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Book Review

 

   The Celtic Way of Evangelism

How Christianity Can Reach the West...Again

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George G. Hunter III is Dean of the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism, and Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.  A sought-after preacher and lecturer, he is the author of the best-selling Church for the Unchurched, and How to Reach Secular People, both published by Abingdon Press. __________________

"George Hunter III imaginatively applies what he takes to be the major themes of Celtic Christianity practiced in the British Isles between the fifth and tenth centuries to the situation facing churches in the secularized western world today."

-Ian Bradley (University of St. Andrews)

"This is a timely book which offers a way forward for what the author calls "split-level" churches that have blighted twentieth-century western Christianity.  The book succeeds in making the connection between the mission requirements of our emerging postmodern culture and the successful model used by early Celtic church planners."

-Reverend Ray Simpson (Community of Aidan and Hilda, Northumbria)

"Dr. Hunter has written a rare manuscript in that it is both informative and interesting reading.  Those of us who take the Great Commission seriously will learn from this scholarly effort why the old methods of evangelizing no longer work.

-William H. Hinson (First United Methodist Church; Houston, Texas) 

Copyright 2000 by Abingdon Press.  All rights reserved.

Abingdon Press, Nashville  _________________

Have you received Christ as your Lord and Saviour?

Find out how to do so on our page:

Plan of Salvation _______________

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Tell others about Jesus like the early Celtic Monks did:

Though not all Christians are called to the ministry of an Evangelist, we are all called by God to share our faith (witness) with those who are not Christians.  Some Bible verses that you will find helpful for doing this, and that you may want to commit to memory are found on other pages on our  web site (see: Memory Verses; 2nd Set: Salvation!, Plan of Salvation, and Statement of Faith). _________________

Author: George G. Hunter III

"In the face of this changing western culture, many western Church leaders are in denial; they plan and do church as though next year will be 1957.  ...Most western church leaders would never guess that ancient Celtic Christianity could show the way today..."

-George G. Hunter III (Dean of the School of World Mission and Evangelism; Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth---Asbury Theological Seminary)

Modern Populations: Secular "Post-Modern" Neo-Barbarians

The Church, in the western world, faces populations who are increasingly "secular"--people with no Christian memory, who don't know what we Christians are talking about.  These populations are increasingly "urban"--and out of touch with God's "natural revelation."  These populations are increasingly "post-modern"; they have graduated from Enlightenment ideology and are more peer-driven, feeling driven, and "right-brained" than their forebears.  

These populations are increasingly "neo-barbarian"; they lack "refinement" or "class" and their lives are often out of control.  These populations are increasingly receptive--exploring worldview options from Astrology to Zen--and are often looking "in all the wrong places" to make sense of their lives and find their soul's true home.

Many Western Church Leaders are in Denial; they Plan and Do Church as Though Next Year Will be 1957

In the face of this changing western culture, many Western Church leaders are in denial; they plan and do church as though next year will be 1957.  Furthermore, most of the Western Church leaders who are not in denial do not know how to engage the epidemic numbers of secular, post-modern, neo-barbarians outside (and inside) their churches.  Moreover, most of the few who do know what to do are intuitive geniuses who cannot teach others what they know (or charismatic leaders who cannot yet be cloned).  

The mainline Western Churches, Roman Catholic and Protestant, lack both the precedent and the "paradigm" for engaging the West's emerging mission fields.  There is, however, a model upon which Western Christians can draw as they face this daunting new situation.  The ancient movement known as Celtic Christianity can show us some ways forward in the twenty-first century.

Ancient Celtic Christianity Could Show the Way...Christianity Can Become Contagious Once More Across Europe and North America in the Twenty-First Century

  Most western church leaders would never guess that ancient Celtic Christianity could show the way today for two reasons.  First, they assume that no expression of ancient Christianity could be relevant to the challenges we now face.  Second, they assume that the only useful stream of insight is, by definition, confined to Roman Catholicism and its Reformation offshoots.  ...This book is presented with the naive confidence that, if Western Church leaders are willing to love the Lord of the Harvest with their minds as well as their hearts, and are willing to learn from a once-great movement outside of the Roman paradigm, then Christianity can become contagious once more across Europe and North America in the twenty-first century. 

(-from the Preface). ______________________________

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Image: Front cover of the Book: "The Celtic Way of Evangelism."     Book design & photography by J. S. Lofbomm.

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"Shows how the Celtic way of evangelism might help Christianity convert the west again!"

-Gerald H. Anderson (Director, Overseas Ministries Study Center)

"Do you agree that Christianity is more effective as a movement than as an institution in evangelizing non-believers?  This book explains why that has always been true.  Are you engaged in designing a church growth strategy?  Rather than reinvent the wheel, learn from others.  Study this account of an exceptionally coherent and effective strategy that "won the west."

-Lyle E. Schaller (Author of Discontinuity and Hope: Radical Change and the Path to the Future)

"The author writes not as a historian, but as a missiologist and professor of evangelism.  In this volume he mines a deep and long-neglected treasury of material which is of surprising relevance for taking the gospel to post-Christian and pre-literate peoples.  His selective treatment avoids the rose-tinted glasses of romanticism, while providing the clear focus of someone who is as much in tune with the contemporary challenge as with his ancient sources."

-Eddie Gibbs (Fuller Theological Seminary)

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Our Comments:

The Celtic Way of Evangelism is an excellent book that illustrates the strength of Celtic Christianity / Monasticism.  Following the example of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, it combines a love for prayer with a love for evangelism.  This book gets into the "how-to" reaching non-Christians with the Gospel, and also shows the different approaches (than those of traditional and usual Church methods) that allowed the Celtic Monks to evangelize Europe.  It shows how we can use this Celtic approach to reach our own generation throughout the world today.  We highly recommend this book.

-The Prayer Foundation Monks ______________________________ 

See Also:

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Copyright 2002 S.G.P. All rights reserved. 

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