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Persuasions Audio CD – Audiobook, July 1, 1998
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About the Author
Douglas Wilson is pastor of Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho, and editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine. He is the author of Easy Chairs, Hard Words, Reforming Marriage, and the co-author of Angels in the Architecture.
Top customer reviews
The vignettes, though, are gold - gentle but powerful reasoning between "Evangelist" and various folks who are headed the wrong way on the road. "Evangelist", of course, is Wilson, doing what he does so well - jousting with opponents in the hope that they will lay down their weapons and join him at the Table.
I can best describe Wilson's style of argumentation as "insisting that folks take responsibility for what they are saying, with all the implications." As in real life, it ends with either 1. opponent thoughtfully walking away, considering new thoughts, or 2. continued disagreement, but with everything out in the open, or 3. spluttering indignation and stubborn persistence in the opponents, who are now bereft of their veneer of reason. Whatever the outcome, the vignettes are a great read, and great examples of evangelism by conversation.
The thirteen topics are: immorality, antinomianism (the belief faith is sufficent for salvation, freeing Chrisitans from moral law), feminism, agnosticism, empty scholarship, atheism, election, marriage, hypocrisy in the church, salvation and sanctification, pantheism (New Age, etc.), evolution, Roman Cathoicism.
If for some reason none of these topics interests you, you will still profit by reading the book. 500-page apologetics books filled with footnotes, scholarly analysis, and invaluable data are vital, but putting them to effective use can be tricky. Most criticism of Christianity comes from incorrect reasoning which can be readily fixed by simply comparing it with correct reasoning. Which this book does.
The book's dialogues are practical ... they follow the flow of objections and criticisms anyone who has engaged unbelief will recognize, just as a fisherman learns to recognize the twitches on the line.
They are not fake dialogues designed to make response easy, but the criticisms found in hundreds of books, taught in colleges and many modern seminaries, and every time you flip on the TV, go to a movie, or read the newspaper.
Finally, the book avoids a harsh approach. They really are conversations "on the road" -- the imagery itself providing some "minds-eye relief" compared to, say, a treatise on symbolic logic.
In the end, if their objections flow only from what they believe is well-founded reason, those conversing with the Evangelist would be left with no avenue but graceful surrender. But pride and sin still have to be dealt with and, in the book, this means the people sometime just walk away.
Real-world application of these arguments is more likely to be met with emotionalism and rage, so things won't be so smooth, even if you are gentle.
I remember one time I found myself just talking in circles with one civil, proudly rational person. I was never able to progress despite careful explanations in many different ways. I then started asking him to repeat the sentence I just said to verify he was hearing and understanding me. He wasn't even able to bring himself to repeat the words, but had to alter them ... and refused to acknowledge he was altering them. We just kept going round and round and round. So pride and sin are still the main problems, not reason, but there are many others for who the reasoned arguments of this book will be very helpful.