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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

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  254 ratings  ·  40 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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Nov 08, 2015 Jake rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
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
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
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 5 of 5 stars
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
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.
John Raine
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.
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
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
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.
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
Interesting read. Makes me reflect more on my relationship with Christ, and the negative impact of a weak relationship to witnessing.
Roger Li
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
Helpful in that it breaks down the path people take to accepting Christ. Valuable knowledge particularly for evangelizing.
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.
"Pretty great look at Evangelism -- concise, reasonable, well-supported claims."
Ann Yeong
A very important book to read for anyone who takes the call to make disciples seriously!
Kyle Lammott
Very insightful. A great help in understanding a postmodern method of evangelism
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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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