The word evangelism evokes strong reactions among Christians. Conflict about what it is, whether to do it, how to go about it, and the desired results divides churches, demonstrating the need for new theologies and methods that address today's religiously pluralistic and secular contexts. This book offers a comprehensive treatment of evangelism, from biblical models to contemporary practice. Frances Adeney shows that understanding different contexts and approaches to evangelism and accepting the views of others on this crucial topic can help replace the "evangelism wars" (social action vs. proclamation) with a more graceful approach to sharing God's good news with the world.
Frances S. Adeney (PhD, Graduate Theological Union) is William A. Benfield Jr. Professor of Evangelism and Global Mission Emerita at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She has authored and contributed to many books, including Christianity Encountering World Religions, Christianity and Human Rights, and Christian Women in Indonesia: A Narrative Study of Gender and Religion.
In Graceful Evangelism, Professor Adeney combines her proficiency as a scholar with her talent and wisdom as a teacher to provide an extremely valuable resource for those learning and teaching evangelism today. She carefully draws from biblical, theological, and historical foundations to frame thoughtful and balanced practices, offering a comprehensive guide to evangelism in today's complicated North American context."
associate dean for academic formation and programs, associate professor of evangelism and Methodist studies, Royce and Jane Reynolds Teaching Fellow, Duke University Divinity School
"Frances Adeney calls the church to be graceful--gentle, humble, respectful--in its evangelism, and she writes her book in the same graceful way. These pages are filled with experience, conviction, and faith. They should inspire pastors, students, and ordinary Christians, all of whom are called to live out their baptismal vocation to evangelize."
Louis J. Luzbatek, SVD Professor of Mission and Culture, Catholic Theological Union
"Frances Adeney draws from Scripture, theology, anthropology, missiology, and from historical and contemporary case studies to produce a very useful reflection for rethinking a church's engagement with pre-Christian people. I hope that Graceful Evangelism makes an enduring contribution."
--George G. Hunter,
distinguished professor of evangelization, Asbury Theological Seminary
"Graceful Evangelism is a wonderfully accessible, thoroughly researched book that belongs in every introductory course in evangelism in both the seminary and the church. Adeney offers a robust vision for evangelism that is exactly what the church needs today."
McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism; director, Center for Missional Wisdom, Perkins School of Theology
"Frances Adeney has written a book that draws us away from the slick marketing gimmickry that sometimes passes for evangelism. Graceful Evangelism directs would-be evangelists to get in step with the God who is neither contrived nor hurried. Here is an evangelism textbook that is as concerned with the integrity of the messenger as it is with the packaging of the message."
--Jonathan J. Bonk,
executive director, Overseas Ministries Study Center; editor, International Bulletin of Missionary Research; president, International Association for Mission Studies