So far I’ve been blessed in reading Richard Phillips works. He may be outshadowed by other Reformed authors but I really appreciate how his writes subjects with depth and clarity. If their is a topic I didnt understand from John Piper, I go to R. C. Sproul. And if I still dont understand Sproul I go to Richard D. Phillips.
The premise of this book, “Jesus The Evangelist” is to teach Christians how to share the gospel biblically by looking at the first four chapters of the Gospel of John. Rarely do I see the Gospel of John placed in this light having read books on John’s Gospel (now I’m checking “John” by R. C. Sproul). So this is an evangelism book,which has two target Christian audience,
“committed and biblically motivated Christians who do little in the way of evangelism” (pg. 12) and
“zealous witnesses who would profit from strong biblical reflection on Jesus’ own approach to evangelism” (pg.12). He aims to reinforce zeal with biblical content in sharing the gospel. As I read the book, Phillips laid a primer and a refresher for those two types indulge. Both parties will essentially benefit from this book.
The book is divided into three parts: biblical principles for evangelism, theology of the gospel, and
practice of evangelism. Having those sections in the book makes a clear and well arranged book that you wont get lost. All the sections do hold water but the theology of the gospel and practice of evangelism gets the cake. Since this is about evangelism you can find drizzles of methods and examples of it all over the book. Phillips made little mention of other way to propagate the gospel (like giving gospel tracts). As you go on reading this you’ll realize that one on one evangelism is the priority of the book. “Jesus the Evangelist” didnt made a full discussion of modern evangelism prevalent in our time but mentioned it in passing. Lacking those issues doesn’t make the book weak because the author right away goes on to the main issue at hand.
Phillips presents not only the biblical way of sharing the gospel but encourages us believers by reminds us that even in what we think as a weak effort we, by God’s mercy, win souls for Christ (giving his conversion as an example).
The book ends with a challenge to Christians holding the Calvinist view that evangelism matters for a God who is sovereign. God’s sovereignty and evangelism is not at odds with each other but highlights both for the excellency of God.
“God loved this evil world not after but before the Savior came to turn our hearts back to heaven; God’s love is the reason we can be forgiven and born again to inherit eternal life.”
“The greatest need of Christians is to exercise their faith in Christ—to make their belief not a mere assent but a living practice and habit.”
“A true Christian church is not only evangelical, in that it holds to the biblical gospel, but it is evangelistic—it zealously spreads and shares that gospel. This means that to be a Christian is to be called as an evangelist.”
“The distance between us and God is infinite in every way. But God’s love is infinitely great to span that distance. ”
“Apart from a willingness that comes only from God and the new spiritual life that only God can give, our witness will never lead to faith and salvation. ”
“If its glorifies Jesus that He makes salvation possible for everyone, it glorifies Him even more that He actually saves particular individuals. Christian salvation is universal in its offer but particular in its application.”
“Jesus the Evangelist” by Richard D. Phillips is a book that assist you by giving you a biblical perspective in evangelism.
You can grab a copy of this by checking out the Ligonier or Amazon. Ligionier Ministries provided the review copy of this book for this post