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Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: B&H Books
Publication Date: 2003
|Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)|
Personal evangelism is the foundation for all church growth. As the culture and landscape of America shifts, people are looking for spiritual answers to life’s significant questions. However, in the increasingly crowded marketplace of spiritual ideas, people are looking to the church less and less.
Will McRaney addresses this problem at the heart of the solution. If the Kingdom of God is to expand, individual Christians will have to learn to communicate their faith story in a way that is engaging, personal, and relevant to the listening culture today.
Will McRaney earned a Ph.D. in Evangelism from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1992. Having served a variety of roles related to the field of evangelism, he presently is the Max and Bonnie Thornhill Chair of Evangelism at New Orleans Seminary and also serves as assistant professor of evangelism. He also ministers through his role as co-founder of the Ministry Enhancement Group, a training and consulting group in the areas of church growth and leadership development. He currently resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.
RLJ5 Stars Out Of 5Sharing Christ in a postmodern world...October 19, 2016RLJQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Published in 2003, The Art of Personal Evangelism: Sharing Christ in a Changing Culture by William McRaney Jr. examines the need to change approaches to evangelism in light of a culture shaped by postmodernism. McRaney has served in various positions in state Baptist conventions related to evangelism. He is the founder of the Ministry Enhancement Group and holds a Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
McRaney divides the book into three sections. The first deals with elements of personal evangelism such as Gods involvement and the personal participation of the witness. The second section deals with communicating the gospel. The third section includes aids, suggestions, and tips for evangelism. The book concludes with appendices regarding ones testimony, objections to the gospel, and illustrations for witnessing.
What I Appreciated
I made a lot of marks and notes in this book. I appreciated the explanation of the cultural shifts in this book. McRaney did not pine for a return to modernism nor did he spend time lambasting postmodernism. He recognizes that both have good and bad and encourages Christians to pursue a biblical view of the world. However, he explains clearly how our approach to evangelism must change to communicate the gospel to those with a postmodernist worldview. The lists comparing what verses relate best to those with a modern worldview and those with a postmodern worldview are very helpful.
Though an academic treatment of personal evangelism, the book is very practical. I hope to go back and work to memorize the scriptures mentioned as useful. The bibliography cites many books that would make excellent additions to any Christians library, particularly those with a ministry to equip others to do evangelism.
What I Wished Had Been or Not Have Been
At times, the lists overwhelmed me causing me to have traumatic flashbacks to some of my seminary courses. Occasionally, I did not understand why certain lists fell where they did in the book or what their purpose was. Of course, that confusion could be as much the fault of the reader as of the author. Also, after thirteen years, the book is a bit dated. I would be interested to read an updated edition that considers post-postmodernism and the increasing fracturing of our society between different identities.
I am very glad that read this book. I would recommend it to anyone trying to figure out why the way we did evangelism in the past isnt working and what we need to do to be more effective. Ministers will want to find ways to present these ideas to their congregations and either discover or develop methods of evangelism training that take them into account.
(Full Disclosure: I received a free from B&H Academic. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.)
millard cook1 Stars Out Of 5not goodDecember 12, 2014millard cookQuality: 1Value: 2Meets Expectations: 1Reads like it is his doctoral thesis. It has a lot of theory but very little practical material.