by Lon Allison and Mark Anderson
Lon Allison and Mark Anderson’s Going Public with the Gospel, is a strong, stimulating apologetic for the ministry of public, proclamation evangelism.
InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426, 2003, 180 pages, $13.00.
—Reviewed by Tim Roehl, missionary, Church Resource Ministries.
Few topics in ministry stimulate more conversations with opinions, options and obstacles than evangelism. Issues such as where and how to evangelize, and whether certain approaches to evangelism are still valid, all generate much heated discussion and sometimes a measure of “doable” light.
Few people are linked to evangelism more than Billy Graham, and for many he embodies a philosophy and practice of crusade/proclamation mass evangelism. In some circles this approach is viewed as less relevant and fruitful today—effective in “days gone by” but not now. Most books written about evangelism in recent years treat it as a side or non-issue.
Enter Lon Allison and Mark Anderson’s Going Public with the Gospel, a strong, stimulating apologetic for the ministry of public, proclamation evangelism. Both gifted and fruitful proclamation evangelists themselves, Allison and Anderson speak not only personally to the issue but historically and biblically. Anderson himself was converted at a Billy Graham crusade and speaks as a member of the “next generation” of Billy Grahams.
The authors walk us through three main stages of their passion for public proclamation. First, they remind us of the strong biblical foundations for public preaching. They take us through a short but stimulating history of evangelistic preaching throughout history, reminding us of the timeless mandate to “go public” with the good news.
Second, they ask, “What happened to evangelistic preaching?” They focus on the messenger and the message, noting that both our culture and the Christian church often misrepresent and denigrate “evangelists.” They speak directly to those misperceptions, helping us better to understand the gift of evangelism and office of evangelist. Their section on “The Lost Gospel” is a powerful reminder of the gospel’s simplicity and a passionate appeal for us to communicate repentance and faith in Jesus clearly.
In their third section, “Let’s Go! Taking it to the Streets,” the authors offer practical ways to pray and plan strategically how to best communicate the gospel. Their thoughts on affinity group strategies, spiritual warfare and signs and wonders are especially helpful.
God continues to work through passionate public proclaimers. Allison and Anderson remind and energize us to keep telling the story—so all may know.
Check these titles:
Haggard, Ted and Jack Hayford, eds. 1999. Loving Your City into the Kingdom. Ventura, Calif.: Regal Publishers.
Richardson, Rick. 2000. Evangelism Outside the Box. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.
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