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Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  1,184 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
Some of us fear moments when we need to defend our theology. Some of us seek them out. But we are seldom ready the way Jesus seemed to be ready. So how do we draw others to God in the midst of these ordinary conversations the way Jesus did?
In "Speaking of Jesus, "Carl Medearis draws on his experience of international reconciliation between Muslims and Christians to remind
ebook, 192 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by David C. Cook (first published June 1st 2011)
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Josh Hopping
Jun 22, 2011 Josh Hopping rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a phenomenal book that calls Christians back to their first love, Jesus of Nazareth. It is a call back to the person of Jesus rather than the idea/beliefs of Christianity or the doctrines of the Church.

Here an example: What is the Gospel?

Seriously, stop for a moment and answer the question, “what is the Gospel?”

When you are done, think about your answer – did it include things like: free gift from God, eternal life, freedom from sin, righteousness, grace, healing, redemption, faith in Go
John Barbour
Talk about Jesus- Not Christianity - Wise Words

Maybe Carl Medearis is right. We need a new way of describing those of us who follow Jesus and take His teaching seriously in our lives. Personally, I understand the words “Christian” and “follower of Jesus” as synonymous but Carl is right; most unbelievers associate “Christianity” and “Christian” with something that is the polar opposite of what we mean to convey. In order to win the world for Christ we need to change tactics. This book is a good p
Aug 21, 2011 Giedra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty neat book about changing the focus of evangelism from making converts to simply sharing one's love for Jesus. The author does not say he is a Christian, but rather tells people he tries to follow Jesus. He has observed that many people who are offended/turned off by Christianity remain interested in the person of Jesus (I thought of Gandhi, though he's not mentioned in the book). The author is an expert on Muslim/Christian relations, and a lot of his observations come from his experience ...more
Steve Heyduck
Sep 27, 2011 Steve Heyduck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carl Medearis is a pastor and follower of Jesus. He wants the world to know Jesus. He is convinced that if people are introduced to Jesus, they will be willing, even eager, to learn from him and follow his ways. Having lived in Lebanon for 12 years, he is also a leader in Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations. Speaking of Jesus: the art of not evangelism is his invitation to the rest of us who follow Jesus to "quit defending Christianity" and begin inviting people to follow Jesus along wi ...more
Sep 30, 2011 Cori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of books out there right now that are trying to separate Jesus from right-wing politics (because, in America, the two are almost always linked). Medearis approaches it from a fresh angle, talking about his time in Beruit and how people there thought Westernization and Christianity were the same thing, and how Jesus totally got lost in the mix. And I loved it — definitely one of the best books I’ve read on this subject in a while.

So, basically, he tells Christians to shut up—espec
Oct 12, 2011 Vernie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
have read all kinds of Christian Books---long before books for bloggers program become popular. Long before the emerging book blogs. I thought I read everything about what is to be a true Christian or to share the gospel properly to the other people.
Oh! There is indeed a label for that---the UNSAVED!

And exactly how would you describe the unsaved? Worldly?, No concrete set of values or beliefs, those religions which looks alien to us like Islam, Judaism and Buddhism etc…

What happens when we do ap
Jan 17, 2013 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carl Medearis discusses how to share your faith in such a way that we aren't "making Christians", but allowing Jesus Himself to call each person to "follow" Him. Rather than defending your beliefs, speak of Jesus. Speak of His life and ministry, His teachings, and His friendship. In our world, being Christian and being a follower of Jesus are often two different things. This is a very good book, and I recommend it to all Christians who are seeking to share Jesus with their friends. There are som ...more
Kaley LaPointe
I'm really enjoying this book, and loved this picture of what outreach looks like. He's talking about how we, the Christians envision ourselves in the safety of a "Christian Circle" and everyone else is on the outside:

Speaking of Jesus

So we pick up our megaphones and we tell people outside of the circle about God. And some of them are interested.

"Yoo-Hoo!" we shout. "Over here, in the circle!" They come closer, curious. "

Hey," they say, "what are you guys shouting about?"

"We're glad you asked,"
Apr 12, 2012 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jesus
I love this book, I have not finished reading it yet but this is the first book in a long time I haven't put down since I got it. Shifts focus from religion and puts it back on Jesus as it ought to be!!
Jared Totten
Some people try to course-correct Christianity from within (reformers, etc.). Others try by distancing themselves from it ("follower of Jesus", etc.). Medearis is of the latter sort. If you are inclined that direction, you may enjoy his book more than I did.

I feel, for all the mistakes, misunderstandings, and misuses of Christianity, somewhere inside her is still the bride of Christ. And if I'm going to love the church, if I am going to call others into the body of Christ, it seems much harder t
Brad Kittle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Proctor
Apr 24, 2012 Stephen Proctor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciated this book.

There were times he made me squirm (as he said he would) but as I continued reading I understood his point. I think Medearis' method is useful and powerful. We should certainly be more concerned with Jesus than with Christianity. However, throughout the book the author's theological knowledge base creeps in, making it apparent that he knows his doctrine and his beliefs well. Knowing this is helpful, because if read from the wrong perspective the book sounds very universal
Colin McKay Miller
May 24, 2012 Colin McKay Miller rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Donald Miller
Carl Medearis’ Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Non-Evangelism is a book with as much appeal to those outside the church as in it.

I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, an unofficial Christian conservative council formed to judge all things pop culture. If your book is approved by this unofficial council—made up of writers like John Piper—you’ll sell to Christians (and nothing but Christians). Often times, reaching for people outside of the church with your book or movie (or
Sep 04, 2012 Oliver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
A friend pointed out to me the comments in the reviews on Amazon as showing a contentious side to the author and the subject. After having read the book I absolutely agree that the author writes in a very conversational and easy-to-read style. I really don't see what the objections were. Did he write about a whole bunch of people deciding to follow Jesus through his method? Not as such, it's not a "I did this and whamo, a whole bunch of people began to follow Jesus" book. That kind of stuff does ...more
Teena Myers
Jan 26, 2013 Teena Myers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled across a real jewel in Speaking of Jesus and found a new favorite author. His points are well taken. Before I read this book I had concluded that the evangelism techniques I've been taught are little more than manipulation. The fact is, most evangelism attempts to sell the church instead of introduce people to Jesus and let them work out their own salvation with a living God. If you wish to share your faith with others, I highly recommend this book.
Denes House
Dear Carl,

I am writing to you because I know you're a true friend, and will not hold back when giving me your advice. I'm in a bit of a bind. You see, a good friend of mine just wrote a letter to my wife, and I don't know what to do about it. In the letter, he says wonderful things about me, praising me to no end. But at the same time, he keeps saying nasty things about her. He says he likes her, but he tells her she's ugly, that she talks funny, and that she doesn't really love me but only hang
Nov 08, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You don't even need to read "Speaking of Jesus," because I'm going to tell you what it's all about, and I know what it's all about because Carl Medearis says so himself, on Page 103.
It's about how to make disciples: "This is the point of the whole book -- be nice and talk about Jesus all the time," he writes.
Isn't that great? Isn't that easier and better than memorizing the Roman Road or the Four Spiritual Laws or the Bridge illustration?
Instead of "make disciples," I probably would have chosen
Aug 19, 2013 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. His perspective on Jesus and how we are supposed to share Him, was refreshing and encouraging.
Feb 20, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the whole review check out my blog.

There are a lot of things about this book that someone could say, but to do that would miss the critical point that Medearis is making. Medearis challenges the way that so many of us try to go about convincing people of the truth of Christianity. Instead of presenting our rules, formulas, and practices, we ought to be presenting the main attraction. Jesus is at the center of our faith and needs to occupy the prime spot when tell people about Him. While I'm
Michael Peters
Mar 03, 2014 Michael Peters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book has been humbling. At first I didn't like it, but the more I read it the more I loved it. The author expressed ideas that I've been afraid to say in public for years. The book seems very similar to teaching I received under Dr. Darrell Whiteman in class years ago.

The author calls us to ask people to follow Jesus instead of a church, Christian cause, or a pastor. Simple! Brillant! True! Christianity and the Gospel are not the same.

I hope in the not too far future that my evang
Stephanie Sheaffer
Although the author's delivery is not particularly eloquent or fresh, he presents an important message about keeping JESUS the focus when talking with others. A good reminder to "quit defending Christianity."
I read to 25% and was so upset I stopped. While I like the basics of what Carl was saying, it really bothered me that he said Christianity and Jesus were separate things. While I will be the first one to stand up and say a lot of the traditions we have are not based on the Bible and that our faith is about relationships with Jesus, it IS a religion.

I could rant for longer, but I won't.
Mar 04, 2015 R.H. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book! One of those books that has influenced my as a follower of Jesus (describing myself as such is intentional, yes!) the most so far.
Carl’s simple and easy readable style as well as his humour make this a gripping read. He also weaves a lot of personal experiences and stories
of others into the chapters, which is refreshing, especially in a book that is trying to teach you something.

My favourite quote is this one: "Enjoy your friends. Enjoy their company along with the company of Jesu
Nicolas Valin
Carl Medearis discusses how to share your faith in such a way that we aren't "making Christians" like a cloning machine, but instead followers of Him. He explains why the "us aginst them" way of approaching people is way off Jesus message. It is not a "our religion against theirs" message the one we have to preach. Jesus message is all inclusive, He wants everything in, it is not up to us to decide who's in and who's out, God is the judge, not us. Rather than defending ours system of beliefs, we ...more
Hye Sung
Sep 09, 2015 Hye Sung rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Carl Medearis visited my church and sadly I couldn't make it because I was traveling, but he was a hit and I've heard countless great things about his character and his innovative approach to evangelism. I've also enjoyed some things I've read on his blog before and can tell that he's a good guy with a lot of experience and insight in missions. That all said, I really didn't enjoy this book. And I really, really wanted to.

Five years ago, this book would have been a step in the right direction a
Marta Altheide
Nov 05, 2015 Marta Altheide rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
REFRESHING! Truthful. Raised Catholic, I questioned everything I was taught. The pomp, the rituals, that nauseating incense. Why the Pope had to sit on a gold throne when there was starving children in the world? If we were The Only religion, why did we not look like Jesus? I learned Jesus was humble, kind, and loved everyone, even the stinky, the undesirables, the lame. Those we avoided and certainly didn't see anyone in the church trying to help. I remember being radical, as a child. But I wan ...more
Mar 11, 2016 Ainsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Read this at the recommendation of a dear friend who has shared my journey of working through a bundle of church baggage. Like her and the author of this little number, however conflicted I may feel about the church and Christianity, when it comes to Jesus himself--I just love the guy. And I'm not alone. What's that Gandhi quote? "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians?" According to Carl, this is pretty universal--from the many of us who have been through the wringer with the chu ...more
Heather Kidd
Sep 22, 2016 Heather Kidd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: makes-you-think
I was given this book to read by an older lady I much admire, who said this book spoke to her and her husband in a profound way, and so I was eager to read it, and could see by the many personal markings throughout the book that it had affected them deeply, just as it would me.
"Speaking of Jesus", is a delightfully refreshing book about Jesus of Nazareth. Carl Medearis strips away the religiosity of Christianity and gets down to the real good news of Jesus.
He asks some big questions: "What if C
Sep 13, 2016 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This message is probably better as a sermon or interactive workshop. The bottom line is, if you want to see people follow Jesus, you have to talk about what it's like to follow Jesus and who you've found Jesus to be, not to talk about Christianity and religion.

Sep 27, 2016 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-life
I loved the way he talked about living a life with Jesus and share about Him with others.
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Carl Medearis is an international expert in the field of Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations.

He acts as a catalyst for a number of current movements in the Middle East to promote peace-making, as well as cultural, political and religious dialog leading toward reconciliation. He is the author of the acclaimed book on these issues, Muslims, Christians and Jesus.

Carl, his wife Chris, and thr
More about Carl Medearis...

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“There's a place for doctrine and dogma, and science and history and apologetics, but, these things are not Jesus - they are humanly manufactured attempts to make people think that having the right ideas is the same thing as loving and following Jesus.” 5 likes
“When we preach Christianity, we have to own it. When we preach Jesus, we don’t have to own anything. Jesus owns us. We don’t have to defend Him. We don’t even have to explain Him. All we have to do is point with our fingers, like the blind man in the book of John, and say, “There is Jesus. All I know is that He touched me, and where I was once blind, now I see.” 2 likes
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