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Jesus the Evangelist: Learning to Share the Gospel from the Book of John Hardcover – July 1, 2007
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Jesus the Evangelist is exactly what a paranoid and paralyzed church needs to hear in order to do the essential work of witnessing for Jesus Christ! In a day when so-called practical books are synonymous with fluffy books, here s a solid, readable work for the average Christian. Phillips study of John 1, 3, and 4 takes us beyond clever techniques to biblical faithfulness, and beyond entertaining communication to sound theology in evangelism. He does a masterful job of helping us learn from God s Word principles for evangelism, the theology of the gospel, and Jesus own practice in evangelism. Consequently, the reader is moved beyond apathy to action, to proclaiming the good news that Jesus the Son of God has come into the world to take away the sins of all those who repent and believe on Him. Readers of this volume will learn how to evangelize the real people around them from the only real Savior, Jesus Christ. Every pastor should buy two boxes of Jesus the Evangelist and give them away to members. --Rev. Thabiti Anyabwile, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman
Richard Phillips has written a very helpful book that every serious Christian should read. Evangelism is not an afterthought in the Christian life. It is how God has ordained to glorify Himself in the salvation of sinners. Rev. Phillips explains this by showing how Jesus is both the evangel and the Great Evangelist. In the process, he challenges both apathy and superficiality in the great work of making disciples. I highly recommend this book! --Dr. Thomas K. Ascol, Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church
About the Author
Richard D. Phillips is senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, S.C. He serves on the council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and as chairman of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan, a master of business administration degree at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, and a master of divinity degree at Westminster Theological Seminary. Prior to entering the military, he commanded tank units as an officer in the U.S. Army and later served as an assistant professor of leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Rev. Phillips is the author of numerous books, including his most recent,Hebrews (part of the Reformed Expository Commentary series) and Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating,co-written with his wife, Sharon. The Phillipses live in Greenville, S.C., with their five children.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is written for two audiences. The first is the many committed Christians who do little in the way of evangelism. This book is meant to enhance the zeal of these people by emboldening their witness with biblical wisdom, guidance and instruction. The second audience is those who are zealous in their witness but who would profit from understanding Jesus' approach to evangelism that they may ensure they are evangelizing in a way that is consistent with Scripture. After all, many who seek to witness for Christ in reality do nothing that genuinely approaches biblical evangelism. Phillips hopes to instruct these people so their knowledge may match their zeal.
The book is structured around chapters 1, 3 and 4 of John. In the first part, examining John 1, Phillips focuses on John the Baptist, the man who came to bear witness to the light, and drawing from his ministry biblical principles of evangelism. The second part, examining John 2, looks at Jesus encounter with Nicodemus and teaching from that story the theology of the gospel. The final part observes Jesus practice of evangelism as we see it in John 4 where Jesus interacts with the woman at Jacob's well. An appendix deals with the important matter of the relationship of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility, providing a brief look at biblical principles that should embolden our witness.
While it is clear that this book is based upon expository sermons, beyond very consistent chapter lengths, it does not have the "feel" of a sermon and potential readers should not allow that knowledge to turn them away from it. Were they to do so they would be missing out on a real treasure. While I have read widely in this subject matter, rarely have I found myself so convicted as I was while studying Jesus the Evangelist. The reason is clear. Rather than depending on surveys, statistics and guilt to motivate evangelism, Phillips turns instead to Scripture and allows the Holy Spirit to work encouragement through the Word. Inherently centered upon the Bible, the book never veers from the Word, never turns aside from plumbing the depths of the Scriptural witness about evangelism.
As I read the book I found myself feeling optimistic that this book may reach an audience beyond the Reformed churches. Many who profess Christ today desperately desire that the church spend more time studying Jesus and following His example. This book offers just such an opportunity. It teaches how the Lord Himself evangelized and how He drew people to Himself through gospel witness. It relies on Jesus to teach the theology and practice of evangelism.
I hope this book is read widely and read meditatively. Unique in a crowded field, Jesus the Evangelist is biblical exposition at its finest, simply opening Scripture, teaching the reader about the character of God, and allowing the Spirit to bring about conviction and action. I recommend this book to any and all believers.
This book is broken into three sections that cover John 1, 3, and 4. The biggest issue I had with this book is that it really does dive into the subject of evangelism that much but just hovers around the surface some, and within the first chapter it takes concepts that are not speaking directly to us and tries to draw direct correlations. Sometimes this isn't a big deal if we want to apply a principle, but the entire first portion (4 chapters) try to speak on how we should be similar to John the Baptist which is not the purpose of John 1 at all. So occasionally scripture is used out of it's context to try and emphasis a principle for evangelism to the modern day believer.
The second portion covers the gospel. The meat of what the gospel should entail. This I did find to be a helpful section. But this was rehearsed over and over in ever chapter and became almost redundant (not meaning to sound degrading to the gospel). It began to seem as if the book was about "What is the gospel" with snippets of an evangelist response.
The third section was overall probably the best section. It went through Christ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well, and then evangelism and the sovereignty of God as an appendix. This was probably the most useful section of the reading. Gave sound applicable advise, and it did stay true to why it must be re-enforce to the gospel. Phillips developed what evangelism can look like for many of us based on John 4, and then how we can be sure to have faith in that through the gospel that Christ brought to her.
Overall, not the best and I would recommend Dever's book first and then Packer's if you are looking for reading material. Also, I have heard of a book by Horatius Bonar but haven't read it, "Words to Winners of Souls"