Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 31:1 (Mar 1988)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Tell It Often—Tell It Well: Making the Most of Witnessing Opportunities. By Mark McCloskey. San Bernardino: Here’s Life, 1985, 284 pp., n.p. paper.

The “It” to which the title refers is the gospel. Because all too frequently the gospel is told seldom and badly, McCloskey has penned this volume.

The author seeks to address the motivational and structural barriers that hinder involvement in evangelism on both an individual and congregational level. The first level receives far more attention than the second. This is not unexpected and does not detract from the value of the book, given the perspective and experience of the author. He presents the Biblical and philosophical rationale for the approach to evangelism developed by Campus Crusade. As founder and president Bill Bright affirms in the foreword: “This book articulates our mission, our message, and our methods in attempting to proclaim the good news of our Savior and Lord to all men throughout the world” (p. 9).

The first six chapters cover basic ground: the definition of the gospel, the nature of evangelism, the qualifications of the personal evangelist. McCloskey writes crisply and effectively. His illustrations are vivid, quotations apt, definitions clear, and diagrams helpful.

The next four chapters constitute a unique contribution. McCloskey devotes two chapters to secularism, followed by a single chapter each on the misdirected religious person and on the nominal Christian. His succinct analysis merits wide reading.

Following two fine chapters concerning motivational factors in evangelism, McCloskey turns his guns on what he considers to be two philosophies of evangelism. Although only one chapter bears that specific title, much of the rest of the book emphasizes the theme that relational evangelism is detrimental to the practice of sharing the gospel often and well because it is too restrictive. He argues for a more comprehensive approach that allows room for method, strategy and initiative. McCloskey makes his point convincingly—not one, but too many times. The overkill slows the flow of the book and detracts rather than adds to the strength of his argument.

Three excellent chapters on the communication process precede the final chapter, in which McCloskey proposes a strategy to mobilize for evangelism every member involved in the corporate life of the Church.

This is a good book. Inconsistencies are few, the level of scholarship is high, the theme is pertinent. It would be better if the chapters were rearranged more coherently into five separate sections: basic concepts; communication model; philosophy of evangelism; barriers to belief (secularism, misdirected religious persons, no...

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