In the post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism and apologetics. Most of these methods assume that people are open to, interested in, and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. The urgent need, then, is the capacity to persuade - to make a convincing case for the Gospel to people who are not interested in it.
In his magnum opus, Os Guinness offers a comprehensive presentation of the art and power of creative persuasion. Christians have often relied on proclaiming and preaching, protesting and picketing, but are strikingly weak in persuasion - the ability to talk to people who are closed to what is being said. Actual persuasion requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Guinness notes, "Jesus never spoke to two people the same way, and neither should we."
Following the tradition of Erasmus, Pascal, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Peter Berger, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on listeners' assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the credibility of the Gospel.
This book is the fruit of 40 years of thinking, honed in countless talks and discussions at many of the leading universities and intellectual centers of the world. Discover afresh the persuasive power of Christian witness from one of the leading apologists and thinkers of the era.
©2015 Os Guinness (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Powerful and timely"
Insightful in so many ways. You won't be disappointed. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to know why much of our evangelism and apologetics might be ineffective.
I was really looking forward to getting deep into this topic but right from the start this audio book seemed replete with distractions.
The reading of the text was clear and understandable however, when ever a quotation involved someone of a particular national heritage the narrator would switch between a multitude of dialects. On one hand, performance wise it's impressive, on the other hand it's quite distracting while in the midst of comprehending and synthesizing together abstract concepts.
The other distraction was that there were literally two narrators at different parts of the book. I couldn't quite understand why or if there was some logical reasoning for it. But the beginning introductions up through the first chapter was the most confusing in this respect . After which the reading remained with just one narrator.
Over all, I thought the writing seemed a bit strained with way too much repetition of key phrases. I always appreciated the problems that the author identifies with many approaches to apologetics and kept waiting for a practical solution. In the end, the journey may have had its effect, I think, but I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied. Not a true bait and switch but the conclusions didn't really justify the verbosity. Still I would recommend it because I think more Christians need to learn the lessons found in the book.
"Good but too verbose"
A lot of food for thought, but not always clear enough what the point is, and it takes a long time to get there. Apart from that, the book touches on several important issues and gives you enough space to make up your own mind.
"Great and helpful!"
I think this is a very timely book that is approached with humility and strength. I found it highly profitable for my ministry. I think any Christian out there need to listen to this book.
Thought provoking nuggets in each and every chapter. A must listen for searchers and believers alike!
"Nice, well-balanced overview"
This book provided a well-balanced overview of the primary reasons people reject the gospel, the balance between apologetics and evangelism, and the primary overarching elements to focus on when talking with people. I especially liked the speaker who changes his pitch and accent when quoting others, which is a nice touch. I was looking for more details on how exactly to construct persuasive argumentation. This book does NOT provide that, however, I suppose in the book's defense the author states that specific strategies were not his goal either. The book did a good job explaining why we shouldn't focus exclusively on strategies, however it would be better balanced if at least a few chapters did.
a bit hard to get through. concentration is necessary! not a light read. enjoyed it!
"A much needed paradigm shift in the approach of sharing one's faith, though more practical advice needed."
After I discovered the treasure trove of Christian apologetics a few years ago, but was then promptly disappointed with it's ineffectual ability to persuade others with its cold logic, this book couldn't have come at a more perfect time for me.
The book confirmed my experience that apologetics is only valuable to apologists, Christians and fence sitting atheists, but is impotent to stubborn militant atheists. That's where this book comes in. This book is grounded in biblical examples of the psychology of an unbeliever crossing the threshold to belief. All believers have to go through a vulnerable phase of admitting that they were fools. We all had to go through this phase. The good news is only good once we know what the bad news is, a fact most atheists leave unexamined behind a haze of indulgences and nonchalance. It is that haze that the evangelist/apologist must remove and expose the unbeliever to the stark reality that they hold on to.
This book examines exactly what must go through an unbeliever's head before they are ready to believe.
The only criticism I can offer is that, although it gives tremendous insight into the psychology of conversion, it doesn't offer much in regards to tangible advice. However, to fill that gap, I can highly recommend Greg koukl's book "Tactics" as an essential companion book to this one.
"A masterpiece in apologetics!"
If you're looking for one foundational book, that both covers a broad understanding of Christian apologetics, the urgent need for it in 21st century societies, and how to do apologetics both with wisdom and with love - you have come across the right book!
"Another Os Guinness home run"
Os Guinness has written another excellent apologetic book. In which, he explains to his readers why we, as Christians, are not doing a good job persuading un-Christians to re-think their belief system.
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