Unbinding the Gospel, 2nd Edition (Church Leaders' Study in the Real Life Evangelism Series)

 
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"After thousands of churches have been transformed by Unbinding the Gospel, we've improved it by adding a 40-day prayer journal! Unbinding the Gospel: Real Life Evangelism is a book for church groups to study. It's a book for pastors who want the truth about the state of our churches. Reese presents a clear-spoken, hopeful vision for a future and gives us a way to get there-without gimmicky formulas, but hand-in-hand with God."

Customer Reviews:

  • Persuasive but Incomplete
    Would I recommend Unbinding the Gospel? Not really. Does it disappoint? In places, yes. Does it excite me? Oh yes. Let me explain.

    I appreciate the Christ-centeredness of its title and the promise of the subtitle and cover image, a red ribbon being cut with scissors. An apt metaphor, I thought, for `unbinding the gospel' and practicing real life evangelism. The Greek verb luo means `to loose, to unbind.' So far so good. But for all the red ribbons I perceived, some red flags were apparent as well.

    Author Martha Grace Reese's main thesis is that mainline churches - of which she used to be a pastor and is now a church consultant - need to recover the practice of gospel evangelism, not just out of a sense of duty, but a sense of joy. Mainline churches have so much to share, so much to offer, that they are doing the world a disservice by functioning in maintenance mode, she maintains. The book's stated purpose is to be used as a seven to ten-week small group study which aims to encourage committed leaders and laypeople to share their faith. Set out in three parts, the first part of the book asks the what, why, and how of evangelism in mainline churches, the second part gives some examples of effective mainline evangelism, and the third part suggests possibilities for churches that have yet to engage in evangelism.

    First, the red ribbons. It's always a time to celebrate when any church, movement, or denomination rediscovers the apostolic mandate to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. In the mainline denominations, evangelism has apparently been relegated to a backseat, neglected for decades and often actively discouraged by pastors and seminaries. Reese's book seeks to remedy the widespread desertion of the core commandment in the Great Commission.

    Teachability

    Reese makes the case that mainliners through the decades have been turned off evangelism because they see it as delivering the message that Jesus saves from hell - and they don't believe in a literal hell. In this book Evangelicals are disparaged one too many times for believing in a literal hell, but on the whole Reese is extremely sympathetic towards Evangelicals, and even suggests that mainliners have something to learn from the evangelical spectrum, from fundamentalists to charismatics and everything in between.

    The Trinity

    Reese speaks as a solid Trinitarian:

    What's at the heart of life with God? A powerful relationship between each one of us and the Trinity. A powerful relationship between each one of us and other Christians, all of us together helping to bear Christ to those who don't know him...Knowing it and saying it - that's the heart of evangelism.[i]

    The Church

    Reese seems to possess a realistic and biblical view of the Church:

    Great churches aren't mushily, sentimentally, smotheringly "caring." They aren't "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead." They aren't all Venus; they aren't all Mars. They're messy. They allow intuition, action and spontaneity while providing teaching, support, correction and accountability. They feel alive. They're in touch with joy. God is all over them. The Spirit is palpable.[ii]

    Later Reese identifies four aspects of healthy relationships in churches. They are characterized by authenticity, truthfulness, real as opposed to sentimental, and contagious - i.e., visitors can feel it when they walk in the door. Even later, Reese explains that an insider-focused church is merely engaging in chaplaincy. "It is not the vibrant ministry of the Gospel." This statement requires nuance, of course, but her meaning is clear.

    Now for the red flags. I don't write off the mainline churches, as some do. I believe we can learn much from our brothers and sisters in the mainline churches. But this book does reveal issues that reflect so-called `progressive' theological and hermeneutical stances in those denominations. Smarmy assertions of not only universal atonement but unlimited election appear in comments such as "God adores us and everyone else." At times this book exemplifies what some theologians have termed `sloppy grace.' It's an ill-defined, unbiblical subspecies of true grace that goes hand-in-hand with antinomianism and license.

