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Evangelism in the Early Church Paperback – May 17, 2004
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From the Back Cover
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Evangelism was quite a lengthy book - 280, not counting the notes section. It was a bit longer than it should have been. It was quite exhaustive and sometimes exhausting, for it had a lot of detail. Sometimes the detail seemed unnecessary. What is exceptional about this book is its many primary sources. The early Christian fathers and their direct biographers are quoted to add support. It also gives us a first-hand glimpse of their own experiences.
The purpose of this book is not really to encourage evangelism or missions, but rather is a good history book that tells us what our spiritual fathers went through. Although the ideals of evangelism remains the same, we are in far different situations and settings. God, in his providence, perfectly set the stage for the gospel to be spread rapidly in the first century. The Pax Romana, the influence of the Greek culture and lingua franca, and the inroads Judaism had already made, prepared the ground for the gospel to be planted. Of course, they also encountered obstacles like we have never experienced. It was a world-wide hatred towards Christianity. It is almost surprising how Christians ever survived the persecutions of the first two centuries. They were hated by Jews and Gentiles alike, but these are the people they sought after, and died evangelizing to.Read more ›
I am a person that doesn't just want to know linearly what is happening, but wants to know the whole picture - what is happening around an event - this book for sure does this.
Green covers such angles as evanglism to the gentiles (which is rich with very applicable things to our present day), evangelism to Jews, Motives/Methods/and Strategy of Evangelism, and more including a very interesting chapter on the Obsticles of evangelism.
Enjoy this well done book.
Green begins his book with a highlight of the 1990s as a decade that should have been a golden time of evangelism. However, he shows how the existentialism of the mid-twentieth century led to post-modernism and deconstructionism with their emphases on evangelism as a personal process for discovering God and a high value on relationships. This is somewhat like the background he describes for the first two centuries in Rome. If there is complexity in spreading the gospel in modern society, there is encouragement in looking at the obstacles faced by the Jewish and Graeco-Roman cultures. Green believes that although the strategies and tactics of early Christians were not "particularly remarkable, what was remarkable was their conviction, their passion and their determination to act as Christ's embassy to a rebel world, whatever the consequences" (p. 23). Green posits that these characteristics should be the foundation for our present day evangelism efforts as well.
He emphasizes the three elements that allowed a pathway for facilitating the gospel in the first century. The Pax Romana gave an open door for easy movement throughout the Roman Empire. Greek Culture, expressed in a widely disseminated language, gave a structure to presenting the gospel within a single world-view.Read more ›
The academians (?) can spout and sputter their hair-splitting conjecture based on their opinion of this text or that, but "it don't take no genius to confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised him from the dead." It is written with the simple motive of helping the reader to strengthen themselves in the Lord.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At first, far too many unfamiliar words or phrases for a novice student who had never learned Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic; it wad mindboggling.Published 14 months ago by Forest L Hagood
Michael has studied church history and it shows in his observations.Published 19 months ago by markocolo