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Evangelism as Exiles: Life on Mission as Strangers in our Own Land

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  419 ratings  ·  79 reviews
The days of cultural Christianity are fading. It's time to rethink normal.

Suffering and exclusion are normal in a believer's life. At least they should be. This was certainly Jesus' experience. An it's the experience of countless Christians around the world today.

No matter your social location or set of experiences, the biblical letter of 1 Peter wants to redefine your exp
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by The Gospel Coalition
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Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is marvelous. I can’t remember the last time I felt this convicted, and inspired, to hold forth the beauty of gospel grace. Read it soon.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
Inspiring, convicting, and likely prophetic.

Here’s one the passages I found convicting:

“But when we suffer, if our collective Christian tone is complaint, if we consistently lament our loss of cultural influence or social standing, if we weep and mourn as if Jerusalem has fallen when our chosen political agenda is overlooked, then we expose our true values. Those troubling circumstances have a way of unmasking our highest hopes. Sadly, far too often they reveal our hopes have actually been in t
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
As biblical values crumble in our surrounding society, how should Christians respond? The natural reaction is fear, but Elliot Clark writes, "Instead of whining and feeling sorry for ourselves because the culture is becoming unrecognizable, Christians should align their vision with that of first-century Christians. If opposition mounts to the place where it can be rightly called persecution, we are called to follow the apostles, who left the Sanhedrin rejoicing because they had been counted wort ...more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another brilliant book, both challenging and encouraging. This book uses 1 Peter to encourage Christians in their personal evangelism as culture is increasingly secularised and Christianity marginalised. It encourages readers to live in hope, fear God and for others’ souls more than fearing shame or embarrassment, to present the gospel with both humility but authority, to care more about peoples’ salvation than our “rights” and finally a plea to true gospel hospitality, especially to the oppress ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A missionary helps us view 1 Peter afresh for discipleship in our American context. Rich insights, moving examples, and stirring reminder. This is how we ought to have always lived: exiles on mission for Jesus’s sake.
Patrick Poteet
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Nothing I have not read or heard before but for some this would be a good read to be more serious and intentional about evangelism. The best chapter of the book, in my opinion, is chapter 6, Declaring His Praises, a thoughtful chapter on being unable to stop speaking of the things we have seen and heard about our great God.

Gradon Schaub
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Clark's use of 1 Peter to discuss evangelism is illuminating. If you struggle with evangelism or how to evangelize when the culture around you is changing, this is the book for you. The chapters of hospitality and fear of man vs. fear of God were the most helpful. ...more
David Steele
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A solid and encouraging book and a refreshing approach to evangelism.
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy learning from people with very different perspectives from my own. Elliott Clark's writing bears the mark of the years he and his family spent as Christian missionaries in a majority Muslim country in Central Asia. The book is published by the Gospel Coalition, a fellowship of evangelical churches. As an Episcopal priest, I am not exactly to the target demographic for this book. The author and I clearly each fit in our own places within the Body of Christ, while holding much in common. I ...more
Wesley Roth
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having seen recommendations to read this book online from various pastors, I picked it up right away. I have been reading and studying evangelism more and more. Mr. Clark has provided a great tool to use and reflect on for those in ministry in the years ahead, as Christians will face, and actually are facing, a post-Christian West here in America, in exile. I appreciated the author's examples of his ministry overseas in a Muslim-majority nation, which enriched the text and his teaching with 1 Pe ...more
Elizabeth Bridcut
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
This is written for an American audience but is equally applicable to the UK. Christianity (nominal or otherwise) is no longer the cultural centre of our society but is increasingly on the margins, how does this impact how we reach people with the Gospel? This book isn't a 'how to evangelise' manual which is one reason I like it. It's more about how we should live as Christians and what evangelism might look like in our cultural moment The author uses 1 Peter to inform the book, pointing out tha ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
I am by no means "well read" on books about evangelism, but for what it's worth, this is the best book I have ever read (and for that matter, sermon I have ever heard) on practical, everyday evangelism. It certainly doesn't hurt that this book was published in 2019, making it very up-to-date on current fears and pitfalls of the Christian church in the United States. Not that these details will make it irrelevant in a few years (like jokes in a Dreamworks movie), but that the rebukes and exhortat ...more
Geoff Gobbett
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my book of the year and would recommend this to all believers. It is a great read and encouragement. It is part exposition of 1 Peter but with a difference. It is describing things as they are for us as believers in the UK and America, and how they will inevitably develop. Are we silenced therefore, fearful of the opprobrium of, cowering in our ghettos? Oh no. Elliot gives great examples of his time in a Muslim country and how believers there proved God again and again. How sad to read o ...more
Matthew Searson
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really, really great book on how to do evangelism as those on the margins of society... deeply theological and deeply missiological, making for a encouraging and yet practical read. As any book on evangelism should, it brings conviction while simultaneously reminding the reader to rest in the glorious gospel they have been entrusted with.
Brian Langford
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I rarely give 5 stars but this is a solid 4.5 stars. Challenging, convicting and encouraging all at the same time. What a great resource for those of us living as exiles in our own country!
C.J. Moore
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a rather helpful corrective that will hopefully move Christians to see their place in this world as temporary exiles, knowing that as hard as evangelism is, it is temporary as well, and we must do everything we can, in the intentional and in the organic, to proclaim the gospel to the lost.
Peter Dray
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really excellent book. It addresses heart motives when it comes to evangelism, and shows that, whilst post-Christian culture provides many challenges for Christians wanting to proclaim the gospel, it also offers new opportunities for demonstrating the uniqueness of knowing Christ.
Knowlton Murphy
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent--evangelism as a lifestyle, based on 1 Peter. Praise God for this little book...may it bear much fruit.
Mark Warnock
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The second book on living and doing church as exiles based on 1 Peter. The other one was Everyday Church by Tim Chester. This one hit many of the same themes. Clark's insight from his days as a missionary were instructive and helpful. Easy read. ...more
Steven Mandeville
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super challenging book on evangelism worth rereading periodically
Matt Kottman
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clark spent time as a missionary in a Muslim country and has experienced the sense of being an exile. Most missionaries can identify with this feeling. Clark takes 1 Peter and unpacks Peter's metaphor of exile to inform our evangelism. This book is for anyone Christian in America (as well as other christianized countries) who feel like they live in a Christian country. I appreciated his forceful honesty about the problem in our hearts when it comes to evangelism, as well as the cultural lens we ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was thrilled to receive an electronic copy of this book. Not a Kindle version, but a PDF version. (Notice the only reason the collective reviews on Amazon are not 5 stars is that some reviews gave it 1 star because the formatting is not in the regular Kindle format.) This small book is packed with biblical principles and wisdom, cross-cultural experience, and guidance to navigate the cultural trade winds that are blowing throughout North America. Elliot Clark opens our eyes to the nature of ev ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Great insights on how to reach our hostile communities with the Gospel from a seasoned missionary.
Jon Pentecost
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Helpful. A beautiful meditation on one of my favorite books of the bible (1 Peter), showing how much of Christian frustration or anxiety over evangelism is rooted in an inadequate understanding of our identity in this world. Clark's experience in sharing the gospel outside of his home culture provides a wonderful perspective on what our expectations should be in evangelism.