    Reese sometimes makes unqualified statements. "Evangelism has no theological bounds." Well, yes it does: biblical bounds. "It isn't about talking people into beliefs." No, everyday evangelism is not about belligerently talking people into beliefs, but it is about being ready to give an explanation for the hope we have, in and out of season. Evangelism without the persuasive element of talk ignores a major mode of Pauline evangelism. "At its core, evangelism is people sharing with others their personal understandings that life is better, richer, truer, if one has faith in Christ and lives in a faith community." Political party members are constantly encouraged to stay "on message." But if your concept of evangelism is diminished to "life is better with Christ," then your message is at best minimized and at worst ignorant - of substitutionary atonement, of the true nature of union with Christ, of the centrality the Cross. Intriguingly, Reese brings up the evangelical clich¨¦ "Jesus is the Answer" near the end of the book and ruminates on the question it answers. She posits that its prompt question is, "From what does Jesus save us?" (author's emphasis). She goes on:

    What is the biggest problem of human existence? From what does Jesus save us? Sin? Yes. Jesus saves us from sin. Some parts of the church focus strongly on sin as the main problem. Other churches see death as the biggest human problem. Jesus saves us from death, too. Some parts of the church look at the biggest human problem as distorted human community that draws us away from God and the truth. The know that Jesus can heal community, miraculously transform isolated individuals and sick societies...Jesus is the answer to all of these human problems...

    All of this is more or less correct, but Reese is making a category mistake. Whereas she differentiates between sin and death and "distorted human community" as "presenting problems," Scripture indicates that sin is the overarching, omnipresent problem in the resultant human issues of death, broken relationships, etc. This is precisely why presenting the gospel must focus just as much on the problem of sinful man as it does on the grace of God. The two concepts are inextricable: God's solution (grace) to man's problem (sin). We must be as clear as possible on both fronts. Providentially, the other book I was reading for review alongside Unbinding the Gospel was R.C. Sproul's Saved From What?[iii] Whereas Reese spends just over one page answering the question, Sproul spends 123 gospel-rich pages answering it.

    Put simply, the content of the gospel matters. Reese narrates the true story of a gathering of mainline pastors in which eight pastors of mainline churches did not know how to answer the question, "What difference does it make in your own life that you are a Christian?" Silence meets the question, and the silence stretches on and on. Finally, one pastor tentatively volunteers, "Because it makes me a better person?" Elsewhere: "The typical barrier for people raised in mainline congregations is that we are foggy on why it matters that anyone be Christian." Apparently, "Being Christian is so natural you don't really think about it. You just do it, you just are it!" But true Christian living doesn't come "naturally" to anybody. The flesh is always resisting the Spirit's nudges towards holy living - this is the essence of Paul's argument in Romans 7. It therefore follows that if we are in Christian cruise control, then we are probably foggy on the gospel. And if pastors cannot clarify the crux of the gospel, then what hope is there for the churches they lead? They will not be evangelistic churches because they do not know the gospel.

    One more thing worth mentioning is the strong sense of God's sovereignty on the author's part. I'm quite certain Reese would take exception with much of Calvinism's teaching on the sovereignty of God, but she shows here that she holds to it in essence:

    Christ is the calmer of the waves, the master of the storm. God holds the untamable chaos of our lives in God's hands and can calm it. Don't stop. Keep going...Step up communication with God...Talk, pray... Don't do everything yourself. Ask for help. Don't panic. Sail smart. You are, now and forever, in God's hands.

    Finally, a word about Brain McLaren's afterword. While he is right on about the need to be ready to simply talk about our lives of faith, he tries to navigate the reader in a social gospel direction that wasn't warranted by the book itself. The contents seem to be lifted directly out of McLaren's Everything Must Change. Of course the gospel has social implications, but his suggestion that the world will welcome the good news of Christ is na?ve. The gospel is bad news to so many, because like the rich young ruler, they refuse to renounce the earthly things that vie with Christ for first place in their lives.

    A cynic might say that a book like this is simply an effort to shore up the sinking ship of mainline Protestantism. Having read the book, I believe it's much more than that. My hope and prayer is that in listening to the promptings of the Spirit, and in meditating on the Word, those who lead and attend mainline churches will locate the message of Christ not only in His universal welcome and unbridled love, but in the godhead's unity of character and purpose, reflected in the command not to add nor take away from His Word (Rev. 22: 18-19). As mainliners "Understand the Gospel, live it out, convey it accurately to new people," which is how Reese encourages her readers, I am excited to see the work God will do in His Church.


    [i] Two excellent books on the heart of evangelism's message are Know and Tell the Gospel by John Chapman (Matthias Media) and Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People by Will Metzger (IVP).

