2016 Christianity Today Book of the Year in Apologetics/Evangelism One of Desiring God's Top 15 Books of 2015 Hearts & Minds Bookstore's Best Books of 2015, Social Criticism and Cultural Engagement In our post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism and apologetics. Most of these methods assume that people are open, interested and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. Our urgent need, then, is the capacity to persuade—to make a convincing case for the gospel to people who are not interested in it. In his magnum opus, Os Guinness offers a comprehensive presentation of the art and power of creative persuasion. Christians have often relied on proclaiming and preaching, protesting and picketing. But we are strikingly weak in persuasion—the ability to talk to people who are closed to what we are saying. Actual persuasion requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Guinness notes, "Jesus never spoke to two people the same way, and neither should we." Following the tradition of Erasmus, Pascal, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge and Peter Berger, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on listeners' assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the credibility of the gospel. This book is the fruit of forty years of thinking, honed in countless talks and discussions at many of the leading universities and intellectual centers of the world. Discover afresh the persuasive power of Christian witness from one of the leading apologists and thinkers of our era.
Author: Os Guinness
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Release Date: 2015-07-04
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Our world is changing dramatically, yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism and apologetics. In his magnum opus, Os Guinness presents the art and power of creative persuasion—the ability to talk to people who are closed to what we are saying. Discover afresh the persuasive power of Christian witness.
The church in the West is at a critical moment. While the gospel is exploding throughout the global south, Western civilization faces militant assaults from aggressive secularism and radical Islam. Will the church resist the seductive shaping power of advanced modernity? More than ever, Christians must resist the negative cultural forces of our day with fortitude and winsomeness. What is needed is followers of Christ who are willing to face reality without flinching and respond with a faithfulness that is unwavering. Os Guinness describes these Christians as "impossible people," those who have "hearts that can melt with compassion, but with faces like flint and backbones of steel who are unmanipulable, unbribable, undeterrable and unclubbable, without ever losing the gentleness, the mercy, the grace and the compassion of our Lord." Few accounts of the challenge of today are more realistic, and few calls to Christian courage are more timely, resolute—and hopeful. Guinness argues that we must engage secularism and atheism in new ways, confronting competing ideas with discernment and fresh articulation of the faith. Christians are called to be impossible people, full of courage and mercy in challenging times.
Author: Michael Green
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Release Date: 2004-05-17
Now a modern classic, Michael Green's Evangelism in the Early Church provides a comprehensive look at the ways the first Christians -- from the New Testament period up until the middle of the third century -- worked to spread the good news to the rest of the world. In describing life in the early church, Green explores crucial aspects of the evangelistic task that have direct relevance for similar work today, including methods, motives, and strategies. He assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the evangelistic approaches used by the earliest Christians, and he also considers the obstacles to evangelism, using outreach to Gentiles and to Jews as examples of differing contexts for proclamation. Carefully researched and frequently quoting primary sources from the early church, this book will both show contemporary readers what can be learned from the past and help renew their own evangelistic vision.
Author: Joe Carter
Release Date: 2008-12-18
Uses Jesus' words and actions found in the New Testament to systematically evaluate his rhetorical stylings, drawing real lessons from his teachings that today's readers can employ. Jesus of Nazareth never wrote a book, held political office, or wielded a sword. He never gained sway with the mighty or influential. He never took up arms against the governing powers in Rome. He was a lower-class worker who died an excruciating death at the age of thirty-three. Yet, in spite of all odds-obscurity, powerlessness, and execution-his words revolutionized human history. How to Argue Like Jesus examines the life and words of Jesus and describes the various ways in which he sought-through the spoken word, his life, and his disciples-to reach others with his message. The authors then pull some very simple rhetorical lessons from Jesus' life that readers can use today. Both Christian and non-Christian leaders in just about any field can improve their ability to communicate effectively by studying the words and methods of history's greatest communicator.
In the last decade, atheism has leapt from obscurity to the front pages: producing best-selling books, making movies, and plastering adverts on the side of buses. There’s an energy and a confidence to contemporary atheism: many people now assume that a godless scepticism is the default position, indeed the only position for anybody wishing to appear educated, contemporary, and urbane. Atheism is hip, religion is boring. Yet when one pokes at popular atheism, many of the arguments used to prop it up quickly unravel. The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist is designed to expose some of the loose threads on the cardigan of atheism, tug a little, and see what happens. Blending humour with serious thought, Andy Bannister helps the reader question everything, assume nothing and, above all, recognise lazy scepticism and bad arguments. Be an atheist by all means: but do be a thought-through one.
In a world torn apart by religious extremism on the one side and a strident secularism on the other, no question is more urgent than how we live with our deepest differences—especially our religious and ideological differences. The Case for Civility is a proposal for restoring civility in America as a way to foster civility around the world. Influential Christian writer and speaker Os Guinness makes a passionate plea to put an end to the polarization of American politics and culture that—rather than creating a public space for real debate—threatens to reverse the very principles our founders set into motion and that have long preserved liberty, diversity, and unity in this country. Guinness takes on the contemporary threat of the excesses of the Religious Right and the secular Left, arguing that we must find a middle ground between privileging one religion over another and attempting to make all public expression of faith illegal. If we do not do this, Guinness contends, Western civilization as we know it will die. Always provocative and deeply insightful, Guinness puts forth a vision of a new, practical "civil and cosmopolitan public square" that speaks not only to America's immediate concerns but to the long-term interests of the republic and the world.
