

    The art of Christian persuasion, then, is that which seeks to use the uppermost strengths of human reason and creativity in the defense of truth. Guinness describes the twofold reality of such persuasion as the apologists effort in, Mustering all the powers of reason, logic, evidence and argument . . . [for] the task of answering every question, countering every objection, and dismantling false objections to the faith and to knowing God . . . Expressing the love and compassion of Jesus, and using eloquence, creativity, imagination, humor and irony . . . to pry open hearts and minds that, for a thousand reasons, had long grown resistant to Gods great grace, so that it could shine in like the sun (p. 253). This is the art of Christian persuasion, the heartbeat of Christian apologetics, and the rediscovered platform of gospel-centered proclamation that Guinness commends to his readers.

    Fools Talk: Rediscovering the Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guinness is nothing short of a classic. Guinness is remarkably warmhearted in his exhortation and criticism of the present-day landscape of Christian apologetics, and his alternative approach is refreshingly biblical. We are all apologists now, and yet, as Guinness explains, many of us have yet to rise to the challenge of a way of apologetics that is as profound as the good news we announce (p. 16). It is here that Guinness has delivered a book that will both encourage your heart and reignite your soul for the task of Christian apologeticsnamely, the art of Christian persuasion. If you are looking for an apologetic book that will alter the way that you interact with the world around you for the sake of the gospel, and reorient your heart towards the proper means of such interaction, then this is a book that you will do well to read. It comes highly recommended!

    I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. SnickerdoodleSarah
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Very interesting, it really makes you think
    January 19, 2016
    SnickerdoodleSarah
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guinness is quite a convicting book, a book that really makes you think about how serious we really are about evangelism/apologetics. It provokes the question: how much thought do we really put in our conversations (or even our small-talk) with unbelievers? Do we hold back on saying anything related to the Gospel because we are ashamed of being considered foolish because of our belief in God's Word? Or if we do evangelize, are we just sticking with simple pre-contrived evangelization questions like, "If you were to die today and stood before God and He asked you why He should let you into Heaven, what would you say?" Are we willing to truly put thought into persuading someone of the truth of Christianity, giving answers to their questions, and asking thought-provoking questions ourselves, rather than merely turning to someone else's pre-designed method of evangelism. Do we not seriously think of persuasion outside of some other persons pre-written evangelization answers/questions (though not outside the word of God)? And are we loving when we talk to others, truly more concerned about winning the person rather than just winning an argument?

    This book's author does an excellent job at making one think about the answers to questions like the above. For instance, as evinced above, he critiques modern-day evangelism, and makes the case that the 'method' used to evangelize actually does matter, "Recent forms of evangelism are modeled on handbooks for effective sales techniqueAfter all, if all truth is God's truth, it is surely legitimate to use the best tricks of the trade, but this time use them in the service of the truth." "Not so" Guinness answers. "The Lord's work must always be done in the Lord's way. The method must serve the message. Technique is never neutral. It can be positive and useful, and it can also be harmful. Sometimes it an even be so brilliantly effective that its danger lies in its weaning us away from needing God at all. True apologetics is the art of truth, and its art must be shaped by the distinctiveness of the truth it proclaims."

    He also does an excellent job at keeping one's perspective straight, because, though we do want to persuade others as best we can, and as Scripturally as we can, we are not to have the posture of winning discussions with non-believers at all-costs, the truth is true even if we do not defend it well, or even if we don't have answer to a certain question. Not matter how good are argument is, God is ultimately the only One who can change a person's heart and give them faith, though we do hope to have the opportunity to be used of God in helping others see the truth of the Gospel, "Faith's certainty lies elsewhere than in the rapier sharp logic or the sledgehammer power of the apologist. At the end of the day, full certainty comes from the conviction of the Holy Spirit."

