Friday, April 20, 2012

Speaking of Jesus

by Carl Medearis

Y'know, I have a policy about books and movies. Well, it's more like a discovery, really. I've found that it's generally better to watch the movie first and read the book second. (assuming you're doing both) In my experience, books are superior to their cinematic counterpart, so it's better to enjoy the film on its merits and then delve deeper into the tale via the book. That policy/discovery has served me well over the years. But now I think I should adapt a similar policy for books and live speakers. Y'see, a few weeks back I went to a seminar on Understanding Islam and heard, among others, an interesting and entertaining speaker named Carl Medearis. He had a lot to share about his years living and working in the Middle East, relating to Muslim folks and generally talking about Jesus. I was so impressed that I went to the bookstore at the lunch break and bought one of his books that were available. After reading Speaking of Jesus, I'm pretty much satisfied with my purchase, though one of the book's main appeals is that it captures a number of anecdotes he shared at the conference. So now I wonder: Is the book good because it adds depth to what was said in the lecture? Or is the book so much better because I had a chance to hear Mr. Medearis speak and can flash back to his presentation as I read? A great mystery to ponder.

Oh, I should probably talk about the book. It's subtitled "the art of not-evangelism". In other words, it's not supposed to be part of a program or a way to win converts. Instead, if you want to get people excited, or at least interested in Jesus, Mr. Medearis says you should just talk about Jesus. Don't get caught up in talking about doctrine, your church or even Christianity--just keep talking about what Jesus said and did. It's a quick, enjoyable read. But for me it was challenging as well. I can be quite a nitpicker and would love to get off on a good doctrinal argument. (at least as long as I was winning) As I did with Moishe Rosen's book, Demystifying Personal Evangelism, I have to muse over if this is the way we all should be, or merely the way that works best for Carl Medearis... and possibly you as well.

Check it out!
LibraryThing link

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