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Famous Lost Words: John Shore

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Most books about evangelism go unread. In the case of John Shore, author of a new book called, “I’m OK — You’re Not: The Message We’re Sending Unbelievers And Why We Should Stop”, that is a good thing. Why is it a good thing that this book about “evangelism” will go unread? Well, read this quote from the author, taken from an interview with him by Christianbook.com:
null “I honestly think the very best way to evangelize is not to evangelize at all. Just live your life. Be true to God. Be someone whom other people just naturally admire and respect. Anyone who is honorable, kind, thoughtful, and honest will draw others to them. And it’s a real challenge to be honorable, kind, thoughtful, and honest. It’s such a challenge that anyone serious about becoming the kind of person God means for them to be has enough on their plate, right there, to stop worrying about what other people are doing. We should tend to our business, and let God handle the business of others. I think we can trust that he’s up to the job.”

And no, I’m not gonna read it…

The author responds to this article here!

0 Comments

  1. Whoa. Sorry about that! I couldn’t (I thought!) get the comment to upload, so I kept hitting the “submit comment” button. To a bad affect, I see. Bummer.

    And yet, maybe it’s God’s way of driving home a point.

    You know. Or not.

  2. John, I don’t know, I criticized your book without reading it simply based on your comments about it… and I’m still waiting for the free book to counter my thoughts! 😎

    Glad you explained the multi-comments, didn’t see you as the kind who would spam a blog.

    All things considered, you’re not going to convince an ardent believer in Christ to NOT evangelize. Evangelizing in love is what we are called to do by our Master. Fulfilling the Great Commission in NO way defies the Greatest Commandment, in fact, trying to lead people out of hell through evangelism is the GREATEST way to show love to someone.

  3. This comment is also from John Shore.

    The reference to his multiple postings has to do with John accidentally hitting the “submit comment” button too many times. He wasn’t spamming me, just an accident…

    John Shore’s Comment:
    C’mon, now: You know better than to criticize
    something you haven’t read. That’s just … wrong.

    : – )

  4. I’m looking forward to my free book, too, John!

    But! I may criticize it more… :>)

    …good publicity, though, huh?

  5. My feelings on this book are from the interview with Christianbooks.com. Honestly, I was just furious when I saw this book on the shelf. I mean, the evangelism section is small enough as it is in a Christian bookstore, and here is a book advocating that it’s wrong to do what we are commanded to do. Nuff said., sorry if I seem mad, but I’m just mad about this kind of stuff.

  6. Well, actually, Dale, what Christ COMMANDED us to do was to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. That’s why he took such pains to call that singular, eminently clear directive of his The Great COMMANDMENT.

    We–human, people–decided to call what’s in Matthew 28 “The Great Commission.” Christ never used the words “The Great Commission.” We called it that.

    People sure do forget that.

  7. It should be called the great commandment, and a great one it is at that. Because Jesus commanded us to “go” make disciples, preach the Gospel to everybody, Jews and Gentiles. Jesus taught his disciples to do what he did, to reflect him. They had hands on training from the master himself. Jesus trained his disciples to be fishers of men, and in turn the disciples taught the earliest Christians to do the same. This exactly fulfills that greatest command to love others. See, John, to love people enough to do exactly as Christ taught is pure love. It is not loving at all to, not go and tell people the good news, but rather just passively radiate it. Jesus taught instead to be pro-active, to “go.” This is a command. I think the reason why Bibles are marked with the header “Great Commission” is because Jesus is authorizing us, granting us the permission to do what he’s done. He laid down the example for us, now it’s our turn. That’s why he said that Christians would do even greater things than he did during his lifetime on earth. John, what you have to realize is, that you cannot separate Jesus’ command to us to “GO” and His command to love. They are inseperable, totally compatible. The Bible never, ever contradicts itself. You are, in essence, saying that God’s Word is not compatible with itself, which means contradiction.

    Out of pure love and obediance to God, we are to seek and save the lost. We are to do this biblically and truthfully, using the Law to the proud and grace to the humble, just as Jesus did. I can’t find a better example.

    Look to Jesus example of how to witness. Look to the apostles. That’s why reaching to the lost and showing them the urgency and the state of their condition is more loving than just waiting for someone to ask you, why you are a Christian.

    Back up your life with love, yes, so that men can see your fruit. But be focused on getting out to the multitudes who are dying and going to hell, out of compassion and pure love just as Jesus taught us to do.

  8. I think all Jesus commands are great, that’s what I was getting at, in the first of that long paragraph 🙂

    But yes, love is the greatest when actually carried out in it’s fullness and entirety. And that includes seeking and saving the lost. See a lot of Pharisees were thinking they were up and up, they had it made. But Jesus clearly cut down their high and mighty attitude with the clear fact that they don’t truly love God at all and nor do they love their neighbors. The Jews were to be a light to the nations. This is taught over and over in the OT and NT. So it is with Christians. We are never to hide the light of the Gospel.

    I feel like singing that song 🙂

    John, please don’t say we aren’t to be evangelizing, you are very wrong about this, and I hate to be blunt, but your book clearly flies against all scriptural commands to share the Gospel.