    [ii] "The Church is messy and inefficient, but it is God's wonderful mess - the place where he radically transforms minds and hearts." Paul Tripp has an uncommon ability to describe the intersection of the holy and the messy in church life, in Relationships: A Mess Worth Making (New Growth Press), co-authored with Tim Lane, and in Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Resources for Changing Lives) (P&R), from whence the above quote derives. Bob Kauflin's book on worship, Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God (Crossway), also addresses the presence of what he calls `healthy tensions' in churches and in corporate worship.

    [iii] Saved from What? by R.C. Sproul (Crossway)....more info
  • Encouragement for Mainliners Unafraid to Employ the "E" Word
    Martha Grace Reese has provided a blessing for mainline Christianity. "Unbinding the Gospel" is a helpful resource for pastors and other dedicated church leaders who would like to cast vision for sharing the Christian faith within their congregations. I found this book an enjoyable read which provided both statistical analysis of the current landscape and some practical suggestions for recapturing an evangelistic orientation in diverse ministry settings.

    Reese has found that the "E word" (evangelism) is held in rather low-esteem in mainline churches. After conducting over 1000 interviews with lay persons and pastors, "evangelism" was a word possessing a great deal of baggage, conjuring negative images in the mind of most persons she had spoken with. As a result of the negative perception of the practice of evangelism, Reese notes that many mainline churches have been in decline. She discovered that among pastors, "How is your life different as a result of knowing Jesus Christ?" was a difficult question to answer. Reese challenges mainline Christians to find answers to this question and build reasons for inviting others into a relationship with Jesus. She asks if mainline Christians can find other reasons for practicing evangelism apart from the promise of heaven or the fear of eternal judgment. She argues that when a host of people are following after Jesus, such practice brings with it an abundant life and therefore yields a host of reasons to talk to others about Jesus. Whatever your reasons for evangelism, Reese's vision is both encouraging and inspiring. She wants to see mainline churches recapture the practice of evangelism and invite others to put their faith in Jesus Christ.

    I found one particular section wanting in this book. In chapter 7 Reese explores different bandwiths of evangelism. She asks two questions to constitute her definition of evangelism. Those questions are: (1) Are we helping this person move into relationship with God?; and (2) Are we helping this person move into Christian community? Answers in the affirmative to both questions comprise her definition. She then defines different bandwiths (also known as target audiences or key people groups) that fall under this definition. Those are:

    -Children and Youth of the Congregation
    -Children and Youth's Friends
    -People Attached to Your Church Who Never Joined
    -Committed Christians from a Similar Background
    -Committed Christians from a Different Background
    -People Raised in the Church Who Drifted Away
    -People Raised in the Church Who Were Hurt
    -Unchurched People Like Current Church Members
    -Unchurched People Different from Current Church Members

    In each of these categories she defines the types of people found here and invites church leaders to evaluate how they are practicing evangelism with persons who fall under these categories. I had questions as to whether or not these categories are themselves sufficient or helpful.

    This review would be incomplete without also mentioning the emphasis which Reese places on prayer. She encourages churches to assemble a team of persons to pray specifically for how God is leading them to share their faith. This is fantastic. Reese believes that such groups are the foundational for the practice of evangelism, and reports numerous stories which confirm that God uses these prayer groups as catalysts for evangelism.

    Overall, I would recommend this book. Reese argues her case well, and is inviting people to share their faith. She encourages Christians to grow in likeness to Jesus, and out of that growth invite others into the life Jesus gives. This book would be helpful for training persons for evangelism as well, and includes many helpful discussion questions. Definitely worth reading....more info
  • Transformative
    This book is changing lives at our church! Our Evangelism Team is using it as a guide for our work. We are praying a lot more (which if you read the book, you'll understand this)! Our Session is studying it, our strategic planning committee is studying it, others in the congregation are reading it. We've told another church about it and they're studying it. It's not a panacea for everything but we think it's raising the level of discussion around evangelism! Try it and see what it does for you personally and for your church. ...more info
  • A helpful guide to Evangelism
    This book is especially helpful for those who have been life-long members of the church and who don't realize how different life is for those who have no relationship with God....more info
  • Top-Notch Material for Diverse Mission Fields
    This is an impactful book and series. I am currently leading a study in which the partcipants run the gamut from liberal to conservative, and each one is drawn into the material. When churched folk want to reach out to their mission field, they must actually get beyond the walls of their church to do so, and that is plain scary for them. Unbinding the Gospel is their encourager! It goes right to the heart of the matter, which is prayer (only God can move us beyond our comfort zone), and then it gives practical tools to accomplish the goal of being the church in the world. I am moved and excited with each page I read. Thank you MGR! God has done a good work in you. Reverend Cathy Townley ...more info
  • Encouragement for Mainliners Unafraid to Employ the "E" Word
    Martha Grace Reese has provided a blessing for mainline Christianity. "Unbinding the Gospel" is a helpful resource for pastors and other dedicated church leaders who would like to cast vision for sharing the Christian faith within their congregations. I found this book an enjoyable read which provided both statistical analysis of the current landscape and some practical suggestions for recapturing an evangelistic orientation in diverse ministry settings.

