Liberty Theological Seminary Book Critique Sharing Jesus without Fear A Paper Submitted to Dr. Gregory Hammond In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Course Contemporary Evangelism Evan 565 Bibliographical Information Fay, William and Linda Evans Shepherd, “Sharing Jesus Without Fear”, B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee, 1999. Author Information William Fay, author of Sharing Jesus without fear, shares his testimony in the beginning of his book. Fay was once president and CEO of a large company.
This was not all that he dabbled in as he had ties to illegal activities such as racketeering, bookmaking, gambling, and even ran a house of prostitution. (Fay,1) According to Fay, he felt at this time in his life he had everything that life could offer. The expensive watches, money, multiple marriages, but this trend in his life did not continue. Fay, eventually came to Jesus Christ and went to Denver Seminary, and now is an evangelist that travels throughout the U. S. Content Summary Fay states at the very beginning what the purpose of his work.
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He states that it’s objective is to provide liberty and to build the believer so he can present the Gospel and not fail. (Fay, Preface) The book is broken down into 11 chapters each dealing with aspects when presenting the Gospel. Fay starts with establishing the fact that just because you present the Gospel and someone does not respond it does not mean that you failed. Success when it comes to the Gospel is presenting the Gospel and living out the Gospel. Fay points to the fact that it boils down to obedience.
The next couple of chapters, Fay address the issue of not sharing the Gospel and common objections and fears that Christians have when presenting the Gospel. In Chapter 2, the author states that we must repent of the sin of silence. Christians, who never discuss the Gospel, instead talk about unsaved world, but does nothing about it. In this same chapter the author tries to instill in the believer to see the vision that Jesus Christ has for the world and for us to share this same message with the world that can change their life.
Fay advocates there are some Christians that will tell people they will pray for them and perform other nice gestures, but never share the Gospel at all. Fay stress that believers need to escape from this philosophy and see the need to reach people in their need. The next chapter in Fay work addresses common objections or fears that Christians have when it comes to witness. Fay in Chapter 3 present the question is it the Christian responsibility to share the Gospel if so then why are we not doing so. He goes through several reasons why we might not share the Gospel.
Some of the objections are as follows: afraid of rejection, what friends might think, and not knowing enough scripture knowledge to highlight some. Fay advocates that it is time for the Christian to drop the excuses. He also states in this chapter if the Christian wants to see true joy in his life then the Christian needs to start sharing his faith with others. (Fay,28) The rest of his book is dedicated to explaining his philosophy and approach when it comes to sharing the Christian faith. Fay takes the next several chapters in particular 4-6 sharing the format which he uses and encourages believers to follow as well.
He starts off in Chapter 4 how to lead a conversation to discuss spiritual matters. He shares several icebreakers that can be used to lead a conversation to spiritual matters. He also shares in this chapter that 5 simple questions can be asked that will open the conversation towards the topic of Jesus Christ. The difference is that the believer is not to argue or defend right away, but to simply listen. The next chapter deals with the power of the Gospel and as one are engaged in a spiritual conversation to introduce scripture, but have the person read it for themselves and not explain it.
Let scripture speak for itself and let the Holy Spirit do the work of convicting. His last chapter in regards to presenting the Gospel is to bring the discussion to a decision and asking several more questions about making a decision. The questions are as follows: are you a sinner, do you want forgiveness of sins, do you believe Jesus died on the cross for your and rose again, are you willing to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, and are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and into your heart. (Fay, 62-63) At this point in the conversation Fay charges the believer to be quiet and not say anything and let God work.
In the final several chapters of Fay book, he addresses common objections raised by those who chose not to receive Christ and how to address those objections. He list 36 common objections as the ones that are the most prominent. Fay also states that when addressing objections to make sure that one asks the question why. If we are quick to defend we might not get the right answer, but rather asking why usually reveals the reason and we can try to address it. The last two chapters of his book deal with having a mixture of Christian and non-Christian friends and how our lives around our non-Christian friends can make an impact.