    I urge you as a brother in Christ to reconsider your thoughts in this.

  9. Hey! I just remembered another command! Wait… here it is: “Go into all the worls and preach the Gospel to all creation.”

    Ah, shucks. That’s in Mark 16.

    Doesn’t count, does it?

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  11. I, too, hate to be blunt, but how is anyone supposed to take seriously someone criticizing a book they haven’t even bothered to read? If you want in the game, at leat QUALIFY for the game.

  12. “‘at least'” qualify for the game,” I meant.

  13. Ah, wait. “D Jackson.” You’re the same guy who on the Amazon page for “I’m OK” left the comment that my theology isn’t grounded in the Bible. But of course, you have no idea what my theology is, because you haven’t read my book.

    Again: How in the world can you expect anyone to take you seriously when you’re too lazy to even bother READING a book you dare to then criticize? It’s so deeply …. well, lame.

  14. Wait. That came out awfully … angry sounding. Sorry. Got in major little hurry there. But I DO think you should read any book you criticize, because if you don’t, then you can’t HELP but look like … well, what you are, is woefully uninformed. It’s like somebody seeing a few postcards or drawings of China, and then giving a lecture on what it’s like to live there.

    Anyway, wasn’t calling you PERSONALLY lame, and apologize for seeming to.

  15. I will indeed read your book thoroughly soon enough, I already skimmed it in the bookstore and I read your interview, and these are my initial reactions based on your words. But already off the bat, i don’t think I’ll be changing my position regarding the nature of your book. I don’t have to read the Koran to know that it’s wrong, or the Book of Mormon to know that it’s compete heresy. I can glean information as needed. I didn’t go to the bookstore to hunt your book down. In fact you book caught my eye because it has a very stark and interesting cover, easy to see, and that’s kudos to your designer. And again, I will read your book soon enough, I had already planned to do that.

    You summed up your book in the interview and that sum up is what really caught me. Even the title of your book is insulting, and very emergent. The issue is not that we (Christians) are okay, and the world is not. The issue is that we were once sinners and damned to hell, and have humbly in repentance and faith and the fear of the Lord, were saved by the divine grace and power of Christ. Not of our own doing but by the pure grace of God. Now we are commissioned, with a command, and authority to make disciples just as Jesus did and to teach and preach the Gospel (in the ultimate definition of love of God and our fellow human beings).

    John, I also heard you on Way of the Master Radio and I would ask the same thing. Does the reality of hell concern you or kick you into high gear to reach out to the lost in a verbal way? Not just a passive (we just need to show Enough to over-ride your fears? (and I say this to myself in retrospect because I’m very fearful when talking with people, I’m a big, yet fearful guy).

    In your Christianbook interview you stated “to “share” the gospel with a nonbeliever–which is to say evangelize to a nonbeliever, which is to say try to turn someone who isn’t a Christian into a Christian.”

    This is not at all the case, you’ve totally missed the point!

    We are not trying to “turn someone who isn’t a Christian into a Christian” and if that is the mindset of your whole approach to evangelism, you’ve gotten off on the wrong foot, totally.

    The whole purpose of seeking and saving the lost is so that we may partake in God’s divine intervention of souls being saved from hell. We don’t know who God has predestined for wrath or salvation, and He does indeed do so. That’s not our business, however our business is to obey Jesus in His command to “GO” and preach the Gospel to those that are perishing.

    In your book you seem to be coming off as if you don’t recognize the fear of the wrath that is to come. And quite honestly this is an extremely dangerous position for you to be in. It’s emergent, and I’ll say again, quite heretical. Even Paul addresses, harshly, against false teaching coming into the church with the Galatians, and he makes an anathama, a double curse upon anyone who does this.

    John, this is a deadly teaching that you are teaching. Already so many so-called Christians are just happy where they are, sitting in pews, praising and worshiping, and praying to God. Yet at the same time millions are dying and going to hell. Does this not concern you?

  16. Part of my paragraph didn’t make any sense, I think I was editing and did a bad job – I said “Not just a passive (we just need to show Enough to over-ride your fears?”

    What I was trying to say is this:

    John, I also heard you on Way of the Master Radio and I would ask the same thing. Does the reality of hell concern you or kick you into high gear to reach out to the lost in a verbal way?

    Not just a in a passive way, like this – “I’ll just love and honor God and let the world see that in my life and if the world asks me what that special light in my life is, THEN I’ll tell them the Gospel, if not then I’ll keep my mouth shut.” John, you are in essence saying this.

    Now if you talk about fears, I’m the very fearful and I totally relate to the Apostle Paul when he says. “I come to you in fear and trembling” 🙂

  17. John, about your theology. I don’t have to only read your book to know your theology. I can listen to you, as in the case in the wayofthemasterradio interview. And I can read your own words in the christianbook.com interview. Your theology comes out plainly in those interviews, and THAT is what bothers me greatly.

    in the Christianbook interview you say:
    “And if you’re telling someone that what you believe about those things is more valid than whatever they believe about those things, then the bottom line is that you’re telling them they’re plain, flat-out wrong. And that’s sure to alienate from you whomever you’re talking to. And if you’re telling someone that what you believe about those things is more valid than whatever they believe about those things, then the bottom line is that you’re telling them they’re plain, flat-out wrong. And that’s sure to alienate from you whomever you’re talking to.”

