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The Invitation
A Theology of Evangelism
PAPERBACK; Coming Soon: 10/12/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7622-5
Price: $ 24.99
288 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Moving beyond conversionism 

Many Christians today are uncomfortable with older, simpler notions about evangelism as conversionism but see as insufficient the more progressive model of evangelism as hospitality. Transcending that dichotomy, Richard Osmer advances a theology of evangelism as a multifaceted act of invitation into Christ-following community. 

Osmer begins by exploring references to evangelism in the New Testament—both in the Gospels and in the letters of Paul. He then enters into dialogue with Karl Barth to work through ideas of church witness and the relationship of evangelism to salvation. Finally, with lucid explanations and illustrative case studies, he offers guidance for pastors, laity, and students to use as they reimagine how evangelism might best happen in their churches and missional organizations. Osmer’s approach mirrors the conviction, stated in his introduction, that our concept of evangelism must be formed and constantly reformed by keeping the Bible, church doctrine, and practical theology in conversation.

Foundational to Osmer’s rendering of evangelism as invitation is the essential truth that it is Christ and the Holy Spirit who calls converts and makes disciples—not Christians. Thus, we can invite our neighbors to the wedding feast while remaining reassured that the table is already set.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Evangelism as Invitation
Part One: Evangelism in Dialogue with Scripture
     1. Evangelism and the Apostle Paul
     2. Evangelism and the Gospel according to Mark
     3. Evangelism and the Gospel according to John
Part Two: Evangelism in Dialogue with Karl Barth
     4. Evangelization and the Church as Witness
     5. Evangelization and Salvation
Part Three: From Evangelism to the New Evangelization
     6. Toward a New Evangelization in Protestantism
     7. Teaching Evangelization as Practical Theology
Appendix 1: The Motif of “The Jews” and the Theme of Conflict in John
Appendix 2: Sample Cases