Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Special offer evangelistic books by Roger Carswell and Vaughan Roberts from 10ofthose.com

We are increasingly living in a post-Christian society. By that I don't mean Christianity has passed its sell-by date, but that many people in our society no longer have a basic grasp of the Christian message. Churchgoing is a minority interest. When the Christian faith features in television programmes and newspaper articles the aim is often to undermine key elements of biblical teaching. RE lessons in schools or "Beliefs and Values" as they are called today follow a pluralistic agenda that emphasizes the intrinsic value and importance of all faiths. The unique and special claims of the Christian faith are played down. We might lament all this and long to return to a period when Christianity helped to shape the assumptions and beliefs the masses, but this is where we are right now. If we are going to reach the people of our day with the gospel of Christ we can no longer take it for granted that they have a even a nodding acquaintance with the authentic Christian message. It not sufficient simply to urge people to "Come to Jesus!" or ask them, "Are you saved?". Such an approach only makes sense in a context where men and women know full well the message of salvation, but they have failed to do anything about it. We need to go back further and set the claims of Christ and the message of salvation in the context of what the Bible says about who God is and who we are in relation to him.
This is what Roger Carswell attempts to do in Things God Wants us to Know, Christian Focus, 2009 reprint, 64pp. First of all he urges his readers to question their questions and to give the Christian message a fair hearing. He then devotes a chapter to four things that the evangelist believes that God wants people to know, God wants us to know who He is, God wants us to know who we are, God wants us to know what He has done and God wants us to know what we must do. As might be expected from the pen of an experienced Christian communicator, the book is well-written and is sprinkled with attention grabbing illustrations. Carswell is not afraid to take on opponents of the Christian faith like Richard Dawkins. He demonstrates the emptiness of atheism and gives a reasoned defence of the Christian message. Non-believers who give serious attention to this book will be challenged to think carefully about what God wants them to know. And by "God" Carswell does not mean a shadowy Intelligent Designer, but triune God of the Gospel who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a God of amazing love and awesome holiness. Here the gospel of salvation in Jesus is set in the context of God's self-revelation in Scripture. Only in that light can sinners be meaningfully urged to trust in Christ and devote their lives to following him. A winsomely written, yet robust and challenging evangelistic title.

If Carswell gives attention to the theological context of the gospel, Vaughn Roberts has a slightly different tack in his Missing the Point? Finding Our Place in the Turning Points of History, Authentic, 41pp. The Christian message does not come to us in the form of a set of abstract truths about God, ourselves, and salvation in Christ. The gospel is the culmination of the unfolding story of biblical revelation. Unless people have an understanding of the Bible's basic plot-line, the claims of Jesus will make little sense. Robert's approach is all the more necessary given the widespread ignorance of the Bible in our society. This user-friendly title takes the reader through some of the big 'turning points' in Bible history; creation, the fall, God's promise to Abraham, the Exodus, the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. With all this in mind, Roberts not only invites his readers to believe in Jesus and be saved, he also makes it clear that being a Christian involves serving the Lord in the context of church life. The booklet comes in an attractive format and manages to sketch out the Bible's main plot-line without leaving the reader overburdened with detail. An ideal evangelistic tool for helping the non-Christian get to grips with the greatest story ever told.

If you like the sound of these two titles, the good people at 10ofthose.com have a special offer for Exiled Preacher readers. You can get them for £2.50 per booklet or 10 for £25 or 100 for £125 (all prices include postage within the UK). Quote 'Exiled' when e-mailing sales@10ofthose.com.

2 comments:

Jonathan Hunt said...

Still rather expensive for any mass usage.

Exiled Preacher said...

Handy for selective giveaway. The Carswell title is hardback too.