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Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People 03rd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0830823222
ISBN-10: 0830823220
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Editorial Reviews


"Carl F.H. Henry, lamenting the wedge that is sometimes driven between theology and evangelism, said to the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin in 1966, 'In these next years we must strive harder to become theologian-evangelists, rather than to remain content as just theologians or just evangelists.'

"I am delighted that Will Metzger is a theologian-evangelist. His book, Tell the Truth, has long been a personal favorite of mine and required reading in my evangelism classes. Metzger cuts through much of the theological confusion surrounding evangelism and the gospel message and sets forth biblical and practical wisdom in an easily understood and applied manner.

"I am delighted he has revised and updated this significant work and commend it to you as essential reading for anyone involved in evangelism." (Timothy Beougher, Ph.D., Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism and associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)

"Christianity is for sharing, and Christians who love their neighbor want to do that persuasively. Pizzazz-free and nonmanipulative, Metzger's training manual on helping people to care about truth and face the truth about Jesus is first class of its kind." (J. I. Packer, Board of Governors Professor of Theology, Regent College, and author of Knowing God)

On the 2nd edition: "We recommend it to everyone who asks for practical help in personal evangelism." (Dr. John MacArthur Jr., senior pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California)

"This is one of the best and most useful books on evangelism for ordinary Christians. Will Metzger has drawn upon a lifetime of personal ministry to write a biblically based, theologically sound, practically relevant book on how to share the gospel. Tell the Truth will help you--yes, even you!--learn how to develop an evangelistic way of life. Instead of relying on manipulative, man-centered methods of evangelism, Metzger explains how to introduce people to Jesus Christ in a way that glorifies God." (Philip Graham Ryken, senior minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church)

"This new edition has made a good book even better. You must have it!" (Rev. Ernie Reisinger, Southern Baptist pastor, evangelist and author)

"An outstanding tool for those who long to reach their campus or community with the gospel of grace." (Dr. David G. Sinclair Sr., former campus minister and senior pastor)

"Will Metzger writes Tell the Truth for a reformation of personal evangelism. He laments the evangelism that encourages nice people to be nice to others, in the hope that they will be nice to God. Such nice, uncoverted 'Christians' have lost the gospel. This probing book presents the key to evangelism in the power of grace, the sovereign grace of the gospel. Salvation is the Lord's work, accomplished by his Spirit for his glory. Awe, freedom and delight in the Lord are its fruit." (Dr. Edmund P. Clowney, author, former president, Westminster Theological Seminary (PA))

"A very good book just got better. Twenty years ago Tell the Truth moved us so deeply that we brought Will Metzger to our church for a seminar on glad-hearted, God-centered evangelism. Now updated and with powerful new sections on sovereign grace and whole-souled worship, this book soars with a fresh passion for the supremacy of God in truth-driven evangelism. May God use it to move thousands to make much of Christ among the perishing." (John Piper, author of Desiring God)

About the Author

Metzger has been a campus minister at the University of Delaware since 1965, where he serves with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Christian InterAction (a church and campus connection). His evangelism ministry has taken him to every continent, and he has witnessed to people from varied nationalities both on campus and through a church that he pastored.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; 03 edition (October 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830823220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830823222
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In his introduction, Will Metzger gives the reader his rationale for writing the book. He wrote this book under the conviction that while the Church has a mandate to evangelize, many within the Church were not doing evangelizing at all, and those who were evangelizing were not doing it well. In response to this trend, Metzger intends this book to help Christians "tell the gospel in a way honoring to God, helpful to others and liberating for you."
Metzger's book is comprised of three parts, each focusing on the three elements listed in the subtitle of the book. The first section deals with the content of the `whole gospel.' Here, he begins by emphasizing that bearing witness is more than just giving one's testimony. There is a specific message to which one is bearing witness. This point leads Metzger to go on to explain what he perceives to be the essentials of the biblical gospel. Metzger says that any biblical gospel presentation must be God-centered, and include an explanation of: (1) "God - the Holy and Loving Creator," (2) "Man - the Sinful Creature," (3) "Christ - the Merciful Redeemer," and (4) "Our Necessary Response." He also believes that knowing accurately the content is more important than simply sharing with as many people as possible.
In section two, Metzger focuses on the idea of converting the whole person. The first chapter in this section explains his view of biblical conversion. Here, Metzger wants to convey the distinction between God's work, regeneration, and the individual's response, conversion. He goes to share his desire to see a better, biblical balance between the use of the emotions and the mind in evangelism. Metzger encourages those who present the gospel not to rely on an appeal to the emotions.
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Format: Paperback
Theology matters in evangelism. A man-centered theology will result in man-centered evangelism. But a God-centered theology will bring forth the fruit of a God-centered evangelism to the glory of Christ. Will Metzger in Tell the Truth seeks to set forth a gospel theology which will compel a faithful proclamation of the name of the Lord. He argues for a holistic presentation of the gospel to the entire person by complete people. In other words our witness must present the whole gospel to the whole person by whole people.

The truth of the gospel has become only a watered down version presented in man-centered theology. Yet, Metzger rejects this reduced gospel and argues that it is imperative to recover the full glory of the gospel to present a faithful witness to the world. Humanity must see the depth of their depravity. They must feel the burden of sin heavy upon their backs. Then they must look up to the cross of Christ, falling down on their knees, where their burden will be lifted. He writes, "You will find that as people begin to grasp the significance of God as creator and man as the sinful creature, they begin to sense that Christ has done exactly what is needed for their dilemma" (71). This is the heart of the gospel which must be recovered.

The gospel of God is for the whole person. Biblical conversion radically changes the mind, emotions and will. The regenerative work of the Spirit takes our hard stony hearts and recreates them into soft and malleable vessels for his use. Conversion is not mere intellectual assent, but a grasping of the gospel with heart, mind and soul. Metzger writes, "We must forsake any kind of evangelism that either overtly exalts the mind or unduly neglects it" (98). Yet, in exalting truth we must not forsake our emotions.
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Format: Paperback
In a day when pragmatism rules and numbers count and walking the aisle or raising a hand is believed to indicate a new life in Christ, Will Metzger is refreshingly honest in his handling of the Gospel presentation. Metzger divides his book into three sections following the theme of the sub-title; part 1)The Whole Gospel, 2)To the Whole Person, 3)Offered by Whole People. In part one Metzger does a good job of addressing those hungry only for numbers, "Our task is to present faithfully the gospel message by our lives and our lips. Any definition of our task that includes results is confusing our responsibility with God's prerogative." (25)
In part two Metzger discusses presenting the Gospel to the whole person and spends a chapter on each aspect of the whole person; mind, emotions and will. This section of the book addresses the seeming inconsistency in many believers by presenting the view that perhaps these believers are not believers at all because they have only heard and been taught a watered-down version of the Gospel.
Chapters eight and nine, which comprise section three, address the mode in which persons are confronted with the Truth. Here character and communication are discussed in regards to spreading the Gospel on a person to person level. The appendix has two very helpful sections about complementary approaches in evangelism and worksheets for improving our witness.
This book is most definitely a keeper and on a scale of one to twelve I would give it a ten. Metzger's style is easy to read and flows smoothly. This book can be read in a day and most definitely kept as a resource when information on spreading the Truth--Jesus Christ, is required.
Semper fi & agape, Ed D.
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