4.0 out of 5 stars Encountering evangelism, April 23, 2012
This review is from: EVANGELISM AS ENCOUNTER: The Gospel of John (Kindle Edition)
In the light of John 20:31, it is entirely reasonable to make the two assumptions that are made in this short monograph. The first assumption is that the major motivation for John to write his gospel is evangelistic. I find this far more palatable and understandable than seeing a gospel as biography, history or something else. The second assumption is that John’s gospel is constructed around a series of encounters. I enjoyed this as an introduction, but it needs the expansion into fine detail to be compelling.
Evangelism in Acts
Review: Andrew Gaskin
Evangelism in Acts is a punchy exposition by Dr. Baker which draws from the book of Acts a principle that have been sorely missed by many parts of the body of Christ for some years. Dr. Baker draws out the importance of evangelism as a proactive response, and a mobile and outward looking endeavour that is thoughtful and intentional, and which moves us outwards and lifts us upward.
Dr Baker emphasises the need for the evangelist not to be a solitary soldier of fortune in the big bad no-man’s land of the world, heroically fighting evil, bible in hand, surviving only on a wing and a prayer; but rather, to be an integral stroke in the beautiful picture painted by Luke, of a church working as one to build a united community, outreaching as one to the lost and broken, and moving forward as one to expand God’s kingdom. In this excellent and enlightening piece, Dr. Baker highlights the importance of togetherness, developing a mindset of a culture outside of culture, and building bridges into our communities. He highlights the connection of relationship with doctrine and also the importance of community and fellowship. He focuses on a number of Paul’s exploits and how, at all times, the apostle was working in fellowship with others, to the point where even as he wrote his letters, he did not do so in isolation.
Dr Baker also contrasts the picture of evangelism in Acts with evangelism in recent times by identifying certain situations through history where God’s Kingdom has been successfully and significantly increased and their similarities with Luke’s evangelistic picture. Further Dr. Baker highlights some issues that can affect our ability to witness, issues which are the concern of many churches today including, including among others: praying with unity of mind, administrative distractions, and continuity. Dr. Baker ends by emphasising how, not dissimilar to the principles of modern equal opportunities policies, evangelism needs a level playing field: the gospel is for everyone Jew, Greek; men, women; slave, free; and whoever else is willing to listen; it should therefore take into account the needs these people within their context.
All in all Dr. Baker has done an excellent job of taking the ancient account of the post-resurrection acts of the apostles to reveal principles of community, solidarity, and unity in spreading the Christian message that will not only appeal to the sensibilities of a modern audience but, if applied with integrity and perseverance by the body of Christ today, would serve well to fill what can sometimes seem like an increasingly expanding void in the life of the modern church.
FIRST THOUGHT: Forty Days of Bible Reading[Kindle Edition]
Dr Ken Baker (Author)
Publication Date: April 13, 2012
“Be my first thought in the morning…”It’s been my practice for many years to follow this simple prayer, to put Jesus in first place first of all, every single day. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus instructs us to “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God.”The Bible provides a wonderful framework for this activity, of course, but sometimes the point of stimulus comes from elsewhere. A wonderful sunrise, a piece of music, a good book. Everything is spiritual, isn’t it?And of course to every stimulus comes a reaction… a response. These pages contain some of my responses over these last few months with the missional communities that Val and I direct in the rural midlands of Ireland.I hope this little book of thoughts will encourage you to find your own stimuli and responses. I’ve found that God loves to speak. It’s only a matter of our availability to listen, isn’t it?
NAPPY DAYS by Ken Baker
Publication Date: April 22, 2012
A book of poems about having a bunch of very small children