Evangelism in a Skeptical World, by Sam Chan

Reviewed by Tracy Troxel

As we prepare for our conference on “Gospel-Shaped Mercy” at Stone Hill on Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, I want to recommend a book for you to read.

I grew up in Miami, Florida in the 1970’s. Most of our neighbors went to some kind of religious service every week.  When we discussed our different understandings of God, Jesus, and Scripture and how one could get right with God, we argued from facts, logic, and evidence as modern believers:  “This is true.  If it’s true, then you must believe it.  If you believe it, now you must live it.”

But the evangelist Sam Chan argues from a uniquely different perspective. The GenX evangelist, who’s 42 years old, points out in his incisive book Evangelism in a Skeptical World: How to Make the Unbelievable News about Jesus More Believable (Zondervan, March 2018), we must argue for our faith from a radically different logic today.

Today we live in a post-modern context.  Truth claims are suspect.  And so, Chan writes, we must approach differently: “The Christian life is livable.  If it livable, then it is also believable.  If it is believable, then it’s also true.”

This is the heart of Chan’s work.  He is arguing that we must adjust our approach in sharing the Good News of Jesus even as we continue to hold onto the Biblical Gospel.  And he shows quite convincingly that the Bible gives us examples of how to share the message of God in the different contexts that we find ourselves today. 

The Gospel is able to give a multi-faceted description of how to get right with God that can speak to each culture’s greatest need. The Bible is trans-cultural. In Chapter Three, in the West, forgiveness speaks to a right/wrong culture for the West.  In the Middle East, forgiveness speaks to the need for cleansing in those cultures. And in the East, listeners understand forgiveness as restoration from shame.

For anyone desiring to share their faith in our multi-ethnic context, this is a relevant book to read.

Learn more about the book:

Public Library / Barnes and Noble / Amazon / IndieBound /a

Sam Chan’s blog on communicating the Gospel today.

A YouTube interview with Sam Chan.