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The Celtic Way of Evangelism, Tenth Anniversary Edition: How Christianity Can Reach the West . . .Again

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  656 ratings  ·  55 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 contemporary Chr ...more
Published November 1st 2011 by Abingdon Press (first published February 1st 2000)
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Tyler Collins
In The Celtic Way of Evangelism, Hunter discusses two primary topics: How St. Patrick (and those who joined him) evangelized the "barbarian" people of Ireland in the 400s C.E., "saving Christianity in the West," and how their methods and mindset are applicable to our post-Christian culture today.

Several key insights I pulled from the book were:

1) Instead of following the Roman model of evangelization, which necessitated "civilizing" first and then adoption of Roman Christian customs second, the
Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Matic Jelovcan
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every Christian must read it. It will make them rethink how to do evangelism and the entire life perhaps.
Jacob Coldwell
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Kent Kessler
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"When the people know that the Christians understand them, they infer that maybe the High God understands them too.” Hunter tells the story of Patrick, who was enslaved by the Celtic people, escaped, was granted Bishop status by the church, and took the Gospel back to those who enslaved him. Hunter believes the contrasting ways the Celtic movement separated itself from the Eastern/Roman tradition of Christianity (the Presentation-Decision-Fellowship model) contributed to all of Ireland becoming ...more
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
"There is no shortcut to understanding the people."

☘☘☘ Living in a place with such festivity for St. Patrick, it is truly remarkable to glance over his life and mission. It is far removed from the celebrations that will surround us in the coming weeks. 💚 The real saint was taken as a teenager by Irish pirates. During six years serving as a shepherd, he came to know the Lord personally, as well as the language and customs of his captors. After his escape, he felt led to return to Ireland as a mis
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This edition still shows its age in its cultural references, but useful nonetheless. Hunter effectively demonstrates the “community” model of evangelism practiced by Celtic Christians as contrasted to the “Roman” model. The first outs belonging before belief, the second switches them.

Two glaring issues seem to come from Hunter’s personal quirks. He spends an enormous amount of the reader’s time discussing linguistic theory, which doesn’t add anything to the argument. It comes across as if he is
Brian Hohmeier
Informative and inspiring but ultimately, Hunter's singular affirmation and endless credit to Celtic Christianity comes across as unnuanced and naive. For Hunter, all contextual Christianity has its roots in Patrick's mission, and this unparalleled, immaculate Christianity of the Celts is a panacea for everything wrong (read: non-Celtic) with the Western Church (the only segment of the Church Hunter demonstrates any awareness of, unless of course it's a non-Western Church influenced obviously by ...more
Emily Isbell
Feb 24, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I understand that it was culturally relevant to use the term "barbarian" to refer to the Celts, but it's just offensive to use it as a corollary term to refer to unchurched people in the West. Further, there is a celebration of the "Celtic Way of Evangelism" that is unBiblical. I would have rather seen the author help his reader transfer concepts of Patrick's methods and heart to evangelism in the West instead. I searched very hard to find a few, but I'd say 90% of the material in this book wasn ...more
Dónal Walsh
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book, and a great call to the church today to contextualize in our evangelism and meet people where they are. Definitely some hints of Arminianism which I didn't agree with but overall a good book
Joshua Lay
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: evangelism
I really appreciated his presentation of a Celtic approach to evangelization and think that his model can show fruit in postmodern settings. Unfortunately his writing is a tad dated and his grasp of Irish and British history is lacking in nuance which can make the project seem not well researched.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
I finally read this book. It was much better than I expected. I have been among those who have unknowingly leaned toward practices of Celtic Christianity out of intuition. This book is another that has made me feel less alone in what I have thought about living my faith.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glad I read it. Would like a more historically-updated version that was more accurate and bought into less of the sensationalism about Celtic vs. Roman and was aware of the distinction and role of the Gallican Christians in the Christian efforts in Britain.
Zach Hollifield
Helpful insights. The Celts have much to teach contemporary world missions.
Joe Haack
I am all for some kind of "Pātricius Option." And this book started very strong, but waned and lost focus.
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and relevant read.
Ivar Ima
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Celtic Way of Evangelism – Leading the way for modern mission movements

The Celts were the first tribe in the West that was reached outside the Roman Empire. Until then all of the tribes had been first civilized though Roman law. Roman law was enforced though strong power, until death. Then the Christian testimony came and transformed the inner man. While the Roman Empire rottened from the inside, the Christian faith grew as an underground movement mostly hidden from the establishment. At the
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church-history
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
May 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jacob Van Sickle
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church-planting
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
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Vance Woods
Aug 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celtic-studies
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
Joel Wentz
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Seth Thomas
Feb 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celtic
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.
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
May 08, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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