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True Evangelism: Winning Souls Through Prayer Paperback – May 2, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

[ True Evangelism] . . . deals with some of the common difficulties involved in personal evangelism. [It] emphasizes the basic need for spiritual power and the need for earnest prayer if witnessing is to be effective. (Cyril J. Barber Ministers Library 2004-06-03)

About the Author

Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871–1952), American Presbyterian clergyman and educator, was born in Rock Creek, Ohio; studied at New Lyme Academy and Oberlin Conservatory and College, both in Ohio; studied under C. I. Scoffield; and was ordained in 1900. In 1924, he founded the Evangelical Theological College (now Dallas Theological Seminary) and was its president and professor of systematic theology until his death. His many other works include Satan, True Evangelism, Grace, Major Bible Themes, and the eight-volume Systematic Theology.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Classics (May 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825423848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825423840
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 6.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,352,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Chafer depicts in this book an analysis from the Bible of the two most important things about witnessing for Christ. First the importance of sharing the correct information, that Christ being God became man, paid the penalty of the entire human race for sin on the cross by his spiritul death, and rose again to provide eternal life. This eternal life can be obtained by the simple act of belief in the savior. The second thing stressed in the book is the necessity of prayer for the unbeliever, for only God can bend the will of an unbeliever. If only the church would discard its gimmicks and rely on God's truth and focus on the accuracy of the message a great revival might occur. Chafer's book is a witness to this truth.
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Lewis Sperry Chafer was a theologian, author, andthe founder of Dallas Theological Seminary. Several other books I am reading now are rather overweight considering their contents but this volume is slim, only 100 small pages, and filled with ideas to savor.

The previous reviewer is correct in that when this book was originally published it received many scathing reviews from Christians. Why? Because Chafer take aim at manipulative forms of evangelism in the first chapter of his book called "False Forces in Evangelism. Chafer believes that only God changes peoples hearts and that it is harmful for Christian ministers to try to manipulate people into "coverting." He defend his views from the Scripture and does so skillfully yet briefly. Chafer particularly criticizes meetings which try to manipulate people into coming forward and preaching which make it seem as if salvation is dependent upon raising your hand in a meeting or kneeling at the altar. He also criticizes the view that evangelism is only for certain people, i.e. so-called "evangelists", and that it is best done only a specific season, the "revival"

Chapter Two, "Salvation: The Objective in Evangelism," is theologically rich. Recognizing that the objective of evangelism is salvation, Chafer explores the elements of salvation. He speaks of salvation in "three tenses" on p. 29, "The believer was saved from condemnation . . . he is being saved from the habit and power of sin . . . and he will be saved from the presence of sin" and focuses mainly on the "first tense." I appreciated his seven-part summary of the changes that occur immediately a person comes to Christ, especially his reminder that one who believes is now clothed with the righteousness of God.
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I'm reading this as part of my evangelism class at DTS, and I really enjoy it. It's systematic and rational. I especially appreciate the way Chafer cites the 'evangelism career path' that has infected the thinking of so many in this century.

The review below cites only revenue loss as evidence for this book's impotence; but when has God ever needed the bottom line as evidence of His blessing on a work?
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Format: Paperback
Lewis Sperry Chafer penned True Evangelism: Winning Souls Through Prayer in 1911. One would expect a work nearing the century mark to be both wooden and no longer relevant in a world of constantly changing evangelicalism.

Although there is much room for debate and conversation regarding some of Dr. Chafer's views, his book is as relevant today as it was when he first put ink to paper. It is impressive how he was able to succinctly present a biblical perspective of evangelism differing from the many other works that give step-by-step advice on how to knock on doors and solicit conversions in restaurants.

In the first chapter, Dr. Chafer walks us through many of the errors and dangers that face the potential evangelist. He breaks these forces down into three categories: Men, Methods and Messages.

This chapter resonates with wisdom concerning evangelism. The emphasis is not on an evangelist attempting to fulfill a numerical quota in order to demonstrate his or her effectiveness in ministry. Rather, the focus is on genuine conversion of the lost.

Dr. Chafer clearly outlines the dangers of a pressured, public conversion experience that is often made under duress and in ignorance. This type of "evangelism" diminishes the work of the Spirit, and the promises of God.

In chapter two, Dr. Chafer begins at the end. The goal of any evangelistic effort is to bring a lost person to a saving knowledge and relationship with Christ. Dr. Chafer explores the conversion experience, the sanctification process and the eternal glorified state of a believer.

It is refreshing to read the emphasis that the author places on God's role in the salvation of the lost.
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Format: Paperback
A Critique of True Evangellism: Winning Souls through Prayer
Lewis Sperry Chafer, Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1993, 106pp.

Chafer (1871-1952), founder of Dallas Theological Seminary in 1924, previously a traveling evangelist 14 years, wrote this classic book to and for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as an incentive and encouragement in, what he considers the truth that all Christians have the privilege to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and become involved with personal evangelism. His emphasis is not on skillful evangelists, methodology, or eloquent messages, but stresses the working of the Holy Spirit and intercessional prayer as the major factors of soul winning. He eloquently puts in plain words the objective of evangelism and explains that every Christian is a priest who is able to offer intercessory prayer and salvation to lost souls. To avoid defilement the "priest" must not maintain sinless perfection but an "attitude of willingness to meet every demand of God for the putting away of sin (p. 90).
In his chapter on False Forces in Evangelism, one has to be amazed at the insight of one who never had the opportunity to witness a flashy evangelist on television utilizing hard-core methods, messages laced with heresy, and music that borders on frenzy to prod an audience to accept Christ as their savior, usually with the promise of great material gain. This writer concurs with the author that, "many who have resisted the personal appeal have been hardened or driven away (p. 23). Evangelism can be embraced by masses however, one heart at time, by personal choice and action of the will through the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
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