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The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A…

The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A Contemplative Vision for Christian… (edition 2017)

by Elaine A. Heath (Author)

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742250,446 (2.63)None
Although each generation searches for effective ways to be salt and light, Elaine Heath argues that the church is currently in an especially difficult place--a dark night of the soul. She calls the church to embrace, rather than ignore, its difficulties and find different ways of doing outreach. Heath brings a fresh perspective to the theory and practice of evangelism by approaching it through contemplative spirituality. By looking to mystics, saints, and martyrs of church history--such as Ignatius of Loyola, Julian of Norwich, St. Francis, John Wesley, Mother Theresa, and Henri Nouwen--she suggests we can discover ways of thinking about God that result in a life of outreach.… (more)
Title:The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A Contemplative Vision for Christian Outreach
Authors:Elaine A. Heath (Author)
Info:Baker Academic (2017), Edition: 2, 226 pages
Tags:Religious: Evangelism

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Mystic Way of Evangelism, The: A Contemplative Vision for Christian Outreach by Elaine A. Heath



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An exploration of what might be seen as a more holistic pattern of evangelism rooted in Christian discipleship as explored by Christian mystics of the past.

The author believes American Christendom is experiencing a period of the "dark night of the soul," and its current methods of attempting growth are not sustainable. She appeals to the examples within the mystic tradition as guides to exploring the nature of the faith, embodying the faith, critiquing social constructions regarding the faith and on their own, and embodying care and concern for others and the environment. Throughout half the work a story is woven about a prospective Christian and his growth in commitment as it relates to these subjects.

There is much worth considering here; the work is hindered by its insistence on the shibboleths of progressive liberal Protestantism. Most of the Christians with whom the author interacts would have understood gender roles in Christ quite differently from her, for instance, but they still have appeal. The specific realms of focus are also quite in line with liberal Protestantism.

Yet much of the critique is valuable: evangelism in churches does seem to get associated with a sales/marketing strategy and far too often is disconnected from meaningful embodiment of the faith in discipleship. The way of the mystics is worth exploring as a critique of what has become of Christendom in late modernity.

**--galley received as part of early review program ( )
  deusvitae | Apr 6, 2018 |
What an excellent book. Drawing on the tradition of the mystics, Elaine Heath draws a picture of what the Western Christian church might look like in the future. Her path is one way that leads us not only out of the decline of the church in the West, it leads to spiritual growth of the entirety of Christianity. While Heath's model may not work for every church in every community, it is definitively something the church needs to consider if it is going to leave the night and embrace the dawn. ( )
  cbradley | Apr 17, 2012 |
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