Author: Os Guinness
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 1993-05-30
An internationally known writer and speaker on religion and public life brilliantly analyzes the causes of our current moral malaise. Os Guinness examines how perilously close we have come to losing the shared beliefs, traditions, and ideals that have helped shape America and sets forth a compelling view of a new role for religion and faith.
We are still surprised by evil. From Auschwitz to the events of September 11, we have been shocked into recognizing the startling capacity for evil within the human heart. We now know 9/11 revealed that our country was unprepared in terms of national security, but it also showed we were intellectually and morally unprepared to deal with such a barbaric act. Our language to describe evil and our ethical will to resist it have grown uncertain and confused. Many who speak unabashedly of evil are dismissed as simplistic, old–fashioned, and out of tune with the realities of modern life. Yet we must have some kind of language to help us understand the pain and suffering at the heart of human experience. Author and speaker Os Guinness confronts our inability to understand evil – let alone respond to it effectively – by providing both a lexicon and a strategy for finding a way forward. Since 9/11, much public discussion has centered on the destructiveness of extremist religion. Guinness provocatively argues that this is far from an accurate picture and too easy an explanation. In this expansive exploration of both the causes of modern evil and solutions for the future, he faces our tragic recent past and our disturbing present with courageous honesty. In order to live an "examined life," Guinness writes, we must come to terms with our beliefs regarding evil and ultimately join the fight against it. Addressing individuals as well as a traumatized culture, Unspeakable is an invitation to explore the challenge of contemporary evil, a call to confront our culture of fear, and a journey to find words to come to terms with the unspeakable so that it will no longer leave us mute.
Author: Os Guinness
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Release Date: 2013-08-01
Genre: Political Science
Recognizing that tyranny takes on secular as well as traditional guises, Os Guinness seeks a return to the first principles of religious and political freedom. Hearkening back to the "soul liberty" of English Puritan Roger Williams, Guinness argues that a society's greatest bulwark against abuse lies in its people's freedom of conscience.
2013 Logos Book of the Year in Christianity/Culture! "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." Abraham Lincoln Nothing is more daring in the American experiment than the founders' belief that the American republic could remain free forever. But how was this to be done, and are Americans doing it today? It is not enough for freedom to be won. It must also be sustained. Cultural observer Os Guinness argues that the American experiment in freedom is at risk. Summoning historical evidence on how democracies evolve, Guinness shows that contemporary views of freedom--most typically, a negative freedom from constraint-- are unsustainable because they undermine the conditions necessary for freedom to thrive. He calls us to reconsider the audacity of sustainable freedom and what it would take to restore it. "In the end," Guinness writes, "the ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans. The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor." The future of the republic depends on whether Americans will rise to the challenge of living up to America's unfulfilled potential for freedom, both for itself and for the world.
What is the gravedigger's thesis? Simply put it is, The Christian faith contributed decisively to the rise of the modern world, but has been undermined decisively by the modern world it helped to create. The Christian faith has become its own gravedigger. In the 25 years since philosopher and social critic Os Guinness first published The Gravedigger Files, much has happened: the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of the computer age, the re emergence of China and India, the rise of Islamic terrorism, and the worldwide revitalization and politicization of religion. The central mystery of Dr. Guinness’s spy novel inspired by his affection for John le Carré thrillers remains unsolved: Can Christians regain the full integrity of faith in Christ while fully and properly engaged in the advanced modern world? This new edition of The Last Christian on Earth, which includes previously unpublished top-secret memos, is Dr. Guinness’s parable about the future of the Christian church in the West. Written in the grand tradition of le Carré, Fleming and Clancy, this thriller pays homage to the genre while transcending it because the real-life ending has yet to be written!
Is society beyond all hope of redemption as the Christian faith seems more and more irrelevant in our modern world? In Renaissance, Os Guinness declares that the church can once again change the world and become a renewing power in our society if we answer the call to a new Christian renaissance.
Duane Litfin, former president of Wheaton College, explores how Paul's theology of preaching can inform the church's preaching today. Through a detailed study of 1 Corinthians 1-4, Litfin shows how Paul's method of proclamation differed from Greco-Roman rhetoric and how Pauline preaching can be a model for the contemporary preaching task.
How are Christians viewed in the broader culture? We blush at the possibilities. Brainwashed fanatics? Out-of-touch dogmatists? Buffoons? The task of bearing faithful witness to Jesus is complicated by persistent—and not altogether baseless—cultural stereotypes. In our post-Christian society, thoughtful Christians are considering again how to engage the dominant culture as a minority, a counterpublic, amid varying perceptions and misperceptions. In this timely book, Timothy Muehlhoff and Rick Langer ask what our interactions with the dominant cultural ethos should look like. How might we be persuasive and civil at the same time? How should we respond to those who ridicule and caricature us? How can we challenge the beliefs of other communities with love and respect? Muehlhoff and Langer present a model for cultural engagement that integrates communication theory, theology, and Scripture. Penetrating, wise, and relentlessly practical, it includes test cases and examples from history, such as William Wilberforce and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Now more than ever, Christians need what Winsome Persuasion offers: a compelling vision of public engagement that is both shrewd and gracious.