    There were some things in the book that had I had trouble with though. At one point the author says, "The next time you see Auguste Rodin's Thinker look at it closely" Ummm. Sorry but if that work of 'art' is what I think it is (an unclothed statue of a manwho is in the process of thinkingprobably trying to figure out what he forgot to do that day, he forgot to put on clothes!) I think that then next time I see it I'll look away quickly! I don't care if it doesn't show anything really inappropriate, it's the implication of nakedness that bothers me. Naked statues don't fit the list of attributes the Apostle Paul gives as to what we should think on/meditate on in Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure(ASV)"etc.

    Also, I really have trouble with some of Guinness's statementsI was really shocked by some in particular, "Just so did God shame the world's folly, subvert the world's pride and put death to death through the death of his Son. And the sober truth is surely that this was the way, the only way that it had to be done. There was no other way. God is always able to respond to sin and defiance with power.Power, however, usually overcomes by destroying what defies it. Thus, as Reinhold Niebuhr insisted, there is a limit to what even the power of God can do as power alone, for 'such power does not reach the heart of the rebel.' Power can fence us in, but only sacrificial love can find us out. Power can win when we are ranged against it, but it cannot win us." That REALLY takes away the miracle of Christians being made by God into New Creations, their hearts of stone that couldn't love God being made, by God, into hearts of flesh that love Him and His ways. That's power, being used because of God's love yes, but it's His transforming power just the same! If God didn't use power to change our hearts to love Him, and give us faith, we would not believe in Him, nor would we wish to follow His ways! See Colossians 2:8-16, that's not just love, that's God's power! He acts with His power because of His love for us! Just as God will do with the nation of Israel in the future (see Ezek. 36)

    Some parts of the book get a bit tedious as you get more into it, but overall, I liked the book, and think that it is a good resource for helping us give thought about the answer we should always be ready to give when asked about the hope that we have (1 Pet. 3:15). I'll end with one of my favorite quotes from the book:

    "To follow Jesus is to pay the cost of discipleship, and then to die to ourselves, to our own interests, our own agendas and reputations. It is to pick up our crosses and count the cost of losing all that contradicts his will and way - including our reputations before the world and our standing with the people and communities we once held dear. It is to live before one audience, the audience of One, and therefore to die to all other conflicting opinions and assessments. There is no room here for such contemporary ideas as the looking-glass self; and no consideration here for trivial contemporary obsessions such as one's legacy"

    Many thanks to the folks at InterVarsity Press for sending me a free review copy of this book! (My review did not have to be favorable)
  4. cbcarter
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    excellent
    August 28, 2015
    cbcarter
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    os always has a way of taking a difficult word or phrase and turning it into a powerful statementthat those of us less gifted can effectively use. He doe's no less here. Thou perhaps a bit tedious at the end the lessons learned therein are very much worth the price of the book. Sometimes we run into people where facts are really the key obstancles to their embracing the Christian faith. It's more the prideful mind,the darkened intellect. This book will definitely equip the reader. he is so intelligent and well read, he makes answering challenges to the faith almost easy . definitely not written down to anyone but a bold an friendly approach. Get it.!!!!!
  5. Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Persuasion: Raising Questions and Opening Doors
    July 31, 2015
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Drawing upon the diverse perspectives of C.S. Lewis, Frances Schaeffer, and Peter Berger, then adding the distilled wisdom of his own years of experience, Os Guinness has produced a history, an anatomy, a road map, and a compass for those who would explore the field of apologetics as Christian persuasion or the art of speaking to people who, for whatever reason, are indifferent or resistant to what we have to say. With in-depth exploration of the way apologetics paves the way for the good news, Fools Talk argues that apologetics lives on a continuum with the fields of evangelism and discipleship.

    Using the words of the Old Testament prophets and the example of Christ, Guinness sets Biblical parameters around Christian persuasion in its faithfulness to the truth regarding creation, the fall, the incarnation, the cross, and the Holy Spirit. Believers are cautioned against formulaic approaches to the skeptic with warnings against the McDonaldization of all things and a reminder that runs throughout the book to avoid being that man with a hammer to whom everything is a nail.

