Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Once Was Lost - Book Review

My note in the front of this book says I started it in May of 2008. I finally finished it today. What took me so long? It was my exercise book and for most of that time I didn't do much work on the treadmill.

But I finally finished it and I will recommend it to you. The book is "Once I Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus," by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp. The book is published by IVP.

The authors have spent years working at evangelism on and around college campuses. They draw on their experience to suggest a pattern by which this generation seems to come to faith.

I appreciated that this not presented as some sort of sure fire gimmick by which people are certain to be brought to Christ. Rather, the authors suggest and vividly illustrate that winning people (especially postmodern thinkers) to Christ requires patience and understanding.

They suggest that post modern people (and I think all people) go through various steps in their path to faith. There is no way to tell how quickly this will transpire or if it will move all the way to the end or even if all of the steps will be apparent. But generally speaking there will be these steps. The authors call them thresholds.
Threshold 1: Trusting a Christian
Threshold 2: Becoming Curious
Threshold 3: Opening Up to Change
Threshold 4: Seeking After God
Threshold 5: Entering the Kingdom

The book talks about ways in which people have crossed these thresholds and discusses what the would-be evangelist might do to facilitate the step. How can you tell where a person is? When should you urge a person forward? When should you hold back? What tools to you have that can help you?

In the seventh chapter they talk about what to expect after a person makes a commitment to Christ and how to nurture them in their new faith.

They conclude with a wonderful section on "Servant Evangelism." The idea is that evangelism is not about what is easy or convenient for me. Evangelism requires a commitment to serving the needs of the lost person - whether that is building trust through kindness, showing them the teachings about Christ or confronting them about their own hypocrisy.

A good and thought provoking book. Worth reading - even it takes you all year.

No comments: