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Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  916 ratings  ·  143 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
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ebook, 192 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by David C. Cook (first published June 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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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
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Stephen Proctor
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
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Cori
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
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Josh Hopping
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
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Brad Kittle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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Colin McKay Miller
May 24, 2012 Colin McKay Miller rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Giedra
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
Alan
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
Michael Peters
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
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Mel
Speaking of Jesus is about Car Medearis’s experiences in sharing Jesus with others. In this book, Mr. Medearis highlights the life of Jesus. Mr. Medearis states that he does not label himself as a Christian but instead as a Jesus follower. He encourages that we should become familiar with the life of Jesus and the lessons in the Bible Jesus lived for us. Mr. Medearis goes on to explore doctrine, theology, and his opinion of being a Christian.

In his experiences, Mr. Medearis would ask many though
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R.H.
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
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Lillie
The author contends that Christians fail in evangelism when we take a we-against-them approach. Especially when we witness in a way that can offend rather than invite others: the righteous Christian telling the sinner he needs to be saved or a believer in Islam that he is completely wrong. Instead he advocates that we begin by talking about Jesus. Muslims believe that Jesus was a great prophet, so rather than telling them they are wrong in their beliefs, he suggests telling them more about Jesus ...more
Larry
A mixed bag that is nevertheless worth reading. The author's main point is unassailable: contemporary evangelical American Christianity has weighed down Jesus with all sorts of political, economic, and other pet causes that really have very little (if anything) to do with the picture of Jesus actually presented in the New Testament. We need to present the Jesus of the New Testament, not the conservative Jesus who just happens to be Republican and in favor of lower taxes and limited government. F ...more
Teena Myers
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.
Evghenii Sologubenco
It is an interesting call to make Jesus the focus of evangelism, though in many regards I find it oversimplifying the message of the Gospel. The author gives examples of successful stories of being able to break through the obstacles such as Chrisitian lingo, controversial event in church history, etc. The premise if that christens need to focus on preaching Jesus rather then their understanding or version of Christianity. Though it is true that there is a need to be aware of issues that are an ...more
Moriah Bartsch-Green
Although I did not agree with everything in this book, I enjoyed it immensely. It challenged me to evaluate the way I "speak of Jesus". I really appreciate the overarching theme of focusing on Jesus instead of on doctrine or debates. However, I was not a fan of the way in which he spoke about the church or would compare himself to the church and other christians. In many cases it felt like he would put the church down in order to separate himself from both the church and christianity. Although I ...more
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."
Tracy
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!!
Andrew
I strongly recommend my Christian friends, particularly those in the US finding themselves immersed (willingly or unwillingly) in divisive controversy, please, please, please read this book.

I don't like the tendency in the book to separate Christianity from Christ. I don't like his tendency to pick on conservatives more than liberals, rather than giving both an equally hard time.

Aside from that, this is probably one of the easiest to read and most important books I've come across. There's a Kind
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Lynette Karg
Though I might agree with the underlying principle and think that this might have been a good book, it misses the gospel completely, in fact saying that "we do not really know the gospel." He likes to quote the verse "I preach Christ", but perhaps not accidentally leaves out the end "and him crucified", which is a stumbling block and foolishness. Of course people respond well when he talks about Jesus, he leaves out all of the offensive parts! In addition, he undermines Scripture, even elevating ...more
Rose
I really enjoyed this book. His perspective on Jesus and how we are supposed to share Him, was refreshing and encouraging.
Peter
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
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Steve Heyduck
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
Phil
Sharing the good news of the gospel--as a Christian, you know you want to, but for me, I could never get behind terribly artificial ideas such as "share the gospel to at least one person a day", "introduce them to the four laws", "befriend someone so you can get 'em saved" and so many other things that pass for evangelism these days. I felt dirty... Like a manipulator. Like a recruiter who just wanted to add some stars to his hat.

Speaking of Jesus isn't perfect, but it has helped me to get a di
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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
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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,"
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Caleb
Be careful not to focus ONLY on the GRACE of Jesus' message. Overall, a decent message.

The Good
-Emphasis on Jesus over Christian stereotypes or political agenda.

The Bad
-Lack of scripture over all
-Being ashamed of being a "Christian" and its history is a slippery path. Usually when your talking about Christianity and it's flaws, your talking about the "Church". This is a big era of church-bashing. I've been learning to love screw-ups (Christians in the church) and not to abandon the church, or th
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Oliver
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
John
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
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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
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More about Carl Medearis...
Muslims, Christians, and Jesus: Gaining Understanding and Building Relationships Adventures in Saying Yes: A Journey from Fear to Faith Simple Ways to Reach Out to Muslims (Ebook Shorts) Pillars and Prophets Pillars and Prophets: Helping Western Christians Understand and Love Muslims

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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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