    Reese has found that the "E word" (evangelism) is held in rather low-esteem in mainline churches. After conducting over 1000 interviews with lay persons and pastors, "evangelism" was a word possessing a great deal of baggage, conjuring negative images in the mind of most persons she had spoken with. As a result of the negative perception of the practice of evangelism, Reese notes that many mainline churches have been in decline. She discovered that among pastors, "How is your life different as a result of knowing Jesus Christ?" was a difficult question to answer. Reese challenges mainline Christians to find answers to this question and build reasons for inviting others into a relationship with Jesus. She asks if mainline Christians can find other reasons for practicing evangelism apart from the promise of heaven or the fear of eternal judgment. She argues that when a host of people are following after Jesus, such practice brings with it an abundant life and therefore yields a host of reasons to talk to others about Jesus. Whatever your reasons for evangelism, Reese's vision is both encouraging and inspiring. She wants to see mainline churches recapture the practice of evangelism and invite others to put their faith in Jesus Christ.

    I found one particular section wanting in this book. In chapter 7 Reese explores different bandwiths of evangelism. She asks two questions to constitute her definition of evangelism. Those questions are: (1) Are we helping this person move into relationship with God?; and (2) Are we helping this person move into Christian community? Answers in the affirmative to both questions comprise her definition. She then defines different bandwiths (also known as target audiences or key people groups) that fall under this definition. Those are:

    -Children and Youth of the Congregation
    -Children and Youth's Friends
    -People Attached to Your Church Who Never Joined
    -Committed Christians from a Similar Background
    -Committed Christians from a Different Background
    -People Raised in the Church Who Drifted Away
    -People Raised in the Church Who Were Hurt
    -Unchurched People Like Current Church Members
    -Unchurched People Different from Current Church Members

    In each of these categories she defines the types of people found here and invites church leaders to evaluate how they are practicing evangelism with persons who fall under these categories. I had questions as to whether or not these categories are themselves sufficient or helpful.

    This review would be incomplete without also mentioning the emphasis which Reese places on prayer. She encourages churches to assemble a team of persons to pray specifically for how God is leading them to share their faith. This is fantastic. Reese believes that such groups are the foundational for the practice of evangelism, and reports numerous stories which confirm that God uses these prayer groups as catalysts for evangelism.

    Overall, I would recommend this book. Reese argues her case well, and is inviting people to share their faith. She encourages Christians to grow in likeness to Jesus, and out of that growth invite others into the life Jesus gives. This book would be helpful for training persons for evangelism as well, and includes many helpful discussion questions. Definitely worth reading....more info
  • For any Christian struggling for a new perspective of evangelism
    Excellent review and study tool for the Mainline Evangelism Project. Reese challenges those Christians and churches that have underplayed the role of evangelism in their congregations to look at the call of the gospel anew. There are questions at the end of each chapter that make this an excellent study for Sunday School classes or any church leadership group.

    ...more info
  • Top-Notch Material for Diverse Mission Fields
    This is an impactful book and series. I am currently leading a study in which the partcipants run the gamut from liberal to conservative, and each one is drawn into the material. When churched folk want to reach out to their mission field, they must actually get beyond the walls of their church to do so, and that is plain scary for them. Unbinding the Gospel is their encourager! It goes right to the heart of the matter, which is prayer (only God can move us beyond our comfort zone), and then it gives practical tools to accomplish the goal of being the church in the world. I am moved and excited with each page I read. Thank you MGR! God has done a good work in you. Reverend Cathy Townley ...more info
  • Good book for bible study group
    Our church is going through a transition/between pastors and this book has helped our bible study group to look at how we prioritize what's important to our church and it members (both current and future). It is very helpful in identifying the character traits/behaviors necessary for a healthy church body.
    ...more info
  • Good book for bible study group
    Our church is going through a transition/between pastors and this book has helped our bible study group to look at how we prioritize what's important to our church and it members (both current and future). It is very helpful in identifying the character traits/behaviors necessary for a healthy church body.
    ...more info
  • Readable, practical, grounded in facts
    "One hundred years ago you would have had to search hard to find someone who didn't know the Christmas story. Today all we have to do is walk into the local high school."

