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The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West...Again

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  410 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Celtic Christianity -- the form of Christian faith that flourished among the people of Ireland during the Middle Ages -- has gained a great deal of attention lately. George G. Hunter III points out that, while the attention paid to the Celtic Christians is well deserved, much of it fails to recognize the true genius of this ancient form of Christianity. What many contempor ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 31st 2000 by Abingdon Press (first published February 1st 2000)
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Shannon
Jul 03, 2008 Shannon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: christ-followers interested to know what missional means
Recommended to Shannon by: workshop speaker
This book is great in explaining a lot of the thought about the goals of Highland's Christian community and how we desire it to be in engaging our culture and not hiding from it. The basic premise is contrasting two ancient Christian communities, the Roman model and the Celtic model. Roman/eastern communities organized to protest and escape corruption of the world; Celtic communities organized to penetrate the pagan world and extend the Church. The Roman model was to save their own souls; the Ce ...more
Jacob Coldwell
The Celtic Way of Evangelism

“Christianity is almost reduced to accepting Christ as your Savior so you can go to heaven when you die, and between now and then you attend church, have a daily devotional, live a clean life, and “let” God meet your needs and attain your goals.” (p. 1618)

This amazing book begins to open even further the history of gathered and scattered church. George Hunter shows how history of the Roman vs. Celtic way of church differs in reaching out to mankind. The Roman version
...more
Matic Jelovcan
Every Christian must read it. It will make them rethink how to do evangelism and the entire life perhaps.
David
According to the author, the postmodern western world is facing a situation similar to that faced by St. Patrick when he returned as a missionary to Ireland. Both the ancient and the modern worlds have little or no Christian memory. This is both a problem and an opportunity for us today. An understanding of the Celtic way of evangelism can help us reach the “new barbarians” among us. Unlike the Roman way where bishops had primarily administrative roles and priests and ministers shepherded their ...more
Cami
I was recommended this book by a friend. While I did agree with some of the key points the author makes about a "successful" approach to evangelism and what he thinks to be a more effective way to build a church community, I was disappointed with his lack of reference to the Bible and to Jesus. Considering the title of this book and now knowing the content, you would think with this book being directed towards Christians that the author would back his references with scripture to vaildate his po ...more
Jacob Van
The Celtic Way of Evangelism is a brief history of the Celtic church and the worthy example they give to the church today. The first three chapters go over the history of the Celtic Church. The Celtic Church, which was a distinct movement within the Roman Catholic Church, was started by Saint Patrick. Patrick and the movement that followed emphasized evangelism, community and cultural contextualization. What started as an old man's dream (Patrick) of reaching the people who had enslaved him as a ...more
Pat Loughery
The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George Hunter III looks at the remarkably effective history of evangelism, discipleship and church planting in the time of St. Patrick in the late 4th and early 5th centuries A.D. It contrasts the Roman and Celtic forms of evangelism as they grew throughout northern Europe.

Under Patrick’s mission efforts, some 700 churches were planted , 1000 priests were ordained, 30-40 of Ireland’s 150 tribes became substantially Christian. Patrick was the first public man to s
...more
TexasGael
“The Celtic Way of Evangelism” by George G. Hunter III is an interesting, somewhat informative, trite and simplistic study of early Celtic Christianity and its historical role in missions and evangelism.

The book begins strong with a solid synopsis of Patrick, the “Apostle to the Irish” and does a decent job of telling the high points of Patrick’s life and ministry. Hunter does an equally good job in describing the community and lives of early Celtic Christianity, expressed in their loves for men
...more
Dean P.
Dec 20, 2008 Dean P. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to Dean P. by: Many People
Shelves: nonfiction
Loved the book with the exception of the concluding chapter. Hunter does a good job succinctly analyzing the history and effects of Celtic Christianity starting with St. Patrick. Looking at their models for evangelism, Hunter explains how Celtic Christianity expanded so quickly while Roman Christianity failed to evangelize the same regions. Hunter also examines the parallels of Roman Christianity then with established, denominational Christianity today.

Pros: Short book, 120 pages or so. He has g
...more
Vance Woods
Hunter's book is a perfect example of the disconnect between professional and amateur Celtic studies. In his defense, the author is up front about his lack of expertise in most things Celtic, but this is not an encouraging bit of honesty when it comes to the practical application of his book. Similar to saying "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV," to a patient right before the anaesthesia kicks in.

The application of Bible scholar-style hermeneutics to material from hagiography to history is
...more
Stephen
Excellent and fitting study, as the author says, building on the work of Cahill.

One weakness: after accurately identifying the characteristics of the gospel contextualization Patrick and his disciples accomplished, he rather uncritically accepts the mega-church as a model of providing community(!) through a raft of programs. A person from another culture once commented accurately that the church in America is staggering under the weight of programs.

It was not observed that in the model he held o
...more
Neal
I actually read this book on kindle.

