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The Heart of Evangelism
by Jerram Barrs
All Christians are called. Called to love God with all that we are. Called to serve Him. Called to reach out to the lost. However, if we are honest, the majority of us would admit that we find this last calling the most difficult. While we gladly support the evangelistic ministries of others, many of us feel discouraged by our own attempts at witnessing because our memoriz ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Crossway Books
(first published September 2001)
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In evangelism, the work of the Holy Spirit is the deciding factor when it comes to affecting repentance and conversion. It was good to be reminded that the Holy Spirit is at work in the heart of someone before they make a profession of faith in Christ. It is easy to assume that God is so powerful that all in an instant God transforms a person’s heart. Though this is not beyond God’s power, I would be so bold as to say that this is not normally the way that God changes people’s hearts. He seems ...more
There's a wealth of riches in this book that I don't think I would've been open to without reading in a class or some sort of group setting. Coming on the heels of a class on the Life & Letters of Paul, and running concurrently with my women's bible study on Acts, Barrs insights are pretty illuminating.
I'll begin by saying that if Francis Schaeffer was going to write a book today on evangelism it would look & sound a lot like this one. Too many books on evangelism display an over reliance on the tools & insights of psychology & marketing strategy. There is some value in that but the biblical & theological foundations on which the `latest techniques' & `most dynamic strategies' rest end up being superficial at best. In contrast to all this "The Heart of Evagelism" serves to ...more
A must read (along with its companion volume, "Learning Evangelism from Jesus"). I enjoyed the second volume more, though that may be because of the solid foundation built here. Read this first, then the second. Here Barrs sets out his philosphy of evangelism, in the companion volume, he demonstrates it in practice. These books completely changed my concept of evangelism. Full review of both volumes can be found here.
What single word can send more people running for the hills than the word "evangelism"? This book moves beyond the salesman approach to telling people about the Gospel, and even explains why that approach is disrespectful to everyone involved including God. The author addresses issues facing evangelism today: postmodernism, relativism, etc. The author is a realist and does not sugar coat the fact that we have lost our sense of a shared story. But, he addresses these issues with sensible and prac ...more
Jerram Barrs does a lot of good in this book, especially when it comes to identifying gentleness and the fruit of the Spirit as essential to evangelism. I did feel as if the book was written with Barrs filtering his expectations through his personal experience at times especially in areas such as school as mission. I did appreciate him identifying his own speculation at the biblical stories he used for illustration but at times they went too far.
A somewhat unconventional approach to the subject of evangelism. Barrs examines the applicability of the Great Commission to modern Christians, God's responsibility in evangelism, barriers that hinder evangelism from happening, and seven principles that can be gleaned from the Apostle Paul. Lots of helpful material here. It's especially encouraging that Barrs sticks so closely to the biblical text when drawing out his seven principles in the last section of the book.
Though I have never met him, I have benefited greatly from Professor Barrs' teaching and lectures available on the internet. His audio material on evangelism is compelling and faith-building, and I thank God for his teaching. That said, his writing style in this book isn't compelling, and I didn't benefit from it as much as his spoken lectures. But I can still recommend the contents unreservedly - I just found Professor Barrs a better lecturer than writer.
One of the best treatments of the topic of evangelism I've encountered, both in the scope (what is evangelism? where does the Bible talk about this?) and in the character of the work (how should we evangelize? how should we treat others?). Not merely a manual or a theological reflection, but a beautiful blend of the two.
The last half of the book was absolutely fantastic. Barrs' analysis of Paul's method of evangelism was very helpful to me. I give the latter half 5 stars. The first half, however, didn't really communicate a uniform message and left me scratching my head. The book would have been much better if it were just the second half. Overall a great read, though.
Best book I've read thus far on evangelism. Having Barrs as a professor is the best but his writing captures his heart so well that it's a close second. The book is informative, challenging, and motivating. It is far more about cultivating a heart for evangelism than burdening us with the daunting task of evangelism.
Good book. A little dry at places, but provides a very helpful overview of a biblical understanding of evangelism. You can tell Barrs has spent many years talking to people wrestling with Christianity, and even owns the questions non Christians ask for himself.
The best book on evangelism that I have read. I am also biased by the fact that I read this for Jerram's Apologetics & Outreach class at Covenant Seminary.. so he taught much of the material in class as well. Very thoughtful; having had him as a teacher, the ethos of this book overwhelms me.
Jerram Barrs is Professor of Christianity and Contemporary Culture at Covenant Theological Seminary, as well as a founder and Resident Scholar of the Francis Schaeffer Institute there. He was a part of Schaeffer's L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland shortly after becoming a Christian and he and his wife were on staff at English L’Abri for many years. "During our 18 years at L’Abri and in my role as a ...moreMore about Jerram Barrs...