The Scandal of Evangelism: A New Testament Study of the Ethics of Evangelism

This book will be published under the Cascade label of Wipf and Stock, and should be coming out in the fall of 2017, or early 2018.

In today’s multi-cultural and multi-religious world, evangelism is often viewed as scandalous, not only by those who are opposed to anything religious, but also by many Christians. In this book, I provide a response to those who find most or even all Christian evangelism objectionable. I do this through a careful analysis of what the bible says about the ethics of evangelism. From this inductive study, mainly of the New Testament, I propose 30 guidelines for ethical evangelism. Part II examines some specific contexts that pose unique challenges for doing evangelism ethically — evangelism of children, evangelism within a professional context like the secular academy, evangelism within the context of relief and development work, and finally the problem of proselytism, understood in the special and narrow sense of sheep-stealing.

This book is a sequel to my earlier work, The Ethics of Evangelism (Paternoster and IVP, 2011), written for a broader readership. In this earlier book, I suggested that each religion engaging in evangelism needs to develop a code of ethics for evangelism from within its own religious framework. Hence, The Scandal of Evangelism, written from an explicitly Christian perspective. I am hoping that it will become an indispensable guide for an ethical approach to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction:
Chapter 2: An Approach to Biblical Ethics and the Ethics of Evangelism

Part I: Ethics of Evangelism in the New Testament:
Chapter 3: The Gospels and the Ethics of Evangelism
Chapter 4: The Apostolic Church and the Ethics of Evangelism
Chapter 5: Paul’s Epistles and the Ethics of Evangelism
Chapter 6: General Epistles/Revelation and the Ethics of Evangelism
Chapter 7: Summary of Biblical analysis of Guidelines for Ethical Evangelism
A. Foundational Guidelines; B. Guidelines Relating to the Interface between the Human
And the Divine; C. Guidelines Relating to Freedom and Coercion; D. Guidelines Regarding
the Content of Evangelism; E. Guidelines Regarding the Delivery of Content and
Persuasion; F. Relational Guidelines: G. Guidelines for Responding to Resistance and
Rejection; H. Motivational Guidelines; I. Means and Ends

Part II: Applied Topics
Chapter 8: Evangelism of Children
Chapter 9. Evangelism in Professional Life, e.g. the Academy
Chapter 10: Evangelism within the Context of Humanitarian Aid
Chapter 11: Ethics of Proselytism (understood as sheep-stealing)

Chapter 12: Conclusion