    This book is a very readable, practical, grounded-in-facts report of what Ms. Reese learned from a 4-year study of Evangelism in mainline American churches. This book looks at the realities and offers an analysis of what works and what falls short.

    It's a very good book that I would recommend to anyone interested in where churches will be in America in just 20 or 30 years....more info
  • Useful Work
    Unbinding the Gospel is a very useful book in a field overfull with relatively theoretical books. It is fact filled, starting with a base in a solid survey of growing churches. But it gets to real issues of parish ministry and outreach. The survey asked the right questions about how to engineer any kind of growth in a more main-line culture and theology, in which, specifically, it is NOT asumed that eternal damnation is at stake.

    Ms. Reese and her associates designed a telling survey. They discovered that only a small percentage of churches "so conceived and so dedicated" have experienced significant growth. That is the bad news. But then they delved into the culture, leadership, spirituality and experience of those churches. Very good news here!

    Conclusions? The book is designed primarily to be read with a group in a parish. The conclusions reached are best implemented in small goups. Simply stated, the growth of these more open churches was related in each case to a sincere spirituality. The experience of God is paramount, and crosses theological and cultural boundaries. While it may be too simplistic to say that where there is real prayer, churches will grow, it is a clear conclusion that where there is no prayer -- where there is no experience of a living God, churches will wither. And virtually each of the interviewed leaders, while diverse in ministry style and tradition, rooted their ministires in prayer and spirituality.

    These are stories of churches doing the possible: of committing to six months of prayer before launching any outreach program, of reaching out to a small rural and demographically static community, of actually growing a congregation!

    Very encouraging and helpful work....more info
  • Please buy a physical book - problems with the Kindle version!
    I love this book (okay, I'm the author!), and I ADORE my new Kindle2. Just for a while, please buy the physical version of this book, not the Kindle option. Unbinding the Gospel has great formatting - with sidebar quotes and space for you to write notes. Unfortunately, the Kindle version pulled the sidebar quotes INTO the main body of the text. It's pretty goofy! Chalice Press and Amazon are working to straighten it out, but until they do, please buy an actual book. I'll pull this review down when this issue has been corrected.

    Great news: the books are in over 12,000 congregations, and they are actually working. People are starting to pray, talk about their faith with each other, and to invite friends to church. See our website (GraceNet.info) for information, videos, or to join a discussion community about using the books in your church. Blessings on your ministry - Martha Grace Reese...more info
  • Sharing Our Stories
    If anyone had tried to tell me we could get 80 church members to come to a Saturday retreat to talk about Evangelism, I would have told them they were crazy... We're a mainline church - and Evangelism just isn't something we are comfortable with..

    But Unbinding the Gospel motivated my church to move in ways I couldn't imagine.. As the book suggested, we prayed - not just once, but faithfully... and 80 people read the book and showed up on a Saturday.. And they joined in groups to pray for each other... for the church.. and for all those who needed to hear the story..

    I have been an active layperson in my church for a decade.. We've tried many things along the way.. This book challenged us to be more faithful - and to share our faith more faithfully. I'm convinced it has planted mustard seeds that will bloom in ways only God can imagine.

    ...more info
  • Excellent for Mainline Christians
    She did a survey study of over 1000 mainline churches to observe what churches were doing in evangelism.

    It covered the full range of theological perspectives from conservative to progressive to outright liberal (self definitions, I guess).

    She used evangelism quite broadly defined: "Anything you do to help another person move close to a relationship with God, or into a Christian community."

    That can be interpreted in several different ways from just adding members, or generating conversions. I'm sure that there are some churches that simply help people join -- irrespective of a relationship with Christ. I've not had the opportunity to drive down into the definition.

    However, what I found most compelling in her story is this: "Our most important discovery is that a vivid relationships with God lies at the heart of real evangelism."

