B - Background
Dave Sterrett founded Disruptive Truth, a non-profit organization that is training Christians in evangelism and cultural engagement. He is the author/co-author of several books, including Why Trust Jesus, We Choose Life and I Am Second. Dave works as an account executive in oncology biotechnology and is passionate about helping cancer patients.
O - Overview
Sterrett is clear about what one will gain by reading his book:
"In this book, we are going to examine biblical examples, conversational strategies, and tips to help you grow in knowledge. Jesus said the greatest command is to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength'(Mark 12:30). This book will help equip you in wisdom as you are growing to 'always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope you have' (1 Pet. 3:15). I will share effective conversational starters and ways to memorize and explain the gospel"
Sterrett's overall goal is to inspire and equip Christians to share their faith in a winsome and informed manner.
M - Main Arguments
Sterrett begins the book by arguing for the necessity of evangelism and emphasizing how the Holy Spirit can use anyone, regardless of their skill or knowledge level, to share the gospel with the lost.
He then moves to the practical topic of how to start a conversation about spiritual matters. His advice here is amazingly workable and should encourage those who tend to be shy about engaging others in dialogue about matters of faith. Those familiar with Greg Koukl's book Tactics will see his influence here. Ultimately, Sterrett encourages readers to "[r]eject passivity, pay attention to those around you, and courageously initiate a conversation..." [p.43].
This reader found it refreshing that the author then moves to the important discipline of Scripture memory and memory tools to explain the gospel. Sterrett's goal here is to equip believers to clearly communicate "the gospel essentials in a way an unbeliever can easily and quickly understand" [p. 76]. And, not only are two different ways to remember the gospel offered, but readers will also learn three diagnostic questions that the author contends will allow a person to discover their need of the gospel.
Sterrett then proceeds to explain the importance of focusing on the essential truths of the gospel when sharing the good news and the usefulness of knowing apologetics-how to defend one's faith-in the project of evangelism. This reader greatly appreciated Sterrett's suggestion of using the acronym G-O-D when discussing the existence of God with unbelievers. Each letter in the acronym represents a fact about the universe that the author argues is best explained by God's existence:
G - The standard of all GOOD in the universe.
O - The powerful ORIGIN of the universe.
D - The grand DESIGN of the universe. [p. 129]
"When we evangelize, these three arguments may not necessarily convert a skeptic to Christ immediately. However, you can encourage them to go where the evidence leads. Perhaps these three arguments will help someone leave their atheism and believe that there must be something or someone out there" [p. 140].
Sterrett ends the book with helpful advice regarding how to interact with members of other religions and by reminding believers that they are ambassador's for Jesus Christ. He writes:
"Do you ever think of yourself as being an 'ambassador for Jesus Christ?' Everywhere we go-whether it's because of work, or going out and having fun, participating in a sport, or attending a conference-we should think of ourselves as ambassadors of Jesus" [p. 159].
B - Bottomline
Brian Auten and I had the opportunity to interview Dave Sterrett about Jesus Conversations on the Apologetics315 Podcast. And while I can confidently recommend the book, it pleases me to know that I can even more so recommend Sterrett himself. He both talks the talk and walks the walk. Dave Sterrett is a committed follower of Jesus Christ with a heart for the lost and one can't help but be infected by his desire to share the gospel as you read these pages.
Jesus Conversations is the ideal book for the believer who desires to learn to share their faith or the believer who may have lost their zeal for doing so.
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