The Unbelievable Gospel

| January 12, 2015

Jonathan K. Dodson. The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014. 226 pp. $16.99.

While publishers have released several books in recent years about living on mission sharing the gospel with others, I haven’t seen many self-described as books on evangelism. Speaking of the term itself in his new book The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing, Jonathan Dodson agrees: “Evangelism has become a byword . . . fallen to the wayside in Christian vocabulary” (11).

The book’s stated thesis is to “recover a believable evangelism, one that moves beyond the cultural and personal barriers we have erected in contemporary evangelism to rediscover the power of the biblical gospel” (14). To that end Dodson, pastor of City Life Church in Austin, Texas, lays out his case by explaining why people find the gospel so unbelievable, followed by a detailed cultural analysis of four distinct evangelistic practices common to the North American context. After showing precisely where these practices fall short, Dodson unfolds a way forward that involves (1) gaining a fresh vision of the gospel, (2) handling the gospel in its different forms, and (3) speaking the gospel in cultural key. In each of…

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