Let me begin with some self-disclosure. I don’t like books on evangelism. I find most of them to be profoundly unhelpful. Some of them are simply bad books. Some are little more than a series of anecdotes strung together. Worse, some of them, while heavy on methodology, (astonishingly!) get the Gospel wrong. Still others heap an enormous amount of guilt upon the unsuspecting reader.Read the entire review HERE.
There are some notable exceptions of course. The outstanding Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer opened my eyes to the relationship between the providence of God and the witness of his people. Bruce Metzger’s Tell the Truth drove a stake through the heart of my previously man-centered notions of evangelism. Both of these books ought to be on every Christian’s shelf.
I am pleased to say that there is another volume to add to that short list. Marks of the Messenger by J. Mack Stiles just may become my new “go-to” book for evangelism. It may be that this book is helpful precisely because its author has for years integrated his profession with a strong sense of responsibility to advance the Gospel. Currently, Stiles lives in the United Arab Emirates where he serves as CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions and is general secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE students (FOCUS).
The goal of Marks of the Messenger is to make the reader a better evangelist. I suppose that is the target toward which all books on evangelism aim. But through biblical fidelity and shear simplicity I think Stiles’ book may actually accomplish this for many. Nowhere does one get the idea that Stiles is some sort of superhuman witnessing machine. This is helpful for those of us who are quite sure we do not possess a “gift” for evangelism but nevertheless desire to be better witnesses.