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Book Review: Bringing the Gospel Home, by Randy Newman

Recommended. A book on household evangelism that will leave you not only equipped, but encouraged.

By God’s grace, Randy Newman has written a book on evangelism for real, everyday people. He recognizes the hurdles that trip up those of us who aren’t gifted at evangelism, while also acknowledging that, as Christians, we still have the incredible, full-of-potential-joy responsibility of sharing the gospel with those around us who don’t believe. What are some of those hurdles? How about the flow of bottomless guilt we struggle with when we remember witnessing opportunities to our families we’ve missed or botched? How about the heart-breaking fruitlessness or strife that has come from some of our attempts to share the gospel with family? How about the individualistic culture that tells us at every turn: “Your faith, your business–keep it to yourself!” In a voice that assuages the fears that accompany the thought of sharing the gospel with family, Newman naturally addresses these fears and more.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is its thematic organization. Newman initially thought of doing it by relationships–witnessing to parents, to children, to cousins, etc–but the problem here, he jokes, would be that readers could simply flip through, find the passage they needed, and then not buy the book. But he then puts joking aside, explaining that the real problem with relationship-based organization would be that issues of bringing the Gospel to our family members are not so cut and dried. God gave Newman great wisdom here, and, thankfully, the book is far from the recipe/technique/how-to book genre that it might have been had it been organized differently. Instead, Newman wrote a book that, as he puts it, “is far more about God and the gospel than it is about you and your family.” Wow–that’s pretty bold introductory material for a book on household evangelism!

So how is the book organized? Newman examines factors involved in all evangelism: grace, truth, love, humility, time, eternity, and hope. And the last chapter encapsulates the purpose of the book: to offer hope to those of us with family members who seem so very far from the gospel. In each chapter, Newman engages in theological reflection (looking at the Scriptures for treatments of each theme), but then he gets very practical by looking at the real, messy stories of real, flesh-and-blood people. Each chapter ends with a handful of steps to take.

This is a book that I’d recommend to every Christian I know, whether they have family members who aren’t believers or not. It will encourage and amaze believers as it reveals the power of God to save sinners like us. It will remind us of why we call it a gospel–because what God came and saved us from is big, good, life-giving news. If you have even one family member who is far from God, you’ll find the book incredibly helpful. Do be encouraged. I pray that God will use Newman’s book to help many of us get over the hurdles that trip us up when it comes to sharing Christ with family members.

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About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at TeachingtheCore.com. He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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