forgetting jesus

Forgetting Jesus serves as a modern critique and still a biblical model of Christian Evangelism. The author provokes his audience to meditate upon their evangelistic service ministry to the Lord Jesus Christ. With a glance toward our own tendencies to follow “new age” models, the reader is now able to discover inconsistencies, with biblical affirmation, that betray the truth of the Gospel and the use of evangelism to save lost souls.

Furthermore, this book contains in-depth yet brief analysis of the most wide-spread methods of evangelism. This work compels the Christian to inspect their evangelism within the scope of biblical command and instruction. As perspective reveals departure from scripture, modern evangelism is stripped of its fleshly luster and worldly appeal to instead reveal the marvelous power of the Cross through the verbal proclamation of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, the son of God, son of David, Messiah, God incarnate.

This is one of those books that challenges most of what you have been taught, of what the Christian culture teaches, of what is socially acceptable in society. It pretty much takes much of what you thought you knew about evangelism and tosses it out, showing instead a Biblical approach to this topic.

I have heard the mantra time and again of the fact that we MUST go out and evangelize others, teaching them and telling them about Christ Jesus. The question is, how do we do this? Some depend on their testimony alone, some give credence to living a life that is undeniably Christ centered. Some believe in creating relationships, in serving others, in handing out Gospel tracts.

“We aren’t excused from our duties for the simple fact that God, through Christ, fulfills His will, His plans, and purposes in us. We have not the permission to forsake true verbal evangelism just because Jesus saves people anyway.”

This book asks one question: What is the Biblical approach to evangelism?
It makes you question if we have truly forgotten the Savior we serve as we strive to share Him with others.

In Forgetting Jesus, we are brought to think scripturally about many of the methods that have been touted, but we are also brought to an understanding of what evangelism looks like. Never would Christ encourage His word and His life and His doctrine and His Gospel to be diluted into a bunch of namby-pamby sentiments about Christ loving everybody and meeting us where we are. Never would Christ encourage us to water down His word in an effort to not offend others.

In fact, He just might require us to boldly speak out and tell others about Him without watering it down, without turning it into soft-serve, without shame and without fear of what man may think.

I like how Pastor Timothy Gallagher explains it in his book: “It is not my intent to discourage such actions (evangelism) from taking place. In truth…each style tends to incorporate some attributes that we as Christian’s should possess, portray, and live out in our daily walk with Christ. However, I do suggest that none of the previously mentioned forms are able to stand alone as a means of evangelism, save the direct approach.” 

Timothy Gallagher goes through eight of the most common approaches to evangelism today — lifestyle, friendship, tract, testimonial, service, intellectual, and invitational evangelism — and shows the reader scripturally why that particular method alone isn’t enough to bring people to Christ. The only way is to actually tell people about Christ. To share with people that they are sinners in need of a Saviour, and to open our mouths and talk to others…to strangers.

And, if we are being honest with ourselves, all of the other methods are intended to make it easier for us…..less awkward for us…..more socially acceptable. It’s actually a very “me” centered approach to something that isn’t, in the least, about ourselves.

“Is this Jesus we claim to love truly first in our lives, or does our evangelism reveal the lie in our practice? With these actions we are professing that the Gospel isn’t of the utmost importance.”

And, if I’m being even more honest, this was a very convicting book. Spending so much time in various hospitals with my grandparents, I realized I’ve let my fair share of actually telling others about Christ go. I’ve prayed with others, held babies for others, smiled at others, hugged others, walked with others, talked with others, cried with others…..but I’ve never once even opened my mouth to tell them about Christ, sure that if they wanted to know, they would have asked. But what if they think it awkward to ask why I seem to be “different” from them? And doesn’t our very nature, full of sin as it is, condemn us from ever asking about a God who will one day judge the living and the dead? Our very nature runs from Him, so why should we think that someone would ask us about our Saviour?

I highly, highly, highly recommend this book. I have the privilege of sitting under Timothy’s teaching right now, and it has been a blessing. And I can tell you that this guy definitely has a passion for true evangelism, and it shows. You can listen to his messages on sermon audio as he ministers at Sovereign Grace, and you can purchase a copy of his book from Amazon. The book is short, an easy read, and gives a most compelling argument for Biblical evangelism.

My family was given a copy of this book to read…I was not required to review it,
nor was I required to enjoy it. All opinions are my own =) 

 

Timothy Gallagher was born in Memphis, TN in 1987. He lived in Mississippi until 1996 when he then moved to Alabama where he has resided since. He is a small business owner who spends much of his time reading and studying God’s word as well as serving within his local church as a teacher, preacher, and worship leader. He enjoys apologetics and evangelism and is honored to proclaim the world’s greatest message: Jesus Christ and Him Crucifed!

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