Honest Evangelism by Rico Tice with Carl Laferton
Have you ever been scared to talk about Jesus? Have you ever had serious doubts about speaking of your faith for fear of rejection? Rico Tice is the first to raise his hand in affirmation to these questions. In his new book, Honest Evangelism, Pastor Rico Tice takes these questions head on and gives us hope in the end. Rather than skirting around the issue of rejection, Rico says outright that we will be rejected, reviled, and ridiculed for speaking of Jesus and this is all part of the plan. But, Rico does not leave us there in our rejection, but gives us a hopeful way forward about sharing Jesus with our co-workers, neighbors, and friends.
Rico says in the beginning, “…if you tell non-Christians about Jesus, it will be painful. That’s what the books (other than the Bible) don’t tend to tell you (18).” We live in a world hostile to Christianity and Christ, even more so in Britain than in the U.S. Yet, hostility is not the only thing we face as we share Jesus with the watching world. We also face a world with an increasing hunger for meaning, for life that is full of substance, something that materialism and secularism cannot provide (20). More and more people are hungry for the good news and this is good news for us as we share the gospel. Yet, we often feel weakness and fear in sharing the good news. Rico reminds us that the Apostle Paul felt the exact same way as he writes, “I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words,” (I Cor. 2.3-4) (21).” It was painful for Paul to talk about Jesus because he was wracked with fear and yet he gave food to his listeners.
The chapter on three things that changed Rico’s view of evangelism is worth buying the book. Rico looks at God’s sovereignty, God’s grace, and God’s power in relationship to evangelism. God put your neighbor, your co-worker there, right in your midst. Not only this, but God knows and has planned out their days and he has yours. God put them there so that they can hear the gospel (49). Further, we have the love of our Creator here on Earth. God the Father calls us his children because of Christ and no one can take this away from us. No rejection in evangelism can thwart our identity as God’s children. Lastly, no one can do evangelism in their strength. God literally has to turn the lights on for people to believe, we are the messengers of his grace. These truths free us from rejection, works, and believing that if we have the right technique we will win people to Christ.
This was one of the best books on evangelism I have ever read. You will be called on the table, especially the chapter on idols, but this is not meant to destroy you but to deal with your own sin.
Rather, the whole book is geared towards sharing the life giving message of the gospel with others, so that they might have the same hope and future.
Thanks to the good book company and Cross Focused Reviews for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.