A regular question I get asked goes something like this: “If you believe in a robust gospel, how then do you evangelize?” I’ve got two books to recommend to you:
The first is from James Choung and it is called True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In. Choung begins in a different place and it makes all the difference in the world for the gospel: instead of beginning with guilt, he begins with humans designed for good. So, he critiques the bridge strategy by making a better strategy.
There need to be three themes that are full: both decision and transformation, both individual and community, and both afterlife and mission life. How does Choung pull this off?
We designed for good, damaged by evil, restored for better, and sent together to heal.
The book is amply “storified” and is a huge, huge step forward in evangelism. Pastors and parents need this book; youth ministers and college ministers need this book.
And next to this one I’d put Don Everts and Doug Schaup, I Once Was Lost. Drawing on the experience of watching postmoderns come to faith, these two authors chart the pattern of conversion like this:
1. Postmoderns move from distrust to trust.
2. Postmoderns move from complacent to curious.
3. Postmoderns move from being closed to change to being open to change.
4. Postmoderns move from meandering to seeking.
5. Postmoderns move into crossing the threshold into the kingdom itself.
Yes, this is a bit stylized, but it is sound thinking. And they know that conversion is mysterious and organic. Good for these two authors; I applaud the effort of seeking to understand conversion as a process and that postmoderns have a story to tell, a postmodern story of conversion. (Chap Clark reviews this book at CT.)