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I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us about Their Path to Jesus
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I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us about Their Path to Jesus

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  293 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
How do people come to Jesus in today's postmodern culture? Not by a mechanical, linear process of cookie cutter conversions. Nor by a nebulous spiritual wandering that never culminates in decision and commitment. Over the last decade, Don Everts and Doug Schaupp have listened to the stories of two thousand postmodern people who have come to follow Jesus. While their storie ...more
Paperback, 134 pages
Published April 4th 2008 by IVP Books
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Jul 15, 2016 Jake rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: home-bookshelf
Other than the self-help parts and the advice that, yes, we should try to understand people and treat them with kindness as we evangelize, this book is garbage. Its theology (decision theology) is horrible and leads to all the problems that American evangelicals are having with Christianity, its conversation advice is awkward and sometimes offensive, and it suggests Christians ought to expect to have mystical experiences and hear voices. Garbage, garbage, garbage! And if all that weren't bad eno ...more
Pete Foley
Oct 19, 2011 Pete Foley rated it really liked it
An excellent book for Christians who are seeking to 1) understand their own faith journey but 2) strengthen their ability to connect with non-Christians (I don't like that term, personally) in a more meaningful/thoughtful way, while avoiding some of the pitfalls associated with certain (many) forms of evangelism. The basic point of the book is that there are certain steps that one must pass through (trusting a Christian, becoming curious about Christianity and Jesus, being open to personal life ...more
Michael Culbertson
Oct 12, 2011 Michael Culbertson rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
Everts and Schaupp provide a very helpful framework for understanding the process through which people come to believe in Jesus. Many Christians think of their non-Christians friends as all in the same place, but not all non-Christians are equally close or disposed to hearing the message of the gospel. The lens of Everts and Schaupp's five-threshold model can reduce frustration from seemingly disinterested or apathetic friends, and orient our thinking about our own role in encouraging others to ...more
Jul 12, 2008 Jon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Groups or individuals who want to love their friends toward Jesus
Shelves: top-5-evangelism
This book easily made it into my top 5 books on evangelism, because the paradigm Don and Doug present (the five thresholds) has helped me more than almost any other evangelistic tool. (The other super helpful tool for me is in James Choung's True Story.) This simple paradigm was developed by interviewing dozens of young postmoderns about the crucial elements in their journey to faith in Jesus, shortly after making that commitment.

I'm not gifted in evangelism, by any stretch. And I'm deeply disma
Aug 24, 2012 Jeff rated it liked it
I have been lookin for good resources on evangelism and I think I've found a good one. I Once Was Lost is a quick read. It is rooted in the experiences of two college pastors and seeks to interpret these experiences rather than press them into a pre-existing template. There is, therefore, something natural about the book.

By way of summary: becoming a follower of Christ is mysterious and organic. It is something that happens over time and that cannot be reduced to simple assents to propositions.
Feb 26, 2013 Summer rated it it was amazing
This was the book I was missing.

This book would have made me both bolder and more effective, while at the same time, more patient with skeptic friends.

I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus was forged by two Intervarsity Staffers after interviewing over 2000 new Christians about their journey to belief in Christ. Don Everts of the University of Colorado and Doug Schaupp, the regional director for campus ministries in Southern California, leave room for my
Sep 09, 2009 Sue rated it it was amazing
Having been in the Christian bubble since diapers this book was a refreshingly honest look at how people really come to faith. It's been so helpful for me as I examine my own relationships with people and gives me a framework of thinking for their journey. The authors interviewed over 2,000 people to get their stories and have put the common themes into easy categories for me to keep in mind. They have identified five basic thresholds that people must cross on their path to faith: trusting a Chr ...more
Joel Wentz
Sep 26, 2013 Joel Wentz rated it really liked it
Highly readable and engaging. This little book is jammed full of personal stories and practical advice. Most importantly, it dismantles many modern ideas of "evangelism", and puts them back together into an extremely helpful "five threshold" system. In my own work (campus ministry), this type of book is very welcome, and it truly helps me think about the students I work with in a more healthy way. I HIGHLY recommend this for those who struggle with the idea of evangelism, or proselytizing one's ...more
Jun 09, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious, 2013
Wow. Great book on practical relational evangelism. I think this will be really helpful for the future. I think the 5 stages are pretty right on and it has pretty good advice on ways to encourage friends to get to the next one. I also appreciated the thought that so much of coming to faith is 'mysterious,' emphasizing the importance on consistency in prayer.

