The Reluctant Witness: Discovering the Delight of Spiritual Conversations

Don Everts. IVP, $17 (184p) ISBN 978-0-8308-4567-5
Pastor Everts (I Once Was Lost) assesses the state and nature of spiritual dialogue in the U.S. in this shrewd study. Referencing his own research and the findings of a 2018 study by Lutheran Hour Ministries and the Barna Group, he presents findings that show Americans are having fewer spiritual conversations than in the past, that they feel uncomfortable having those conversations, and that the conversations now happen more frequently on digital platforms than in person. Everts reasons that these changes come from contemporary Christians being afraid of causing offense by openly discussing their faith. Everts spends most of the book debunking what he sees as myths surrounding spiritual interactions. For instance, truly spiritual conversations do not need to be conducted in special locations or with trained clergy, and they aren’t always palliative (often, they are serious and involve conflict). While Everts’s tone remains more diagnostic than prescriptive, he does list many common (and somewhat obvious) characteristics of Christians who eagerly engage in spiritual talk, among them regular church attendance and a tendency to not be bothered by awkward moments. With detailed research and an optimistic tone, Everts’s study will provide inspiration to Christians seeking more authentic, effective ways of opening up about their spiritual beliefs. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/10/2019
Release date: 07/01/2019
Genre: Religion
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