    Defining Terms

    Given that Fools Talk comes after a lifetime of doing apologetics, it is no surprise that even in the process of defining the term, Guinness oozes practicality and theological depth. Essentially, he sees apologetics as a tool for clearing Gods name, for God has been framed as either non-existent or as the origin of evil. Therefore, Christian persuasion is a lovers defense, a matter of speaking out or standing up when God is . . . attacked wrongly. Ultimately, of course, God is His own best defender, with the result that even the most skilled apologist is serving as no more than junior counsel in His defense.

    If sin is defined as the dual deficiency of clinging to my own way of seeing things alongside my refusal to see the world from Gods perspective, then unbelief can rightly be understood as abuse of the truth that God has revealed. In the tradition of Romans 1:18, the doubter looks at the undeniable truth of Gods universe and at the unbelievers own nature . . . but then denies their true force, suppresses their real meaning and turns their proper destination into a different one.

    The Apologist Thinking

    It is from Erasmuss teaching in an era not unlike our own (and from the Apostle Pauls letter to the church at Corinth) that Fools Talk takes its title. Of the three types of fools in the Bible the fool proper who has no time for God; the fool bearer who is no fool at all but is prepared to be seen as one for Christs sake; and the fool maker who also is no fool, but uses folly to subvert the purposes of the high and mighty it is the third fool whose wisdom reveals Gods perspective on humankind which serves as the motivation for Christian persuasion.

    Because it addresses the human heart and mind, apologetics is concerned with understanding the unbelievers perspective which Guinness cleverly portrays as falling somewhere between two poles, because the less consistent people are to their own view of reality, the closer they are to Gods reality. Those far from Gods reality will feel their dilemma, but those who are trying to live as if God were there will employ distractions to lessen their discomfort.

    Although apologetics does not hang on the use of methods, Fools Talk provides broad responses to unbelief such as table turning and signal triggering with in-depth counsel on the goal of relativizing the relativizers. Certainly, the Message absorbs and utterly overwhelms any method; however, chapters 6 and 7 would bear a double reading in order to absorb their logic and to appreciate the demonstration of the sad reality that all thoughts may be thinkable and arguable, but not all thoughts can be lived out.

    The Apologist Communicating

    The goal of the apologist is to create seekers who will examine the inconsistencies of their beliefs and evaluate the treasures of their heart, thus raising questions about the value of that treasure and about the trustworthiness of the words they hold as true. However, Guinness makes it clear that the veracity of the Christian faith does not turn on the skill of its defenders, and that after all is said and done in the course of evangelism and apologetics, the unbeliever always has the final choice to fall on their knees or to turn on their heels.

    The words of I Peter 3:15 frame the heart of the Christian persuader. Thus, in meekness and fear, sans manipulation, one is able to respond to the accusations of hypocrisy or to refute the various objections that come from the right and from the left, with the goal of launching a seeker onto the four-stage journey of questioning the meaning of life; discovering answers; verifying truth claims while comparing options; and whole heartedly trusting in God. Of course, in hindsight, all will have been proved to have been (in the words of C.S. Lewis) the mouses search for the cat, and yet it is this goal orientation toward repentance, relief, and joy that elevates the role of the apologist from dry academician to servant of Christs Kingdom. The challenge of Fools Talk is summarized in Os Guinnesss forty-year-old promise to God:

    When I was leaving university, I promised that I would always do apologetics rather than simply write about it, that I would do it before writing about it, and that I would do it more than writing about it.

    Having read the book, will we take the challenge to re-frame this promise to reflect a readers perspective? Will we embrace the truth that with Christian persuasion, doing it must always outweigh talking about it.

    This book was provided by IVP Books, an imprint of Intervarsity Press, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
Page 1 of 2 12 Next

Ask a Question

Find Related Products

Author/Artist Review

Back
×
Back
×

Ask a Question

What would you like to know about this product? Please enter your name, your email and your question regarding the product in the fields below, and we'll answer you in the next 24-48 hours.

If you need immediate assistance regarding this product or any other, please call 1-800-CHRISTIAN to speak directly with a customer service representative.