Jesus At The Door: Evangelism Made Easy, by Scott McNamara
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
In many ways, this book reminds this reader at least of an advertisement for a smartphone app that helps make evangelism easy. In fact, the author himself refers, at some parts of the book, to his own experience as a street preacher and to his efforts at using translation services and an app by that name (perhaps it was even created by the author and his associates) to communicate with someone in a foreign language in order to try to bring them to Christ. The fact that the author appears to be of the view that a mere profession of faith in Christianity is sufficient to make one a Christian means that the attention here is focused on getting people to be hyped enough to preach about Jesus Christ and encourage people to express a belief in him, as well as to a lesser extent set up places where new believers can be encouraged in their faith, although the author does not appear to have a particularly deep understanding of God’s ways, even if he is familiar with Gospel stories, which makes him more of a sower rather than a reaper, for all of his protestation that God desires more reaping and that Christians need to be better at this.
This book is a relatively short one at about 150 pages that is divided into 14 short chapters, after a foreword and acknowledgements. The author begins with a discussion that God wants reapers and not only sowers (the author does not explain other roles like waterers and so on) (1). He talks about our responsibility to share the Gospel (2), the importance of our navigation to salvation (3), and the importance of having a relationship with God and others (4). There is a look at pedaling (and not just peddling) the Gospel (5), a look at the lack of inconvenience of good news (6), and comments that the Gospel is a sledgehammer (7). The author urges the reader to stop waiting and to harvest now (8), asks the reader to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit (9), and talks about making friends and not converts (10). This leads to chapters about the raising of relentless reapers (11), the difference between the earthly and the eternal (12), the discussion of how it is that rescued new believers become revived (13), and some tips to close (14).
As far as an overall impression, I find a good deal more to like than to dislike about the book. For all of my differences with the author–and there are a great many to be found here, the author is one to tangle with the ideas that people have about Christians as secret agents in enemy territory laying low and trying not to draw attention to themselves instead of as ambassadors of God’s kingdom making a public stand of the fact that the earth is ultimately under the authority and jurisdiction of a God against whom the inhabitants of the earth have rebelled against. Yet it is not as if these differences can be entirely swept under the rug. In order to be a believer of God, one has to be a follower of His ways, and it is not the profession of faith in Jesus Christ and a desire to be treated mercifully and forgiven by God for one’s sins that is the biggest barrier to genuine belief but the way that humanity shrinks from actually obeying God’s laws and following His ways, which is the mark of someone in whom the Spirit of God dwells. The lack of emphasis on godly conduct as a sign of the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit is all too common but is lamentable, as godly lives are a good evangelism tool that remains largely untried in our contemporary generation.