It's got a lot of great ideas, pretty much one has to fee like they "belong" to Christianity or Christians before converting/making the decision for Jesus

Another awesome idea is of course the church should go to where people are rather than being all ivory tower

this book bashes on a lot of mainstream Catholic church processes

Joel Wentz
This is a classic book on evangelism - it draws a general dichotomy between the Roman and Irish methods of evangelism in early Christianity (St. Patrick obviously being a hero of the latter method). This is a great book that effectively raises important questions about how we "evangelize" people in the West (I'll give you a sneak peek: we do it a LOT more like the Romans than the Irish!).

This book is part-history, part gospel discussion, and part practical advice. The final two chapters are ext
...more
The other John
This book is a look at the Christian church amongst the Celts in the 5th through 7th centuries. Professor Hunter describes the "Celtic Way" of living as the church and argues that we need to follow their example in the 21st Century. The book's been around for a while, so while I've only now just read it, I've heard its ideas bandied about here and there in the past decade. As such, I was inclined to agree with Professor Hunter, though there were a couple of times when he seems to reach conclusio ...more
Mike
This was a superficial treatment of what I'm sure is a deep and unique branch of the Christian tradition. Hunter uses bizarre and inappropriate analogies to describe the Celtic way of faith which reduces it to little more than a clique. Roman Christianity and Celtic Christianity can not be reduced to the concepts of "left brain" and "right brain." Both side of the divide were and are deep and rich and both would have many aspects that could be described in these terms. There is a better book out ...more
Seth Thomas
Very interesting read on the methods and spread of Celtic Christianity. Loads of implications for relational ministry and evangelism in the 21st century. The idea of belonging before believing is a core principle, extremely crucial in the spread of Celtic spirituality. Also appreciated stories of Patrick's relationship-building and caring for the communities he established in his missionary journey. Reminds me of the work I see street churches and addiction recovery ministries engaging in today.
Donna
So different from the way we often think missions should be done, this book goes back to the early Celtic church, focusing on St. Patrick, and looks to the ways in which evangelism reaches out to people to draw them into fellowship. It highlights a non-confrontational style of teaching and reaching out to those in need of a true relationship with the living God, while still showing them their need for forgiveness of sins and the only Savior who can offer it.
Joe
May 26, 2008 Joe rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pastors, evangelism minded folks, church planters, urban Christians
Shelves: ministry
Like most books in this genre, there's a bit of a historical glorification and tweeking going on, in this case, St. Patrick is made to be a little less Roman Catholic than he really was, but, the research behind what prompted Celtic Christianity to spread like it did seems to be much more solid.

In the end, Hunter identifies basic strategies to use when your goal is to share the faith, over time, with people who are truly disconnected from Christianity.
Brett
Hunter recounts the history of Celtic Christianity and uses this history as a paradigm for a contemporary missionary approach. Reflecting Celtic Christianity’s communal, monastic, and artistic emphases (including hospitality, seeker participation, and imaginative prayer), Celtic evangelism utilizes the speaker’s ethos to capture and engage the audience’s pathos with the logos of the Gospel – it is a holistic approach. B+
Peter
Excellent study on how to apply some of the lessons of the Celtic mission of the 5th-7th centuries. A historian would be critical at points, but Hunter owns this. This is not primarily a historical study but a book on practical missiology for a post-modern/post-Christian setting.

As an Anglican, this book is great for getting in touch with a part of English ecclesial history that was highly missional.
Susie
comparisons between postmodern culture and celtic cultures. insights into how the Celtic way of living out Christianity may be something postmodern christians can identify with. Perhaps better than a lot of the established traditions now around in the west. I really liked this book.
David
So far, an INCREDIBLE book on another Christian perspective on Life and Community. Basically a look at the style, ideas, and practices of St. Patrick (and those after him).

VERY interesting history sections. Wonderful insights into how they lived-out their Christian-values.
Ike
Feb 25, 2008 Ike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those studying missiology.
Short, but good.

I think after reading this book that I am even more curious about Ireland's history then I all ready was, particularly I find I am very interested in St. Patrick and the celtic form of Christianity that emerged from his ministry in Ireland.
David Campton
You'd never guess the author was American by his name, and he does suffer a little from a typically American romanticised view of the early Celtic Church, but it still has something to say about effective culturally appropriate models of missiology
Debora Smith
Celtic Christianity intrigues and draws me. It is part of who I am becoming. I loved learning about St. Patrick--loved his sacramental way of living and contemplative way of praying.
Wes
Comprehensive treatise on the current influence of Celtic Christianity. Helps distinguish between Celtic Christianity and Roman Catholicism. I met the Author, Great Man!
Joan
I read this for an Adult Sunday School Class. It is well presented, thoughtful and worth considering as a Christian for Evangelism!
Vicki
This books helps encourage a church leadership to help foster an evangelism movement in their city.
Tony
Apr 13, 2009 Tony added it
St. Patrick is my new hero. This is an excellent book on a historically successful form of mission work.
Zeke
Beginning was good but lost steam fast. A lot of speculation, w/o much real support for his ideas.
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