Before I read this I felt pretty useless in relational evangelism. Now I can see that I have at least been a part of small parts of this jo
Walt Walkowski
Feb 10, 2012 Walt Walkowski rated it it was amazing
Very good book. I found that Don and Doug do a good job of fleshing out and describing some ideas I had been having about the "conversion path" for lack of a better title. Their own experiences provide a great backdrop for the discussion of this process in their book and I think the suggestions they give for assisting our non-Christian friends are solid. It would be great to actually see or experience some of the events that they discuss in the book which they utilize as part of the process of h ...more
Sep 10, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: jesus-follower
This was great at shedding some light on the early stages of evangelism. Good to know that, yes, there are intermediate steps between not knowing about God and being a Jesus-follwer--so an invitation to church right away isn't always appropriate. I trusted what they had to say because of the years and number of stories that went into their ideas. Of course we don't all have an InterVarsity-like context, but these ideas can certainly inform our friendships with those far from God. I'd definitely ...more
Jun 29, 2009 Brent rated it really liked it
Another book, Contagious Christian, was written from the perspective of the believer. I Once Was Lost takes on the viewpoint of the unbeliever. Inter Varsity staffers at UCLA and University of Colorado (Boulder) Schaup and Everts draw on 10years of relative success in evangelizing college students. They found that individuals walk through five identifiable thresholds on their path to faith:
1. Trusting a Christian.
2. Becoming Curious
3. Opening up to Change
4. Seeking after God.
5. Entering the King
May 30, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
I really found this book helpful. Having been around Doug Schaupp for a few years I've definitely heard about his "5 thresholds" before, but reading this book helped bring them home for me. The book explains the process through which post-moderns transition from non-belief to choosing to follow Jesus. It includes practical advice on how to help people get over the hurdles of belief along the way. I recommend it to anyone interested in evangelism, especially those working with younger generations ...more
Oct 01, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Jeff B.
The best book I've read about sharing my faith, except for Blue Like Jazz (although that's not a fair comparison). Their threshold paradigm struck a chord with me; in addition to being accurate, it encourages the reader to take risks but not feel as if they have to do everything all at once - because they shouldn't. They are very clear about the concept behind each threshold, practical ways of acting out the concept, and case studies to show what it looks like.
Benjamin Nathaniel
Apr 29, 2014 Benjamin Nathaniel rated it it was amazing
This is a highly practical book for helping those if us with a heart for our lost post-modern friends. After struggling for years with the "on-the-ground" logistics of how to minister to my contemporary-minded friends, this book has given me hope and joy that I may be blessed to one day witness (hopefully sooner rather than later) the joy of a friend coming to Christ. It has eliminated vague notions of some entirely mystical process and replaced them with insights as to how I can actually work a ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Shiffra rated it it was amazing
Best book I've ever read about "evangelism". The author narrowed it down to 5 steps everyone goes through to become a Christian and how to recognize what stage people in your life are in and how to best show them G-d's love. It's all relational and yet doesn't let you use that as an excuse to not share the Lord with people, just how to do it in a way that others will respond to. So very good.
Mar 23, 2010 Natalie rated it really liked it
This was a very easy, quick read. I thought their discussion and discovery was relevant and thought provoking. They defined the process of the mystery of salvation in a post-moderns life being one of 5 thresholds. I agreed with their assessment and, personally, have found it to be true. Insightful for evangelism and relationships.
Bryn Clark
Jan 04, 2016 Bryn Clark rated it it was ok
I expected this book to be typically evangelical: decent content, awful writing. While it didn't quite fall to the levels I expected, it also certainly did not take my breath away or bring any profound insights.

Pros: It gives helpful, practical advice and presents good questions. The methods of evangelism attempts to appeal to the organic nature of conversion stories. The viewpoint is rooted in a deeply evangelistic and modern mode of thinking while also trying to understand the postmodern chall
John Raine
Aug 16, 2010 John Raine rated it really liked it
I thought this book was really helpful and encouraging for me. While there was a lot of trendy 21st century Christian terms thrown about that made me laugh, the book is very insightful, and I think it paints a good portrait of how to interact with our non Christian friends and point them towards Jesus and the cross.
Nov 11, 2015 Ethan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The findings of people active in evangelism in terms of how postmodern people they have worked with have moved from unbelief to belief.

The book's premise is that in the modern age the average secularist must go through five shifts or transitions in order to go from the world to the people of God: from distrust to trust, from complacent to curious, from being closed to change to being open to change, from meandering to seeking, and then from the world to the Kingdom. The book's chapters go into g
Dec 26, 2008 Tim rated it really liked it
This is probably the best book on evangelism among pomo people that I've read. Practical, realistic, intentional, insightful. I'll be revisiting this one a lot, and giving it to our church's leaders and my students as well.
David Brown
Aug 29, 2010 David Brown rated it really liked it
This book shakes up the classic view of how people come to a belief in Christ. For anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of coming to faith and how it happens in our culture today, this book is for you.
Aug 17, 2011 Laura rated it liked it
I thought this book was a healthy reminder of ways we can make sure to respect & follow through with people who are at different stages in their search for truth.
Allen Tsai
Sep 26, 2012 Allen Tsai rated it really liked it
Interesting read. Makes me reflect more on my relationship with Christ, and the negative impact of a weak relationship to witnessing.
Roger Li
Jul 07, 2013 Roger Li rated it it was amazing
excellent book, good directions on how to design outreach events. also helps to identify where your friends are at in their walk of faith.
Priscilla Yu
Aug 22, 2013 Priscilla Yu rated it really liked it
Helpful in that it breaks down the path people take to accepting Christ. Valuable knowledge particularly for evangelizing.
Nov 10, 2010 Lizzy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
THE most practical, informative, and life-changing book I've read that I've had my Outreach team read.
Daniel York
Good read with insightful thoughts on how to share one's faith with an unchurched, post modern population.
Feb 14, 2013 Travis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfict-religion
"Pretty great look at Evangelism -- concise, reasonable, well-supported claims."
Ann Yeong
Jun 30, 2013 Ann Yeong rated it it was amazing
A very important book to read for anyone who takes the call to make disciples seriously!
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Don Everts began writing while spending nearly two decades on college campuses in Washington and Colorado. He wrote his first book, Jesus with Dirty Feet, as a 25 year-old who had just gotten married and moved to Boulder, CO.

Since then Don has published 12 books with InterVarsity Press and is currently mulling over writing an uplifting zombie novel.

Having finally gotten off the college campus, Do
More about Don Everts...

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