Published by Good Book Company on September 1, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Apologetics, Christian Life
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Evangelism is an extraordinary task; it's what God uses to bring people from death to life. But it has always been difficult.
C.S. Lewis was used by God in the conversions of countless people, from friends and acquaintances in his own lifetime to modern-day readers of books such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Mere Christianity (the most influential Christian book of the 20th century). As Tim Keller comments, "C.S. Lewis was incredibly skilled at getting Christianity across in a way that's powerful to thoughtful people. So, if we want help with evangelism, there is much we can learn from the clarity and imagination of this hugely influential Christian writer.
You may feel inadequate to the task; after all, there is only one C.S. Lewis. But evangelist Randy Newman skillfully helps us to apply the methods Lewis used (storytelling, humor, imagery and more) in our own conversations.
You will be equipped to talk about your faith and engage with unbelievers wisely, whatever their attitude towards the Christian faith.
This book is conversational and easy to read, helping readers consider ways that C.S. Lewis’s perspective and methods could help them in their efforts to have spiritual conversations with friends. Randy Newman shares his own testimony, explaining why C.S. Lewis’s apologetic writing was instrumental to him coming to faith, and he provides an introduction and summary of Lewis’s work that will be helpful for people who aren’t very familiar with him, and a good refresher for those who are. This book could have easily become an extension of a C.S. Lewis fan club, but Newman does not strike that tone at all, and focuses on key elements of the Christian faith over and above Lewis’s helpful approach to sharing them. Readers don’t have to be Lewis fans to enjoy this book or find it helpful.
Near the beginning, Newman focuses on the importance of “pre-evangelism” as the removal of roadblocks that would prevent someone’s consideration of the Christian faith. He also writes about different elements of gospel-focused conversations, emphasizing the importance of respecting other people, taking their objections seriously, and providing gentle, appropriate pushback in areas of disagreement. He also encourages readers to consider Lewis’s use of creative imagery to help people relate spiritual concepts to their everyday life. Overall, he shows us that even though none of us can be C.S. Lewis, we can all discuss matters of faith with other people in healthy, constructive, and caring ways.
Mere Evangelism: 10 Insights From C.S. Lewis to Help You Share Your Faith is an interesting, helpful book that applies many of Lewis’s ideas and methods to current Christians’ lives. At first, I wondered how much impact a book like this could have, since people can just read Lewis’s writings for themselves, but Newman summarizes and draws out key elements in a helpful way, honestly addresses some of Lewis’s weakness, and helps update Lewis’s coverage of now-historical cultural factors and issues for a twenty-first century audience. This is a helpful supplement or introduction to Lewis’s apologetic writing, and is full of clear, practical encouragement and advice for Christians.