December 14, 2007
A gospel presentation for the 21st century
Recent years have generated much fruitful discussion about what it means for the gospel to be more fully embodied and holistic. Christians are rediscovering the sense that evangelism is not just about giving people an escape ticket to heaven, but mobilizing kingdom followers to be active in God's mission here on earth.
One of today's evangelistic pioneers is James Choung, the divisional director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in San Diego. In his work with college students, James has found that some of the older evangelistic models and diagrams don't connect well with today's generation because the approaches are too individualistic and don't grapple enough with global justice issues. So James developed a way to explain Christianity that takes societal brokenness as a starting point and then invites people in both to personal redemption and salvation as well as cultural transformation and healing.
What's great is that this more holistic approach to witness is bearing fruit, with record levels of conversions and Christian commitment among InterVarsity chapters in the San Diego area and southern California. We're pleased to be able to share James's expertise in his forthcoming book True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In, releasing in spring 2008.
Leonard Sweet says that James's gospel presentation and diagram "promise to be for evangelism in the twenty-first century what the 'Four Spiritual Laws' were for the twentieth century." The book uses a fictional narrative of two students (one a disillusioned believer, one a hostile skeptic) wrestling through whether Christianity is worth believing in. It's a fun read. There's also a companion booklet, Based on a True Story, intended for giveaway use.
The book and booklet will be available in a few months, but you can get a preview of James's approach with this three-minute YouTube video of The Big Story.