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Speaking of God: Evangelism as Initial Spiritual Guidance Paperback – October 1, 1991

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ben Campbell Johnson is Professor Emeritus of Christian Spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. He is the author of a number of books, including Discerning God's Will and Speaking of God, both published by WJK.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1st edition (October 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664252001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664252007
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,024,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book was published in 1991 but has much to say to the Church today. It saddens me that a book like this has apparently had so little impact on the Christian Church. The author's main concern is for the way that mainline Protestant churches, particularly his own Presbyterian Church (USA), had been losing younger members to more conservative evangelical or charismatic churches. This trend has been well documented and is still very evident today. Some of these people grow disillusioned, in one way or another, with their experience and may seek to return to the mainline, but it's a trickle that won't sustain the churches. Many more just seem to abandon the Church altogether. Something is missing. The problem Johnson sees is the way mainline denominations have all but abandoned their emphasis on the need for a vibrant personal commitment to following Jesus as a disciple for the sake of the cultural relevance offered by social activism. "In an effort to be universally relevant, we have often forgotten about individuals both inside and outside the church who need to be introduced to a personal faith. ... Without personal conversion, either of the nurtured or dramatic type, the church lacks the energy to fulfill it's mission." (pp. 169-70.) The problem is that most of these members and clergy feel very uncomfortable or inadequate in talking to people about their commitment to Christ.

In answer to this, Johnson draws on the tradition and practical skills of spiritual direction as a relational model for evangelism.
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Speaking of God: Evangelism as Initial Spiritual Guidance
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