    To me, that's a no brainer. I had the opprotunity to ask her the same question. It was too. The research she did supported that what may be intuitively obvious.

    "People in evangelistic churches can tell you what difference being a Christan makes in their own lives" (p.5)

    "People who share their faith love God and believe that other people's lives would be better if they were in a relationship with God too." (p.4)

    This book offers helpful study questions and would make a great resource for evangelism committees, study groups, or bible studies....more info
  • Unbinding The Gospels - easy to read
    Our Regional Office for Oregon (Christian Church-Disciples of Christ) recommended this book for Pastors, Elders and Congregational study for 2007-2008. It is simply an easy guide to the Gospels and well worth a read for anyone!...more info
  • Review from Congregations Magazine - Summer, 2007
    Unbinding the Gospel
    REAL LIFE EVANGELISM
    Martha Grace Reese
    St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2006

    "For the purpose of this book," writes Martha Grace Reese, "evangelism is anything you do to help another person move closer to a relationship with God, or into Christian community." With those freeing words, the Gospel already feels a little more unbound, and likely so will anyone who reads Unbinding the Gospel. Throughout this engaging book, the author relies on a combination of creativity, humor, straight talk, keen organization, and most importantly, the power of prayer to help us reframe what it means to be faithful disciples through evangelism. She reveals the heart of what it means to share good news with others.
    Based on a four-year evangelism research project that included 150 churches and more than 1,000 interviews, the book is written in three parts. The first examines the state of evangelism in mainline churches today, the second provides examples of "great churches sharing their faith," and the third explores what Reese describes as "the possibilities God has in mind for you." Each part carries a helpful reminder of where one is in the "map" of the book, imparting Reese's clear sense of direction and purpose in writing the book in the first place.
    Though an excellent and practical study book for an evangelism team, it would be a shame if this volume gets pigeonholed as one more book about technique. In the end, Reese helps us take a long, hard look at what it really means to be church--to be the living, breathing, effective body of Christ in the midst of a world so desperately in need of the kind of peace Christ gives.
    The overall feeling one gets from reading Unbinding the Gospel is that of having a real heart to heart conversation with the author, one that is long overdue. Her delightfully conversational style is so punctuated with exclamation points that from time to time I had the feeling I was reading Mark's gospel. But her sense of urgency is well-founded, as she illustrates. Citing sobering statistics, such as the fact that "in 2000 there were only half as many mainline Protestants as there were 40 years before," Reese prepares us for a hard landing by putting the numerical losses in human terms. In the next decades, she says, millions more will join the ranks of those who have never attended a church. "They won't have memories of a Christian grandmother, father, or next-door neighbor. The thought of `going back to church' when they're in trouble will never occur to them, because they have never been inside a church building in the first place. For them, a church is an alien, possibly intimidating place--not a cradle of comfort and hope."
    But if you think this is another shrill warning of the ecclesial sky falling, it's anything but. With a great deal of optimism, hope, and honesty, Reese helps us sort through the tangle of issues surrounding evangelism and distills one poignant question for us to ponder: What difference does it make in your own life that you are a Christian? Reese believes this is the pivotal question for those who follow the Risen Christ and is the foundation on which any evangelistic efforts must stand. For, if we don't know or can't articulate what is profound and transformational about Jesus in our own lives, how and, more crucially, why would we tell others?
    Reese has written a deeply insightful book that isn't simply another set of pages to chew on and place on one's bookshelf with the afterthought, "Well, now, that was interesting." Instead, what one finds in Unbinding the Gospel is a spiritual workbook, a comprehensive manual for those wanting to begin or jump-start the intentional work of equipping people to tell the gospel news in word and in deed.
    Evaluative criteria, practical measuring sticks, and provocative questions at the end of each chapter draw us deeper into the serious consideration of becoming bold witnesses. With clarity and sound theological grounding, we are invited into a grand adventure, one in which, Reese promises, the Spirit will be faithful.
    Reese has called upon her parish ministry experience as well as her work as a lawyer, consultant, and coach to produce what very well could be a watershed book for mainline Protestantism. "The holy is encased in the pragmatic," she writes, regarding strategies for evangelism. It's not a bad description of her wonderful book, either. Readers will come away feeling nourished and inspired.

    Rev. Rebecca Gummere
    Grace Lutheran Church
    Boone, North Carolina
    ...more info

 

 
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