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

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  562 Ratings  ·  47 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 ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Abingdon Press
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Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Joshua Lay
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Ivar Ima
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
“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
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
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
Dean P.
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
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
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
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
May 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
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
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.
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
May 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ministry
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+
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
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

Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some very challenging information in this book! I read it years ago and I read it again today. The idea of Celtic monastic communities still grabs my attention. So many things the church needs to learn from this practice!
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
David Campton
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
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