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Monday, November 8, 2010

"Real-life Discipleship" by Jim Putnam

I'm not going to lie--when I first saw this book, I figured I'd gotten myself a pretty cover with some fluff and more of reading what I already knew. Boy was I wrong! This book was very enjoyable and taught me much. Instead of other books that focus on the "stages" that people go through to become Christian (essentially arduous evangelism handbooks), this book focuses on something different. It puts people into groups. There are the spiritually dead and then Christans. Within the Christan group, there are infants, children, young adults, and then parents / adults. The book focuses on how to help each level so they can reach the parent / adult level and disciple others. While other books on evangelism are great, this does not focus on recruiting, because--well--that doesn't always work. Putnam acknowledges the fact that Christians can not control others or sway opinions. As I like to put it, only Jesus can lead others to Jesus. For the nonbelievers, we can lead by example / love and be ready with graceful answers and invitations. If we are asked something we don't know, we should just admit it and promise to get back to the person in a week. For those that already believe but are naive, self-centered, ill-informed, or otherwise lacking, there are ways we can help; this book outlines them. Instead of throwing pamphlets in atheists' faces and shouting turn-or-burn phrases, we should be building up what Christians there are more Christians that really strive to live like Jesus and grow the Church. I could go on and on, but, please, just read this book.

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