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Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel Paperback – March 26, 2010


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Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel + Speaking of Jesus: How to Tell Your Friends the Best News They Will Ever Hear + Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel Wholly by Grace Communicated Truthfully & Lovingly
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (March 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830833501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830833504
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Perhaps no part of the Christian life and ministry is easier to neglect, postpone or just plain ignore than evangelism. And this is why I love reading books on evangelism by true practitioners, who love the lost and consistently live out this burden. Mack Stiles is one of those guys! Mack loves people who need the gospel. If you, like me, want to grow in evangelism, I highly recommend Mack's book." (C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries)

"Most of what we read about evangelism puts heavy emphasis on evangelistic methods--'how to' evangelism. When's the last time you read a book that focused attention on the evangelists themselves--their hearts, their minds, their lives and, most of all, their message? This is such a book, and it's explosive. Marks of the Messenger challenges and encourages us, and makes us laugh and weep along the way. Mack Stiles is the most gifted evangelist I know. And this book is saturated with biblical truth and personal wisdom." (Thabiti Anyabwile, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman)

"A fresh and refreshing encouragement from a gifted evangelist. Mack Stiles has lived out what he teaches, both in North America and in the Middle East. His material has been field-tested in two completely different parts of the world! So the principles you find in this book will be transcultural and applicable to believers seeking to bear witness to Christ wherever they are located in the world." (Lindsay Brown, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization)

"I do not think I have ever read a book on evangelism that makes me more eager to pass it on than this one--better, that makes me more eager to evangelize than this one. Like its author, the book is irrepressible. Better yet, it is faithful to Scripture while overflowing with that least common gift, common sense. Read it, practice it, then buy some more and pass them out." (D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

About the Author

Mack Stiles is CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions and general secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE Students (FOCUS) in the United Arab Emirates. He has worked for many years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the United States. He is the author of Speaking of Jesus and coauthor with his wife of Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Though the book is only 128 pages, it tackles a lot of biblical issues.
Mark Lamprecht
I typically read five or six books at the same time and finish them over the course of weeks and months, but this one has been at the top of the pile since I got it.
Gloria Furman
We need the clarification that sharing the "good news" isn't a method, it's living out the gospel in our lives and then verbally sharing that with others.
Corey Sosebee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gloria Furman on April 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've experienced what some call "spiritual dry spells" or "sojourns in the desert" spiritually-speaking. During those times of spiritual dehydration I notice that it's a rare occasion to share my faith with anyone. Why would I, when life as a Christian seems lackluster and reading the Bible prayerfully feels more like a chore than a delight?

If you can relate to me in these experiences, then Mack Stiles' new book may offer some explanations for the seasonal lack of spiritual vitality. But don't pick up Marks of the Messenger thinking you're going to learn the latest How To steps that promise to give you a kick-start in Bible devotions or ministry activity. Instead, Stiles' faithful exposition of the Bible, candid communication style and larger-than-life illustrations will lead you to the foot of the cross. And it's there where he shows you how the fire hydrant of the gospel is where you will be rejuvenated.

Marks of the Messenger is teeming with provocative theological ideas that deal with real life where the rubber meets the road. I don't want to toss out too many spoilers, so here are just a few quotes that I've written down for further personal reflection:

"People who have a weak view of their own sin, for example, will carry a weak view of grace and love (Luke 7:47)." page 30

"To know that Jesus promises perfect justice on the day of his return gives hope beyond understanding to those who have been brutalized--not pie in the sky hope, but hope with sufficient evidence to lay down our lives.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Lamprecht on June 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
In 'Marks of the Messenger', Mack Stiles explains what makes up the fertile spiritual ground for a messenger of the gospel. He examines the gospel, evangelism, and what it is to live for Christ. He explores what these areas should look like in a Christian's life.

Stiles' offers biblical teaching intertwined with true stories. The stories help illustrate Stiles' points that show rather than just tell. This gives the reader a fuller understanding of how Stile's biblical points work out in real life.

As an example of the book's structure and tone, below is a story from chapter 4, Does the Message We Share Look Like the Message We Bear? The story below begins and ends the chapter with a teaching on the gospel in between. The story describes how Stiles sat with his pastor and two high-powered businessmen who were in a legal battle with each other. I still remember when I first heard Stiles, in his pastoral tone, tell this story at my church last year.

[QUOTE]
"Gentlemen, " I said, turning to the man on my left, "I want to start by saying that we are gathered here to ask you, Mike, to drop your lawsuit against Robert. You understand 1 Corinthians 6: You are not allowed to take this case to a Muslim court."

Mike looked down and fingered his legal papers, written in Arabic script.

Turning to the man on my right, "And Robert, though you are under no compulsion to do so, after Mike drops the case, we would like you to be generous beyond the obvious amounts this case would cost you."

Robert's face flushed: "He has no case at all. The three hundred thousand he requires is absurd..."

Mike growled, "I believe my lawyers will help you find out just how good my case...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Davis VINE VOICE on May 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Most books on evangelism are about a method of sharing one's faith. Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel is different. It is about the heart of the evangelist. J. Mack Stiles gives a passionate call to live out one's faith, boldly following and sharing.

Some aspects worth noting: First, doctrine matters. Stiles shows that additions and subtractions to the gospel are dangerous. "If we don't realize the magnitude of what we've been forgiven, we may identify more with the Pharisee," he warns. Stiles also points out an all to common slippery slope that begins when the gospel is assumed (and thus not longer preached, shared, or studied) and ends with it being lost altogether. Second, Stiles shows that the gospel will have radical, profound changes in the way we live. "There are fantastic implications that explode into meaning when we live out the gospel."

Unfortunately, many are arguing that the implications (particularly social justice) are the gospel themselves, but Stiles accurately claims that the gospel itself is social change: "We must confess that pain, deprivation, and injustice at times seem to trump the message of the gospel and when this happens we see the naked thinness of our faith, and how we don't believe the gospel through and through."

A proper understanding of the gospel leads one to a bold life in the gospel. Boldness, he describes, "is not a lack of fear. It is faith in something much bigger than our fears so that we appear fearless." Such faith will inevitably lead to a Church where the gospel is clearly visible. (see here)

The Marks of the Messenger is a quick, easy read that would benefit any Christian. I highly recommend it. Stiles does an excellent job simply pointing his readers to the goal of a bold witness for Christ.
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