In search of a biblical-theological, culturally relevant, simple evangelism approach I came across Tim Chester’s The World We All Want. Here is a description of this course:
We all dream of a better world – a world of security, plenty and friendship. Christians believe that God promises just such a new world. The Bible is the story of God making that promise and keeping it. The World We All Want is for people who are interested in the message of the Bible. Developed by the Crowded House, The World We All Want is an evangelistic Bible overview.
One of the key points that Tim has emphasized is beginning our gospel “presentations” with new creation, not with sin. I the Austin context, this is pretty crucial. Beginning with sin smacks of legalism and self-righteousness, but beginning with what we all long for—and what God promises—a world put to rights, full of joy and justice connects with the longing of every human heart. It mines the seed of religion in the heart of man and graciously leads him to repentance over looking to lesser things for fulfillment of this longing.
I just ordered the accompanying book, so more to come. Tim has also graciously posted the pdfs of the session summaries for Alpha course like presentations.
Check out this review of Timmis and Chester’s The World We All Want (authors of Total Church). The reviewer highlights three mains strengths to this evangelistic approach: 1) gospel presented in the wider context of the Biblical story 2) emphasis on conversion into community, not making “the church” optional 3) Jesus centered. Here is an excerpt of the review:
I particularly liked the manner in which Godís people are described in session seven as ďa waiting community, a proclaiming community, a loving community.Ē Itís been reported recently that many people on the street are cool with Jesus, but have a problem with the church. TWWAW demonstrates that you canít have the bridegroom without his bride, nipping that particular problem in the bud.
A number of readers responded enthusiastically to my posts on the UK published book Total Church. Steve Timmis and co have now released an entire website devoted to Total Church. An entire chapter can be read online, after registration.
Crossway is slated to publish it in the U.S. in 2008. *Link is fixed.