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I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus Paperback – May 4, 2008
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"Everts, Schaupp . . . clearly identify the epistemological dissonance expressed by the skeptic and the effect this dissonance has on the psychology of conversion in the twenty-first century. Having listened to the testimonies of postmodern skeptics who have walked the path to faith, these authors offer us a coherent framework for both understanding the modern convert and accompanying him out of the world and into the kingdom." (Thomas A. Baima, Touchstone, January/February 2015)
"There is a lot of practical advice to be found here on how best to win postmodern people for Christ." (Guy Davies, Protestant Truth, July-August 2009)
"This book is a gem worth being found." (Jason Brian Santos, The Journal of Student Ministries, November/December 2008)
". . .immensely helpful without becoming formulaic. . .the book carefully travels the tightrope between the competing programmatic and relational paradigms of evangelism." (Dan Taylor, Leadership Journal, Fall 2008)
I would highly recommend the book as insightful, brief, hopeful and stimulating. College students will be loved better by people who read this book. (Andy Rowell, Church Leadership Conversations (andyrowell.net/andy_rowell), September 19, 2008)
"Marked by a humility and maturity in desiring to make change in the way Christian become fishers of men, I Once Was Lost is a practical tool. With wise insights and healthy encouragement, Christians are inspired to take care in finding the answers and allow time, faith and prayer to be what leads others as well." (Worship Leader, July/August 2008)
"This easy-flowing book tells many stories of students as they cross each threshold and gives practical tips on how to support people in each step." (John Dunham, Youth Worker Journal, September/October 2008)
"Particularly helpful is their discussion of how to provoke curiosity about the gospel. Although many Christians might be comfortable giving answers, they show that Jesus was a master of asking good questions." (Susan Olasky, WORLD July 12/19 2008)
"While the five thresholds give us bearings in a time of transition, Everts and Schaupp remind us that no model should be held too closely―as evangelism is finally determined by the individual before us." (InterVarsity.org Staff Website, June 2008)
"Many in college ministry will find this book fresh and challenging. Others will see in it principles and observations in which they already function comfortably. Either way, I Once Was Lost provides an apt reminder that what it means to creatively and respectfully love those whom God loves must change over time." (Chap Clark in Christianity Today, June 2008)
About the Author
Don Everts is minister of outreach at Bonhomme Presbyterian Church in Chesterfield, Missouri, where he spends time cultivating relationships with people who are generally skeptical Christians with a passion for evangelism and global justice. He previously served as an area director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Boulder, Colorado. His books include I Once Was Lost, Go and Do , and Jesus with Dirty Feet.
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"What's in the secret sauce? It took two decades of lab work to find out, but two campus ministers working two different kitchens have picked up the five pivotal 'thresholds' that usher postmodernism into faith. This will be high on my list of the most important books on evangelism published so far in the twenty-first century." (Leonard Sweet, Drew Theological School)
That means two authors has done research on how today's POST-MODERNISM culture response to God's Gospel. They never worked together. When they meet, they shared testimonies about what happened. They were shocked about similar experience from two different places and that was amazing work of Kingdom of God in bringing those Post Modernism skeptics to Christ.
The book has been divided into following chapters:
PATH TO JESUS:
STEP ONE: Trusting a Christian
STEP TWO: Becoming Curious
STEP THREE: Opening Up to Change
STEP FOUR: Seeking After God
STEP FIVE: Entering the Kingdom
BEYOND THE STEPS: Living in the Kingdom
CONCLUSION: Servant Evangelism
Notice first step is to TRUST a Christian. WOW... how does that work to have Post modernism skeptics and non-Christians TRUST a Christian? On page 30, it says "Christa doesn't trust Christians because she was once told she's going straight to hell. Julie was invited to a church outing but felt like an outsider the entire time." Those stories tell us how they did not trust Christian at first place. That is why the book is a great resource on how to make Post-Modern Skeptics trust Christian. This is OUR challenge, NOT THEM. If we can't get them to trust us as Christians, then WE HAVE FAILED.
In my opinion, I think Step Three is BIGGEST CHALLENGE for Christians. Which is Opening Up to Change. Common sense about Christianity is all about changing our life style from old life of sinful nature to new life of fruit of spirit.
From I understand from the book is that lots of Skeptics and Non-Christians are not willing to change. If Non-Christians do not see changes in life style of Christians then how will you expect them to change? The report is that they have been observing that Christians do not change even after receiving Jesus Christ as personal savior. I do realize myself I have similar experience, when I first became Christian JUST BECAUSE I did not want to go to hell, I did not change myself. Why should they expect to change their sinful lifestyle if I don't change myself first.
Therefore, the step to bring those Non-Christians and Skeptics to Christ is to let them see OUR CHANGE, not them. Therefore change starts with ME, NOT THEM.
Hence, what I have been noticing, but being HONEST from bottom of my heart is... I notice: Modernist people's theme is: CHANGE THEM NOW and no change in my own life. Post Modernist people's theme based on this book is: CHANGE ME FIRST then make friends with non-Christians and Skeptics and spend time with them like loving neighbors as yourself.
Sigh, For that reason, I wish I had that experience when I was college student back in 1985 but I can't call Michael J Fox for consultant on how to build up a time machine just to change the past for today. Oh well.
And we wonder why Christians have a reputation for being judgmental, close-minded and angry. Why would anyone else want to be a Christian when we make it look so uncomfortable?
If this sounds familiar to you, you are going to love "I Once Was Lost". Get ready to be amazed at how easy sharing Jesus can be. It's a freeing, wonderful book full of insights and practical applications. Not a how-to book on evangelism. More like a how-come what we have been doing hasn't been working. And biblical, helpful ways to see the whole process of coming to Jesus differently than you ever have before.
Emphasizing relationship over religion and loving over lecturing; this book will give you the confidence to share what you love about Jesus and let Him handle the rest. A very special book that every Christian ought to read.
20 years ago those who promoted "relational evangelism" were often poo pooed by more aggressive types - Tuesday PM "door knockers" and those handy with reciting 4 Spiritual "Laws." . Today's culture seems to have reversed the scales, requiring more time to develop relationships, not just "projects," and the need to be unscripted and light on your feet in spiritual conversations. What an exciting time!