As well, he does cover how to pray for the lost and follow a simple plan to follow to pray for them using a seven day model. His last chapter deals with more of an exhortation to go and start sharing our faith with the lost. His last question he poses before closing the chapter is does the believer talk to the lost or about them which was his main question in the beginning of his work. Evaluation In examining, “Sharing Jesus without Fear” one should have some heighten confident in regards to sharing the Gospel.
The author’s original intend for this book is freedom and confidence when presenting the Gospel. The author takes the approach in his work to start when Christian are at, and charges them to break from silence. Author does relieve the Christians of undue pressure that a belief might feel in regards to witness. He states that we are just obeying Jesus Christ my sharing the message that He left for us. It is not about how many we can stuff into a church or put on a badge of honor like we accomplished the work ourselves. The question is will the believer respond to the call of Jesus Christ.
He states that a lot Christians are not following the command of Jesus Christ and a lot of Christians are afraid. The author does not cite any surveys to proof this, but giving the condition of society today, it is probably an accurate statement. He does address the common objections or reasons why Christians do not go out and share the Gospel with several scripture passages that address each reason why believers do not share their faith like they should. He also explains that God promises the believer that he will be with us when the believer shares his faith.
To site another problem that believers have when presenting the Gospel, is how to introduce the topic without being to obtrusive. He gave some examples of icebreakers or ways to lead a conversation to the desire result of sharing the Gospel. What is unique about the author approach to the topic is his simple, but direct approach to the Gospel. The states the five questions he asked acts as guide to get to the heart of the matter which would be sharing the Gospel. He says by asking these questions people are more open then we realize and willing to share their personal beliefs.
The comforting point he makes is that Christians are to share and live out the Gospel. The book takes on more of a practical tone. Basically, the whole of idea is that sharing the Gospel does not have to be so complex and overwhelming as it seems as it is made out to be. The author teaches the believer that sharing the Gospel will bring joy that is sometimes missing from the believer life. The believer can share the message of the cross quietly easily without fear knowing that God is there to support the believer and success of the presentation is not depended on the fact that the person comes to Christ or not.
Success for the believer is that fact that he we went out and obeyed Christ and if it results in a person coming to the knowledge of Jesus Christ then that is a blessing. A couple of items worth highlighting showing some elements that are quite good. The redefining of what success is in terms of witness. The second is the how approach to witness by asking the five questions and just listen and not interrupting which is the hardest thing to do. Another element of his presentation is the use of scripture.
Have the person read it for themselves and discover the meaning of the passage by having the Holy Spirit illuminate their minds to the truth of the Gospel. Finally, the common objections that often that do come up are worth taking the time to read, and see if the responds are really helpful when a believer is in a conversation with an unbeliever. Some negative aspects of the book are as follows. First, there were very few references to other materials to support some of his claims. For example, the most common reason believers do not share their faith. He never indicated that he took a poll.
Secondly, the author makes an assumption that a Christian can not experience joy unless he shares the Gospel. (p. 27) The author makes this statement, but does not support this statement with other believers’ testimonies nor with Scripture. The demographic of the person who should read this book is a believer wanting to share their faith, but does not know how. This resource offers innovate way in expressing what has changed the believers heart. This could also be taught to an entire church on how to start an evangelism program. This philosophy can be implemented right away into an every day conversation.
A person would probably need to read through the work possibly twice to fully understand the concepts being presented and to see how to implement them into their daily lives. It would have to become part of them. This book helps clarify a simple way to share the faith. There are a multiple of programs, methods, and marketing technique that are available to sharing the Gospel these days. However, the approach that was examined in “Sharing Jesus without Fear” alleviates the pressure that some might feel to follow a system. This system is heavily dependent on the scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit to do the convicting.
It really does help me to understand that the Gospel can be shared virtually anywhere without being so in the face of people. This is opening a door to ask someone to share what they believe with the believer and in return showing the true. Instead of saying out from the beginning, you are going to hell. It does take evangelism in a different direction and his emphasis on living out the Gospel. To having a powerful impact in regards to the Gospel one must be living it and this is so important. Having the balance is what will make the difference.