Item description for The Story of Evangelism: A History of the Witness to the Gospel by Robert G. Tuttle...
Overview In this new history of evangelism, Tuttle examines the broad sweep of the church's witness to the gospel from a truly global and inclusive perspective. The familiar figures are all here: Paul, Patrick, Boniface, Columba, Luther, Wesley, Carey, and the like. Yet Tuttle knows that the story of the church's ministry of evangelism has been a worldwide endeavor dependent on women as well as men, and lesser-known figures as well as famous ones. He organizes his material into particular historical periods or moments, each one by way of three perspectives - the cultural forces establishing the need for evangelism; the evangelist in particular; the impact the evangelist had within that particular period.
The gospel is about good news, then bad news, then even more good news. The good news of God s loving creation of the world is followed by the bad news that human beings decided to reject the relationship with God and one another for which God created them. The Good News is that God broke into human history in Jesus Christ and made it possible for the members of flawed and fallen humanity to be reconciled to God and hence to one another.
Telling that story, living the story, working for the transformation of human lives by the story that, says Robert Tuttle, is what evangelism is all about. In this new history of evangelism, Tuttle introduces the reader to the broad sweep of the church s witness to the gospel. The familiar figures are all here Paul, Patrick, Boniface, Columba, Luther, Wesley, Carey, and the like. Yet Tuttle knows that the story of the church s ministry of evangelism has been a world-wide endeavor, drawing on the talents and commitment of women as well as men, lesser-known figures as well as famous ones. And so this is the first history of evangelism to tell the story from a truly global and inclusive perspective.
Tuttle organizes his material into particular historical periods or moments, introducing each one by way of three points of presentation. First, he tells the setting, the various cultural factors (social, political, religious, and the like) relevant to establishing the need for evangelism in that time and place. Next he introduces the speaker, an evangelist uniquely fitted to present the word of the gospel to the time under consideration. Finally he assesses the impact of the speaker and others who ministered in that context. Here he discusses the results of the overall evangelistic effort some well done, some not so well done and points toward the needs and context of the next period."
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Studio: Abingdon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.99" Weight: 1.35 lbs.
Release Date Aug 23, 2006
Publisher Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN 0687352037 ISBN13 9780687352036
Reviews - What do customers think about The Story of Evangelism: A History of the Witness to the Gospel?
A Solid Addition to the Church History Genre Jul 15, 2009
Adam Caldwell. Review of Robert G. Tuttle JR., The Story of Evangelism: A History of the Witness to the Gospel, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2006.)
Robert Tuttle's The Story of Evangelism is a well crafted introduction to the history of the church as seen through the lens of evangelism. Tuttle's chronological approach allows the reader to firmly grasp the concept of evangelism as "the story of a loving God in pursuit of all creation" (Tuttle, ix). His clear and concise method consists of breaking each era into three distinct sections. The first section primes the reader by supplying the historical setting in which the gospel was witnessed. The second section introduces the reader to a specific evangelist by providing a first person narrative of their life and experiences. The last section spells out the overall impact that the speaker and others had on that particular era. Located at the end of each section is a useful bibliography so that the reader can pursue further studies if they so desire.
One might infer, from the title alone, that Tuttle seeks to give "A History of the Witness to the Gospel" through the course of real time and real space. It is more than fair to say that he has accomplished his task. More than an evangelistic "how to", this book recounts the stories of those attempting to relay the message of God's love to the world. Tuttle primarily uses positive, successful examples but he is not afraid to approach some of the more disastrous, dark times of the church. In fact, he often contrasts successful and unsuccessful evangelism by the criteria of forced conversion or non forced conversion. In other words, Tuttle casts the successful light of evangelism on those who did not forcibly cause people to convert. However, he is not limited in his assessments to believe that absolutely no good has come from forcible conversion.
Perhaps the greatest strength to The Story of Evangelism is that it is indeed told, for the most part, in story form. Although there are sections consisting of brute fact, the majority of the work has been written with care towards telling the reader the story of the church. This is no small matter. Indeed, one of Tuttle's motivations is to inspire the reader to follow in the footsteps of evangels that have come before them. This is often done best by telling stories about God and others.
The Story of Evangelism presents a lot of information in a limited amount of space. This is no fault of the author. Undoubtedly, this was a difficult and daunting task and the author has certainly risen to the challenge. However, it may have been helpful to have an included a timeline of events and dates in the back portion of the book. This may have been a help for the more visually minded reader.
To conclude, as Tuttle states, "The intent here is to allow the spirits of those who have gone before us to linger among us and help us make decisions...That makes history important" (Tuttle, xi). For those of us interested in entering the life of ministry and the giving our lives as witnesses to the love of God, it is imperative that we study the history of our forefathers and foremothers of the faith. To become a saint, one must study the saints. This is entire book is relevant to current ministry. To say otherwise would be to say that the study of church history in general is an unworthy and irrelevant task. The day ministers come to that conclusion will be a sad day indeed.