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Turning to God: Reclaiming Christian Conversion as Unique, Necessary, and Supernatural Paperback – April 12, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books; Repackaged ed. edition (April 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801097002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801097003
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David F. Wells is Distinguished Research Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has eighteen books to his credit, including God the Evangelist: How the Holy Spirit Works to Bring Men and Women to Faith.

More About the Author

David F. Wells (PhD, University of Manchester) is the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as academic dean at Gordon-Conwell's Charlotte campus, Wells has been a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, a distinguished lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, and the recipient of a major grant from the Pew Charitable Trust. The author of numerous articles and books, he has written extensively on postmodernism, open theism, and the history of Christianity in America.

Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Leroe VINE VOICE on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This 1989 book has been recently (2012) reissued with a new introduction by Dr. Wells. The focus is on the biblical doctrine of conversion, which Wells sees as supernatural and unique--the regenerative work of God, and not something that can be produced through self-turning. It is an act of divine creation, causing faith to appear, from which flow repentance and a love of God. Wells does not view conversion as a neat, "one-size-fits-all" formula, but a process in which information about God (the content of the Gospel) is presented to people from divergent backgrounds and applied by the Holy Spirit to their hearts in a saving way.

Wells provides examples of conversion in Scripture, a biblical theology of conversion, with careful attention to the Greek and Hebrew terms used. He show the difference between what he calls "insider and outsider" conversions, viz. from within a Christian setting/culture, and the contrasting unique hurdles individuals from various major world religions face in embracing teachings in opposition to their dogma and culture. He also devotes a chapter to what he calls "materialistic outsiders", explaining the secular position, which is largely the position of Europe and (to a lesser degree) North America, where people find meaning--not in God--but in self. He provides examples of differing perspectives from church history, particularly regarding whether the individual can contribute anything to his/her salvation. Wells disputes the view that certain types of people tend to convert to religious belief--social/psychological profiling--and the casual conversion or "easy-believism" promulgated by some evangelicals.

I think this is an outstanding, much-needed book for anyone in Christian work. In full disclosure, I am a minister in Dr. Well's denomination (the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference) and occasionally chat with him at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Monica Baebler on September 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If anyone can explain what it means to know Jesus Christ - and what is expected of a Christian and of Christian Behavior, it's Dr. Wells - A must read for lovers of Truth and God
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Format: Paperback
Clear explanation of what it means to "convert" or turn to God. The author also does great at explaining the importance of having an accurate understanding of conversion, and proclaiming the biblical Gospel accurately.
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By DrPhilS on December 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wells addresses a much needed topic in Turning to God. Careful thinking characterizes this topical and theological study of conversion.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By spfdgreg on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
This work gives an accurate description of what the Bible teaches about conversion, and all believers (both true and nominal) would benefit from reading it. I do have three problems with it, however--first, Wells twice calls a book by Luther THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL, but that is not the correct title. Luther wrote THE BONDAGE OF THE WILL. How that blunder got past Wells and the editors and proofreaders I do not understand. Second, Wells and his editors need to reintroduce themselves to the comma [,]. There were numerous sentences I had to go back and re-read, because they did not end up where I thought they were headed, due to a needed comma not being inserted where it should have been. That should never happen in a well written and edited book. When used properly, commas add clarity. Third, there were too many sentences which stared with "And." Did someone forget their grammar lesson which said "never start a sentence with "and"?
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