    Again, it’s not a matter that our stance as Christians is more valid than the worlds. If you’re trying to say that, this is what Christians are saying to unbelievers then I can understand your point, but that’s not the case. Your essentially saying that if we go and tell people that they are wrong (and thus meaning we are right), then that conversation will terminate and you have just broken the greatest commandment “to love”

    Well that’s horrible reasoning, John. Did you forget about Jesus talking with the rich-young ruler? He told him in order to become His disciple that he must obey the commandments. The young guy was offended and left, and Jesus just left it at that. Therefore according to your reasoning, Jesus just broke the greatest commandment “to love.” And Jesus was pretty harsh on the Pharisees too and to anybody who was proud at heart. He gave Law to the proud and grace to the humble.

    But according to your book, what Jesus just did was unloving.

    John, don’t you see the dilemma of your reasoning?

    You say in the interview: “The great news for all of us is that the Great Commission has been fulfilled in this country.”

    John, no it hasn’t! There are people, young and old that have never heard the true Gospel of Christ. Their idea of Gospel is “gospel music” and that’s about it. And the “great commission” doesn’t end with just sharing the Gospel, but it is an ongoing and seemingly eternal job here on earth to preach the Gospel and disciple those who have been saved. This job will never end, not in America, not in any part of the world until Christ comes back, that’s the time it will end. The harvest is plenty but the laborours are few.

    Again you say “That’s an entirely different dynamic than the one I’m talking about in this book, which is that wherein we try to evangelize to people in the former group–to those who already know they don’t want to be Christian. There, we fail–there it’s not possible to present a full, complete and loving presentation of the Gospel. We can try doing that, of course–but as any of us who ever has tried it knows, it’s going to fail. Because the other person isn’t going to hear our beautiful message. ”

    John, the Word of God never returns void. We should not just stop preaching the Gospel because we will insult someone. Jesus left the rich young man with the Law, he didn’t even talk about grace (and I realize that the work on the cross was yet to be fulfilled). Jesus talked to the woman at the well about her sins, essentially outlining the commandments, specifically about adultery. Was she insulted? No, she ran and told everyone back in her town about Jesus.

    John, you are correct in saying that people will be insulted. The cross is foolisness to those that are perishing. But that’s no reason to stop preaching and sharing the Gospel, even to the insulted ones. I found when open airing (and I’ve only done that twice or 3 times), that though some may be offended by what I speak, there are many that are listening to the Gospel.

    I’ve heard story after story after story, and I’m sure Steve Sanchez here can tell you some, where even though people were offended, someone else was listening and even repented and came to Christ.

    In fact, Ray has a beautiful true story where a heckler was mocking the way Ray Comfort was preaching, and one man in the audience, who was not a Christian, gave his life to Christ because even the heckler was preaching the Gospel, albeit for wrong motives.

    John, we can’t be scared or distracted by wondering if people are going to be insulted. That is going to happen nevertheless. Yet we must continually preach the Gospel, no matter what. To tell people to keep their mouths shut and only give the Gospel to those that ask is VERY UNBIBLICAL, and insulting to the work that Christ laid and taught us by example.

  18. John, you know I can totally relate to what you are saying about “people being insulted.” I have to struggle with these feelings all the time. I have a great fear when I approach people to share the Gospel. And some may be insulted, and some not. But nevertheless, I have determined myself not to get into the mindset that “America has been evangelized, and I should only share with those who ask.” Because, by doing so, I have totally violated God’s Law to “love thy neighbor” and “love the Lord your God” by ignoring the plight of sinners dying and going to hell.

    If I may be so bold in saying, Whatever your or my fears are – they have no bearing on our command by Jesus to seek and save the lost.

    We are compelled to preach the Gospel, no matter who is insulted or not.

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  21. I don’t get this at all: an author publishes a book and then produces tons of verbiage to declare that the point of his book is to teach people to NOT evangelize (out of love). Unless all that promo material is misleading, it’s clear that the premise of the book is to NOT evangelize. So, taking issue with that thesis is wrong unless you actually read the detail? I just don’t get it.

    Let’s say that I wrote a book called: “Kill your enemies” and then went on talk shows telling people that the premise of my book is to kill your enemies, wrote about killing my enemies in CBD interviews, wrote on the back of the book that it’s about killing my enemies and then blogged about how the book is about killing my enemies. Would you then be wrong to say, “I’m against that book because the very premise goes against what the New Testament teaches”? Would you be wrong to tell others that the very premise of the book is unbiblical? Would you be wrong to say that you would not buy the book?

    Not hardly.

    Unless John is just trying to be shocking to sell books (and that perhaps in the end he concludes that you SHOULD evangelize, i.e. the promo material is just a ruse) I think it’s safe to say based on the promo materials that this is not a book that is in line with the teachings of the New Testament.

  22. Good stuff and good points!

    As soon as I figure out how to do the blogroll, your blog will be onit!

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