Category Archives: Book Reviews

Planting Missional Churches

Thesis

The thesis of this book is to teach church planters to plant a biblical church in a local culture. This is essentially what he means when he uses the word “missional” throughout the book. In the preface he actually defines missional as “taking the approach of a missionary – being indigenous to the culture, seeking to understand and learn, adapting methods to the mission field – but winding up in the biblical form of a church.”

The rest of the book simply unpacks the above thesis and definition. Stetzer walks the readers through the church planting process and all along the way he explains how to be a “missional” church planter. He explains how to understand the current culture and some of the different church planting models. One of his key points is to understand the difference between an attractional church plant and an incarnational church plant. Therefore, all of his suggestions about how to go about the church planting process have this distinction in view. Missional churches “desire to show the love and care of Jesus Christ in [their] contexts and be Jesus there” (162). Continue reading

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Urban Impact

Thesis & Outline

The thesis of this book is most clearly stated in the introduction of the book. Thompson states, “This book…is a trumpet call to muster our forces and at the same time deals with the philosophy and practical principles that make any ministry in the city successful. This book is a practical how-to book on growing a successful urban ministry” (xix). Several of Thompson’s chapters directly support this thesis.

In the first two chapters he provides the foundation of the book and explains both the biblical and philosophical need for ministering in urban areas. Then in chapters three and four Thompson gets more practical and shares basic biblical principles that he believes are missing in urban ministries today. The next two chapters, five and six, Thompson shares some principles and how-to’s on personal discipleship. He believes that personal discipleship is the most effective tool he has used in urban ministry in the last thirty years. Continue reading

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Search and Rescue

Thesis

The thesis of Neil Cole’s book Search & Rescue: Becoming A Disciple Who Makes A Difference is to present a principles, values, and a methodology of discipleship that will produce disciple makers reproduce healthy disciple makers.

Outline

The first part of the book is based upon the apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy and in this part Cole unpacks the biblical principles and values that form the proper framework for discipleship. Some of his key points include having the proper motivation for discipleship and understanding the importance of multiplication. He uses the word “hero” throughout the book to refer to disciples because he believes it more clearly communicates what God has called us to do when he saved and rescued us. We are now to save and rescue others. However, just like a trained lifeguard we should not just run out into the ocean without preparing ourselves. Continue reading

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The Urban Face of Mission

Thesis & Summary

The thesis of this book is most clearly stated on page two in the introduction of the book, “this volume is intended to communicate some of Harvie’s concerns for world evangelization.”

This book was put together in the honor of the late Harvie Conn who was a man with great concerns about the poor, justice, and ethnic reconciliation in the cities. Each of the contributors wrote a chapter on some topic related to these things that Harvie was most passionate about.

The first part of the book communicated what Harvie taught about the important and strategic role of the cities in accomplishing God’s mission on earth. Continue reading

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Tell The Truth Review

Summary

Will Metzger’s Tell the Truth is a book about the gospel. He is seriously concerned with the evangelistic practices and methods that have been happening in the modern church. All throughout the book Metzger compares the differences between sharing a “God-Centered” gospel message and a “me-centered” gospel message. It is clear by the many examples that Metzger provided of “me-centered” gospel presentations that he wants this book to help clarify both the gospel we share and the methods we use when we share it. Continue reading

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The Master Plan of Evangelism

If the church added 1,000 people each day it would eventually reach the entire world in 11,000 yrs. but if the church multiplied 1 disciple each year it would win the world in 33 yrs. This reality is one of the reasons why Robert Coleman’s book  The Master Plan of Evangelism  is so important. Below is a brief summary and evaluation.

Summary

In this book Robert Coleman argues that Jesus used his limited time to invest deeply in a few men in order to reach the rest of the world. Coleman summarizes the ministry plan of Christ with eight principles.

1) First, the principle of selection focuses on choosing a small group of people to disciple so that the group is more personal and there is greater the opportunity for effective instruction.

2) The second principle is called association. It is centered on daily and constant discipleship for new or immature believers to grow in their faith. Continue reading

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Questioning Evangelism Review

Summary

Randy Newman’s book Questioning Evangelism is about how to use questions in order to lead to gospel conversations. The book is primarily filled with stories and examples of conversations that Newman has had while doing evangelism in his life and ministry.

It is divided into three major parts.

Part one, “Why Ask Questions?,” provides the rational for the rest of the book. Newman makes his case for why we should use this approach in our conversations with lost people. He explains that this is what Jesus and Paul often did and he explained the wisdom in taking this approach.

Part two, “What Questions Are People Asking?,” is the biggest section of the three. Here Newman takes common questions that he faces from non-Christians and helps readers think about how they should approach those topics. The topics he includes are: the exclusivity of Christ, the problem of evil and suffering, the authority and authenticity of the Scriptures, homosexuality, marriage, and hypocrisy. With each of these issues he gives sample conversations and draws lessons from them to teach us how to approach these difficult questions. Continue reading

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