Two parts that were especially helpful to me:
1- His comments on the vocabulary of 'sharing the gospel', and our underlying a
Hope Wiseman
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A concise book adressing themes of home, hope, holiness, hospitality & humility in context of evangelism.

He unpacks evangelism not as something you simply do (host chummy church events) but as something of the overflow of geniune praise of God... an outgrowth of gospel response.

When we see ourselves in view of the big picture of God's eternal plan instead of our own little haven here on earth it puts fear in its appropriate place & emboldening us to live our faith out compellingly. As one puri
Joe Nixon
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is a must read for Christians in the US today. I cannot remember a book in recent memory that has challenged me so much to live like Jesus and encouraged me to share the gospel even though there may be opposition
Jesvin Jose
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous book! Though set in the American context, Elliot Clark has a vision for the global church, drawn from his years of ministry among Muslims in Asia. He presents six qualities necessary for the Christian missionary living as strangers and exiles in a hostile world (from 1 Peter): hope and fear, humility and authority, holiness and hospitality. The book is thoroughly Biblical and is interspersed with powerful stories from the real world.

Clark begins with the indestructible future
"Elliot Clark reminds us of the great responsibility to proclaim the good news about Jesus even in adverse circumstances" Thomas R. Schreiner

What does evangelism look like once we see ourselves as exiles and sojourners? D.A. Carson p 12

Six essential qualities of a Christian exile on mission:

1. Hopeful
1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness an
Paul Reynolds
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Suck it up, buttercup.

That’s not quite author Elliot Clark’s instruction to 21st Century Christians living in America, but it’s close. His credentials as a long-term missionary and now trainer in Central Asia, coupled with the book’s record-setting commendations-to-book-length ratio helped to make this a compelling reading prospect.

Clark explores the parallels between the apostle Peter’s audience in his first letter as he points out that the “soft persecution” of social and professional ostracis
Christopher Humphrey
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Elliot Clark has provided the Church with a real gem. “Evangelism As Exiles: Life on Mission As Strangers in our Own Land” is succinctly written, biblically faithful, pastorally helpful, and culturally wise. Clark served as a missionary in an unnamed, Muslim-majority country where evangelism could not be overt. Clark suggests—insightfully I believe—that we are perhaps a decade away from such a situation in the United States. Why? Because Christianity no longer has cultural cachet. With every pas ...more
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