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Radically Unchurched: Who They Are & How to Reach Them Paperback – September 3, 2002

4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A must read for churches who wish to really reach not only their world, but also their neighborhood for Christ. (Carolyn R. Scheidies Author and Journalist 2004-06-03) --1

From the Back Cover

“Reid’s heart burns with passion for the church to reclaim its mission and invade our unchurched culture.”

—Luis Palau

Unthinkable only decades ago, America is now raising up generations of people who are “radically unchurched”—those who have had little contact with a Christ-centered church and have no clear understanding of the gospel message. This state of affairs isn’t likely to change unless Christians can communicate the significance of their message to a culture that regards the church as irrelevant and outmoded.

Calling for a passionate overhaul of how Christians see and interact with individuals outside the church, Alvin Reid demonstrates a clear understanding of the distinction between the changeless basics of the faith and negotiable traditions, programs, and artifacts. He examines the causes behind the loss of America’s Christian identity and the resulting failure of the American church to understand and utilize the New Testament pattern of penetrating an indifferent culture with the gospel. Reid offers proven strategies for touching people who desperately need to be confronted with life-changing Christianity.

Alvin L. Reid (Ph.D., M.Div., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of evangelism and the Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books, including Light the Fire, Introduction to Evangelism, and Evangelism for a Changing World.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic & Professional; 3rd edition (September 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825436338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825436338
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,527,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thanks for taking a minute to drop by my page. In my childhood days the last thing I thought I would become was an author. I had a vivid imagination, loved animals and all of creation (like snakes), and an overly active mind. I doubted my ability to put such thoughts on paper.

Now after all these years and a lot of writing--books, chapters, journal and magazine articles, and an active blog at alvinreid.com--I still think I have more to learn about the craft. But I decided years ago to take the plunge and have never regretted it.

I teach at an Evangelical seminary--Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary near Raleigh, NC--but I promise we do not teach snake handling :-). I am married (32 years now!) to the most amazing wife named Michelle. We are blessed with two great children: Josh, who is writing a book with me just now, and Hannah, who just turned 21. Both of our children are married to great young people. We have a very close family and enjoy each other a great deal.

I travel and speak a lot. Over 70 events a year, from lectures at universities to youth camps in the summer, from church events to leadership convocations. I enjoy speaking on the revitalization of Christianity and missional living (if that is a new term, buy my latest book, smile).

More than anything I am a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. My life has been changed, and I have never quite recovered :-). So my books all reflect a desire for people to know and follow Him. Blessings.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Finally, a book that addresses the identity of the unchurched and how to reach them in a passionate tone that the reader can't help but be excited about. Alvin Reid, who through his teaching and writings has popularized the term "radically unchurched," records his thoughts, insights, and proposal for reaching today's unbelievers in Radically Unchurched: Who They Are--How to Reach Them. Readers will find this book refreshing as Reid presents his observations on postmodernism and the coming generation. He continues by higlighting ways to reach this generation for Christ through worship, your testimony, church planting, and other creative approaches to evangelism. This book will not disappoint those who are genuinely looking for a layman's understanding of who the radically unchurched are and how to effectively reach them.
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Format: Paperback
Radically Unchurched was written to remind Christians that the world we live in is no longer culturally Christian, but still can be reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and demonstrates practical ways one can reach out to those who are lost. Instead of lamenting the loss of a Christian culture, Reid explains that we have just as much opportunity to present the Gospel today as we did in the past. The book is split into two parts, the first dealing with the profile of those who are unchurched. The second half deals with ways to reach out to the radically unchurched.

A minor area of concern relates to the age of the book. The publication date is 2002, which is relatively new in the scholarly world. However, with the changes that happen so quickly in the world of technology, six years is a long time. Today, chat rooms have been eclipsed by blogs, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and many other tools available on the web today. A minor update to the material would be good, although many people reading the book will make the connection between his ideas and a practical application using tools available today.

Dr. Reid successfully convinces the reader that it is imperative for believers to be obedient to the Scriptural mandate to share the gospel with everyone. He presents a large amount of evidence to prove his point and writes in a compelling manner. The idea that every believer is supposed to share the gospel is not new. It is a command from Jesus that has been repeated throughout the centuries, yet each generation must learn anew the task of reaching his own with His message.

Anyone who wants to be encouraged to be faithful in ministry and be presented with practical ways to share the gospel should read this book.
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Format: Paperback
The book's subtitle explains its premise: who they are and how to reach them. It is the author's contention, and rightly so, that the church is totally unprepared to reach the coming generation with the gospel of Christ, that its methods and means of reaching the radically unchurched are no longer effective. After defining who the radically unchurched are, the author reviews methodological and means of evangelism which have proven effective with the radically unchurched.
The author deals brutally and honestly with the ineptness of the evangelical church and the head in the sand attitude it has concerning its declining attendance and influence on American culture. Again and again, Reid drives home the point that things are not well with the evangelical church. The best part of the book is the How to reach them part. The author really adds nothing new to the well-read reader of evangelism; rather, he surveys the methodologies that have proven successful and presents them to the reader, with the warning that copying methodically without adaptation and a heart for evangelism will fail.
I did not like this book. I had to force myself to read it through. Yet, after doing so, I am glad that I did. There is little or no original thought or research in it. Sjogren's Conspiracy of Kindness, Rainer's Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, and Warren's Purpose Driven Church are all well quoted. The author also has an anti-charismatic bias. His ranting against Full Gospel churches on page 112 is shameful. To accuse charismatic churches as not believing the Bible is sufficient in its historic doctrine is a gross misunderstanding of charismatic theology.
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This book is less a study of the radically unchurched than a book on evangelism. Some research is reported, but most of the book is teaching on how to mobilize people into effective evangelism. Reid is conversant with postmodernism, but doesn't fall for the foolishness of accommodation. His call for forsaking anti-culturalism is well put.

My objections to the book would be that he is too optimistic about churchy approaches like prayer at the poles, or worship evangelism. These and similar approaches are exciting to Christians, but I do not believe there is solid evidence that they are effective in reaching hard-core unchurched people.

This book would be a good corrective for ingrown churches.

- Dennis McCallum, author Organic Disciplemaking: Mentoring Others Into Spiritual Maturity And Leadership
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