One of the greatest needs in contemporary Christianity is to understand evangelism. Sure there are many ministries to help Christians out there understand this vital ministry. Yet, there needs to be much more written on this vital topic. By more written, I mean well-written books from experienced practitioners engaging in the work of evangelism. Recently, I read one of the best books I’ve ever read on evangelism. This book is The Unbelievable gospel Say Something Worth Believing by Jonathan Dodson.
When I was involved with Campus Crusade as the leader of my local community college campus in Northern Washington, I would regularly teach on evangelism. Before this I would spend a few times a month in downtown Seattle evangelizing homeless people. When I wasn’t doing that, I would engage in evangelism in other parts of Seattle. Often times when you read books on evangelism they are all about “how” to engage in evangelism. I don’t know you but as one engaged in ministry that frustrates me. What is needed is yes instruction on how to witness, and understanding people’s mindset today. Even more than this is understanding the gospel. We can so easily become used to “our understanding of the gospel” and that understanding may even be biblical that we can recite it with no passion. We can treat it as if it’s just something we believe. Yet the gospel is more than this. The gospel is the main thing. It is what saved us, sustains us, secures us, is sanctifying us, and will one day glorify us. If we ever forget the gospel then we forget all that Christ has done for us. All of this is a reason is why I liked Unbelievable by Jonathan Dodson.
Jonathan’s book has three parts. In the first part he looks at five defeaters that cause us to not share the gospel. Here an impersonal witness, relationships, work, and faith; as well as, self-righteous evangelism, how to navigate pluralism, and uninformed witness. Part two looks at re-evangelization and helps readers gain a vision of the gospel, handle the gospel in various forms, and speak the gospel in culturally relevant, and responsible ways. The final part of the book considers metaphors through the prism of dealing with issues people deal with everyday such as seeking acceptance, hope, intimacy, tolerance, and approval. This section helpful ends with a look at how to engage in evangelism in and through the local church. The book concludes with a call to Spirit-led witness.
The Unbelievable gospel is a book well-worth buying and reading. As Robert Coleman said in his endorsement of this book, “This is evangelism for the 21st century.” When I was involved in Campus Crusade in the early 2000’s I wish I had this book to hand out to every single person who came to our weekly meetings on campus. This book would have helped those people to understand how to engage our campus and the people in their classes with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even now I’m thankful for this book. This would be an excellent book for high school and college students to read to engage in evangelism. This would be a very good book for business minded Christians to read and use when they interact with people on a daily basis at their jobs. Whatever your job is this book will help Christians to navigate the difficult terrain that we live in the 21st century. Whether you share the gospel with great ease, or find it difficult, this book will help you to share the gospel with the lost. Furthermore, this book would be excellent to use in preparing Sunday school lessons on evangelism in your local church. Regardless of if you use this book in this way or in this way or in another way, I believe The Unbelievable gospel will be a blessing to readers young and old. I highly recommend this compelling and empowering book and pray the Lord will use it powerfully to advance His glory among the nations for His praise.
Buy the book at The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing, or from Zondervan.
Author: Jonathan Dodson
Publisher: Zondervan (2014)
I received this book for free from Zondervan for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”