The title drew me to this book written by Ben Witherington, Professor of New Testament, Asbury seminary, and faculty in the doctoral program at st. Andrews university in scotland. Being less than 100 pages, I thought this would be an easy read. I found that while it was easy to read, it required some thinking, checking scripture references, and playing around with some of the end questions. Consequently, I underlined a lot.
If you read the report issued by Willow Creek Church a couple of years ago you know how a lot of people feel about their lack of spiritual growth. In fact, let me ask you a question: over this last year how much have you grown spiritually? This is not a minor question. I have been looking for a long time for a tool to use to help me, and the church overall, to be able to start measuring spiritual growth.
The main thing that underscores our being the image of God is namely our ability and capacity to think. How tragic when we do not. People in general, but Christians in particular, face some extremely serious, complicated, and complex issues. The need to know how to think from a Christian perspective has never been more urgent.
What does an author do when he writes an academic youth ministry book that is critically acclaimed in youth ministry circles and sells beyond all expectations? Simple. He writes another book on the same topic only this time he joins with another expert in the field and moves from the academic into the practical. Dr. Chap Clark, Fuller Theological Seminary professor, made the compelling case in his book Hurt: Inside the Mind of Today’s Teenager that teenagers in today’s culture have been systemically abandoned by the adults and institutions that have traditionally cared for them. The resulting effect of this abandonment is a generation of hurting, disenfranchised young people who, somewhat ironically, are actually craving relationships with the very same adults who have abandoned them.
Jerram Barrs has given us a good sequel to his earlier book, The Heart of Evangelism. This book is more focused in dealing with how Jesus approached the subject we would call evangelism. I agree with David Wells. “This is not a book about evangelism technique but about doing evangelism biblically.” In one sense we can say that Jesus did not have a particular methodology in doing evangelism; yet on the other hand, there are certain aspects that are a common thread in his approach. We perhaps should say that Jesus always had an objective in mind, though it was always applied by situation or context.
Along with The Christian Mind, this book is among the list of several books that I recommend using in making kingdom disciples, or those who know how to think God’s thoughts after Him and apply them to life or how to think with a transformed mind. Blamires deals with the necessity of the concept of the Christian mind while Stott is more hands on with the topic by looking at issues we are facing today.