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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radical Outreach, November 4, 2007
This review is from: Radical Outreach: Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism (Paperback)
This book was required reading for an evangelism course at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. Hunter is quite blunt in his assessment of the Church and our failure to take seriously the evangelistic apostolic commission. Hunter does not leave the reader in a state of conviction but rather offers some concrete advice on how to regain the mission and ministry of all believers. Our congregation is currently studying this book in a small group setting. While it has made us a bit uncomfortable at times, it has also opened our eyes to what we have been doing right, what we have been doing wrong, and what we should be doing. It is affecting our congregation deeply. It is a must read for any Christian who is seeking to fulfill the Great Commission.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Review of "Radical Outreach", December 27, 2012
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This review is from: Radical Outreach: Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism (Paperback)
Radical Outreach highlights much of what I have previously read regarding Christian outreach. It does so in a to-the-point manner that makes it a handy resource for references. There is no doubt that the main premise of this book is true: the mission of the local church cannot be thrust solely on the pastor or a handful of church leaders. The laity--the whole body of Christ--must be engaged. The work is way too important to be left exclusively to "the professionals."

Hunter has a way of taking what should be obvious and shining a light on it in such a way that it can be seen clearly again. For example, one insight that hit home for me was his quote of William Temple that the church is the only society on earth that exists for its nonmembers. The deeper meaning here for me was not only that the church is supposed to be focused outwards, but also that by bringing a new person into our "society," we are actually pointing them outwards. Too often, on the rare occasion that we do bring in a truly new member, we spend the next several years acclimating them to fit the mold of what we think a Christian should look like, talk like, and be like.

I am one of those voices in the church that loves to say that the 1950s model of church just doesn't work any longer. I was also already aware that a growing number of Americans are not only unchurched, but unfamiliar with Christianity. But until reading this book, I was unaware of just what kind of shape our country is in, and how badly the church is failing our fellow citizens. We spend a goodly amount on supporting foreign missionaries (although even that number is dropping), but the sad truth is that a growing number of our neighbors have no Christian background. Will we end up some day being an oddity like the Amish?

Another aspect I appreciated from this book is that of treating outreach here similar to how we successfully do outreach in other countries: tailor our communication of the Gospel through indigenous forms. American culture constantly changes and adapts to new times, new situations, and new people groups as part of our "melting pot." We need to adapt our methods of communicating and relating to lost people. Our communities are also full of hurting people, some of whom are in recovery. We need to build relationships with---and minister to---them, too. The opportunities are all around us; we just need to get in the game!

There are several principles in this book that are very helpful. However, for me, the key points that really stand out in a practical way are the "Five Approaches to Reaching People Like the Samaritan Woman" (pp 188-190). The quote from Donald Soper is spot on: "You have to begin where they are, rather than where you'd like them to be." We can't expect non-Christians to act like Christians; they don't yet fully know Christ, so why would they act any different than they do? We must meet people where they are, along with their failings. Although their actions may be repulsive to my Christian ethics, I can't let that stop me from reaching out to them. Meeting people where they are also means communicating with (not just to) them respectfully, empathetically, and in a manner they understand (without a lot of "church-ese").

Churches could greatly benefit by following the recommendations in this book. If churches followed the recommendations of Radical Outreach, they wouldn't remain on the decline. To do so, they'd first have to answer Hunter's five questions: (1) Do we want to know them, (2) are we willing to go where they are, (3) are we willing to spend time with them, (4) do we want secular and outside-the-establishment people in the church, and (5) are we willing for our church to become their church too? Those are tough questions. Most Christians would probably want to answer yes to them all, but if we are honest with ourselves, at least a couple would likely be no. The sticking point is that all of the questions need to be answered with a "yes!" We have to get past the attitude that Jonah had about the Ninevites. We may view some people as different and completely hopeless, but God has sent us to them and we need to obey His command. It will do us and the people we reach a world of good.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prophetic: Churches Either Understand Culture or Close, December 28, 2006
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This review is from: Radical Outreach: Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism (Paperback)
Fans of George G. Hunter will enjoy this volume. It delivers what we have come to expect from Hunter, a straight forward call for the church to remember the great commission and stop playing church. This book continues to build on themes we saw in "The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West . . . Again." Hunter writes with insight and depth. His prophetic words will challenge those who want the church to remain the same as it was in the 1950's. Hunter understands history and current cultural trends. To ignore his message would be a serious mistake. This would be a good text for weekly small group study.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, February 17, 2007
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EWL (Port Huron, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Radical Outreach: Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism (Paperback)
"Radical" approach to outreach. Very thought provoking. Author has a great grasp of the problem faced by the church in an increasingly secularized world where people have little contact points with the church. He also has some excellent ideas for solutions.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Radical Outreach, June 11, 2013
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This review is from: Radical Outreach: Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism (Paperback)
This book was 10 years old and looks brand new. Very happy with the condition of the book and the length of time it took to receive it. Thank you.
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Radical Outreach: Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism
Radical Outreach: Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism by George G. Hunter (Paperback - May 1, 2003)
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