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Finding Common Ground: How to Communicate with those Outside the Christian Community...While We Still Can. Paperback – August 9, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In more than twenty-five years of ministry and communicating, I have never heard a more concise, graphic, and articulate communicator.  Tim is a man of integrity and a man committed to making an impact for Christ in his world.
-Stu Weber, Pastor, Author

Tim Downs is a very effective communicator with a witty sense of humor.  He challenges me to holiness.  His passion for Christ and devotion to family are evident and contagious.
-Dennis Rainey, Executive Director, Family Life  

Tim Downs is to communication with Michael Jordan is to professional basketball: a high scoring team leader!  He is encouraging, bright and challenging. 
-Gary Rosberg, President, Family Legacy

Tim Downs knows how to write, he practices what he preaches, and he has addressed a crying need in a skillful, unique way.  If you want to gain insight or communicating the gospel effectively to contemporary culture, this is the first book you should read.
-J.P. Moreland, Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology 

In the pages of Finding Common Ground Tim uses his gift in pouring out his passion for clearly communicating the life changing message of the gospel and preparing the hearts of those to receive it who are still ‘outside the camp'...be prepared to be stimulated and challenged. 
-Crawford W. Loritts, Jr., Author, Speaker, Associate US Director, Campus Crusade for Christ 

From the Back Cover

In a world that’s growing more hostile to the gospel, what can Christians do?  How can we communicate with our unbelieving friends and coworkers in a way that won’t seem pushy, intolerant, or judgmental?  In a world that’s heard it all before and no longer seems to care, where do we begin? 
By sowing.
In Finding Common Ground, Tim Downs reminds us of the forgotten biblical art of sowing and shows us practical and effective ways to: 
  • Bring up spiritual subjects with busy and distracted people
  • Use secular movies and book to talk about biblical ideas
  • Overcome prejudice and stereotypes in our listeners
  • Keep open doors of communication with even hostile opponents
  • Move everyone we meet a step closer to the gospel
 
“In more than twenty-five years of ministry and communicating, I have never heard a more concise, graphic, and articulate communicator.  Tim is a man of integrity and a man committed to making an impact for Christ in his world.”  STU WEBER, PASTOR, AUTHOR
 
“Tim Downs is a very effective communicator with a witty sense of humor.  He challenges me to holiness.  His passion for Christ and devotion to family are evident and contagious.”  DENNIS RAINEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FAMILY LIFE
 
“Time Downs is to communication with Michael Jordan is to professional basketball: a high scoring team leader!  He is encouraging, bright and challenging.”  GARY ROSBERG, PRESIDENT, FAMILY LEGACY
 
“Tim Downs knows how to write, he practices what he preaches, and he has addressed a crying need in a skillful, unique way.  If you want to gain insight or communicating the gospel effectively to contemporary culture, this is the first book you should read.”  J.P. MORELAND, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY, TALBOT SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY
 
“In the pages of Finding Common Ground Time uses his gift in pouring out his passion for clearly communicating the life changing message of the gospel and preparing the hearts of those to receive it who are still ‘outside the camp’…be prepared to be stimulated and challenged.  CRAWFORD W. LORITTS, JR., AUTHOR, SPEAKER, ASSOCIATE US DIRECTOR, CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CHRIST 
 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (August 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802440967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802440969
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carla Jean Whitley on January 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you are an evangelical Christian, this is a book that comes highly recommended.
I purchased this book at a conference after a friend of mine (who hadn't even read it!) suggested it to me. It is perhaps the best book on evangelism that I have read (with Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels a close second). Any Christian could share with you the importance of evangelism, and most could probably offer a suggestion of "how to". But this book breaks out of the box that so often limits our evangelism efforts.
As someone trained and practiced in the use of the Four Spiritual Laws (a gospel presentation frequently used by Campus Crusade for Christ, the organization of which Tim Downs is a part), I am relatively comfortable in "random" evangelism. But I have often struggled with reconciling such evangelistic attempts with being a "real" person. This book has helped me (and continues to, along with prayer and Scripture) to bridge that gap. Mr. Downs goes far beyond just a gospel presentation, but instead points readers in the direction of allowing their Christianity to spill over into every area of their life, thereby breaking the limits we so often place on our own evangelism efforts.
But beyond that, he also focuses on how to communicate with those who don't share the same worldview that we have become indoctrinated in. Many times, I've found that outreaches offered around me have been appealing to those who have grown up in the Bible belt and share this worldview, though don't actually consider themselves believers. But these often don't appeal to people who specifically disagree with elements of my worldview. How, then, do we reach out to these people?
This book is full of relevant, scriptural insight. It is worth every dollar you spend.
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Format: Paperback
I really like this book. I would consider myself a "harvester" but I see the importance of sowing the seeds of the gospel. Before I came to believe in Christ, there were many seeds planted in my life, from the campus pastor who came around our dorm to the little relgious things my girlfriend would write in her letters. We can plant seeds anytime we interact with people. This can be someone we are hoping to share the gospel with or someone you may talk with for 2 minutes in line at the grocery store and never see again. We are called to be ambassadors for Christ and planting seeds of the gospel is part of being an ambassador. Read this book and find out how to plant seeds AND to become a harvester of the spiritual fruit.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for Christians who are too shy to share the gospel with friends, family or colleagues. Tim Downs manages to accurately capture the difficulties that Christians face when trying to communicate the gospel. He teaches us how to work around the barriers and to be 'shrewd' when communicating the gospel. This book is truly refreshing for those of us who are extremely frustrated by our failed attempts to speak to others about the truth of the Christian faith. All Christians should read this and apply it!
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Format: Paperback
Tim Downs new book breathes new life into an old idea, namely sowing the seeds of the gospel. Mr. Downs reminds us that proclaiming the gospel is not always about going for the hard sell, but also can and must include dropping a seed here and there. Sowing is a matter of being subtle, even hinting at one's faith. While some hard line "harvesters" may find Mr. Downs' suggestions to be too soft and insist that the times require that Christians be courageously outspoken, I believe his arguments are right on target. I see them as especially on target for two groups: those who work in environments that either constrain or prohibit expressions of faith and those Christians who simply may not be as outspoken as others. While only some may harvest, all can sow. The only reservation I have about Mr. Downs' book is that he is a little too nervous about post-modernism and a little too dismissive of efforts to address diversity issues. However, those are only small points along the way. I highly recommend the book!
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By A Customer on March 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Tim Down's really has a good grasp on what our mission is as Christians in western culture. This is the only book that I know that addresses the principle of sowing (in order to eventually reap a great harvest of souls) in such a concise, practical manner. If you need help in your evangelism efforts (and who doesn't these days?) this is the book to read on the subject. It's not a new methodology or insight - just a great treatise on a largely forgotten biblical principle. We are now using this book for our teachings in our church - and my hope is with this review to help get it into the hands of Christian leaders everywhere.
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Format: Paperback
Here's a book that all new Christians should read (before they develop severe insecurities because they can no longer relate!) don't get me wrong, this one is for all Christians, but I just wish it had been available to me 20 years ago. Very insightful into the condition of a believer who really cares about those he/she comes into contact with on a daily basis. Mr. Downs points out that we (as believers) often only see the non-Christian as a potential believer, never accepting them for who they are (unless of course they were to recite the four spiritual laws!). This is an extremely helpful book and I recommend it to everyone! Could be retitled "How to be normal, even when everyone thinks you're nuts". The best point Downs makes is that we see the unsaved as potential harvests, and that's damaging because we can only harvest that which has been sown. Tim challenges us to attend to sowing the Gospel, and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the harvesting (since that's His function anyway).
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