Rico Tice and Carl Lafterton. Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough.
UK: The Good Book Company, April 6th, 2015. 112 pp.
Don’t judge this book by its size. It is small but packed with a lot of good content. It is biblical, clear and practical. British author Rico Tice has written a helpful book for the average church member on why a Christian must evangelize and how to practically talk about Jesus to others. As someone who for years has evangelized on a weekly basis I felt I was able to profit from reading this. I’m sure others will too. If I ever taught a course on Evangelism I would definitely make this a required reading. This is also a good book for one-on-one discipleship for the sake of training someone to be a witness. Pastors, disciple-makers and small group leaders should consider using this as a resource.
The book can be divided into two parts with the first four chapters answering the question of why one should be witnessing and chapters five through eight focus on how to share your faith.
As D.A Carson noted in the forward, not many books on evangelism tell you that you will be attacked for your Christian faith when you do witness. The book lives up to its name by being upfront and honest in the beginning: Witnessing is not easy even for the author who goes on to tell the readers how if you evangelize “you will be hit.” Tice reminds us that we will be hit throughout the book. Christians often struggle with the pain-line in which we want to either compromise our message or not share it. Yet Tice doesn’t bring this up to guilt trip the readers to evangelize. Instead he reminds us of “the other halves of the story” in which when we evangelize there will be people who hunger for God even when we don’t see all of God’s work in someone’s heart at the moment. Considering this point that there will be people who hunger for Biblical truths balances the other half that some will hate it. Chapters two present us three Biblical motivation for why Christians must evangelize even though it is difficult and consideration of these motivations tells us that it is worth it. The author realizes that some will still not be moved by those Biblical motivations and in chapter three he goes after the manner of the heart by pointing out how when we are not obedient to God’s call to be a witness we are sinning and motivated by some kind of idol in our life that takes precedence over loving obedience to God. It can be the desire for comfort, fear of man, etc. The chapter also provides some diagnostic question to help spot these idols so that the readers can know them, confess them to God and repent of it. I was really blessed and pleasantly surprised with this third chapter and found it very practical. It is practical enough that I want to be more conscious of when I don’t witness and to be on the alert for some idols in my heart that I need to resist. This chapter is excellent as it goes to the heart of the manner and focuses on the root sin that has a stronghold on those who don’t evangelize. Unless one sees the problem first, one would never go about with biblical solutions to the problem of the sin of omission when one does not witness. I don’t want to give too much of the book away but chapter four consider other biblical truths that we ought to be reminded in order to continue motivate us to maintain our witness to the world.
The second half of the book is real practical concerning how to witness. The author looks first at what one ought to say and has a helpful three word paradigm for readers to remember: Identify. Mission. Call. We want to communicate Jesus’ identity, His Mission and His call upon our lives. But this is not mere data dump and to properly engage with people the author noted we need three more word paradigm: Understanding. Agreement. Impact. That is: “Do they get it? Do they agree with it? What are they doing about it?” (62). I think it will be helpful that even after finishing the book one can go over chapter four from time to time to help us really apply this. The book also acknowledges that there are different personalities God has made and there is no need to artificially become a mode or a specific example of an evangelist that one is not. The book even surveys the various kinds of personalities in Scripture that was witnessing to establish the point of one can be oneself when witnessing. Again I don’t want to give away the whole book but one would benefit from his list of helpful questions, tips and book recommendations.
Again this is a very good book on witnessing by Rico Tice. I say buy it, it is worth the price.
NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher The Good Book Company through Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest opinion. The thoughts and words are my own and I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.