27 February 2012

Article first published as Book Review: Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism by Carl Medearis

It's easy to get lost in the arguments and opinions that surround Christianity. It's easy to find yourself looking through tinted goggles at Christianity. Yet every Christian wants to see God in His true colors and live according to His wisdom.It's not always discernible that there is something in the way of viewing Christianity for what it is.
In his book Speaking of Jesus Carl Medearis deconstructs a cultural and religious construct that stands between Christians and those yet apart. He treats his reader to a sobering and honest revision of how Christians should go about speaking to non-Christians. He proposes a revolutionary approach thousands of years removed from Christianity; he proposes that we shift our paradigm from being Christians to what the original paradigm was — being a follower of Jesus.
Carl proposes that rather than drag a potential believer into church and dunk his head into the Holy Water, that instead simply talk about Jesus. Rather than get into a violent debate about the historical and religious baggage that accompanies Christianity, we should shed that burden and do what the early Church did — talk about Jesus.
Medearis points out that many times the Christian approach to evangelize is to draw a line in the sand and tell "sinners" to cross it and repent and come to Christ. Instead, Meadearis says, why not do what Jesus did and go to people — go meet people where they are at now. Through real-life examples and passages from the Bible, Meadearis cuts right through the misconception of what it is to bring Jesus to people. According to him, Jesus already came, and all we have to do is speak about him.
Speaking of Jesus personally confronted me and opened my heart to realize that I had been seeing myself as a Christian, as a member of an elitist club, when I should have been seeing myself as a follower of Jesus, the most humble and meek man to ever walk the Earth. However, Medearis did not write a book without blemish, which he knows. He does not explain his perspective at all points with enough detail and depth to ground his view soundly as the right view. At some points he nearly steps down from being author of his book to person-to-person conversationalist to the reader. It's as though he is someone you'd meet at a grocery store, which deserves applause in that he writes from highly understandable place, yet it undermines his authority as an author in the middle of challenging a paradigm that permeates the world's largest religion.

Nevertheless, Medearis overwhelms the negative qualities in his writing with witty delivery of a confrontational topic. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a Christian and to anyone who holds a negative perspective of Christianity. It just may change the way you view yourself, God, religion, the people around you, and the world.

Check it out on Amazon.com

Article first published as Book Review: Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism by Carl Medearis on Blogcritics.


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