Evangelism Outside the Box: New Ways to Help People Experience the Good News

Rick Richardson, Author
Rick Richardson, Author IVP Books $15 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8308-2276-8
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Many churches feel embarrassed and discouraged about their lack of evangelism, says Richardson, national coordinator of evangelism for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. Here, he provides a heartfelt challenge, offering an excellent analysis of postmodern thought as the current milieu for evangelism and a brief introduction to many useful resources for practical application. Particularly helpful to many Christian leaders will be Richardson's explanation of the transition from modern to postmodern thought and the ways this change has reduced the effectiveness of ""traditional"" approaches to evangelism. The depth of Richardson's analysis reflects his experience with campus ministry. While many churches will not encounter the academic level of postmodern thought Richardson describes, the basic patterns (for example, the move from propositional to experiential truth) still hold true. Also remarkable is Richardson's application of ancient patterns to contemporary situations, as when he demonstrates the continuing usefulness of the evangelism models used by John Wesley and Saint Patrick, or interprets Paul's ""Mars Hill"" sermon from Acts 17. The book's value for study within churches will be limited by the very critical tone Richardson uses for the established church. Also, many of his suggestions assume a large-church context with an army of volunteer helpers. Despite these limitations, this book offers penetrating analyses and useful resources for a crucial area of Christian ministry. (Jan.)
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