Pierce, Ben. Jesus in the Secular World: Reaching a Culture in Crisis. Steiger. 2018.
“I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” This statement from Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz describes the sentiment many Christians face about today’s culture. Once upon a time attending church was a cultural trend and traditional morals were the standard. Gone are those days. What Christians hold as most important the secular world today considers irrelevant. This reveals the need and urgency of sharing the gospel message. Yet, methodologies cannot be the defining mark on how to do evangelism. Academic arguments will not be the determining factor in winning someone to Christ. The way for secular people to get to know Jesus is for those saved by Jesus to get to know those who need Him. That means Christians must be about connecting with those of the secular world and communicating the gospel message in a clear and compelling way. Jesus in the Secular World: Reaching a Culture in Crisis by Ben Pierce encourages believers to do just that.
Seeking to Engage and Equip
Originally taught as a specialized course, Jesus in the Secular World is written by a man who knows what needs to be communicated and how to do it. As lead singer and guitarist for No Longer Music, Ben Pierce looks out sees the secular world’s need for a Savior. As a member of the Steiger International Leadership Team, Director of Come & Live!, and Chief Communicator for Provoke & Inspire, he seeks to encourage Christians to communicate this message of salvation to the secular world.
Over the course of eight chapters, Pierce walks Christians through the process of engaging with the secular culture, particularly secular youth, by addressing the what, why, and how of reaching a culture in crisis. He shows why it is important to get to know those of the secular world if they are to get to know Jesus (chapter 1). In reaching these people for Jesus a foundation of prayer must be laid (chapter 2) and a heart for the lost must be the motivator (chapter 3). With the what and why questions answered, Mr. Pierce then sets out to equip Christians how they can communicate the most important news in all the world to those who need it. These tools of the trade include speaking a language that connects (chapter 4), showing them who Jesus truly is (chapter 5), removing needless barriers to the message of the cross (chapter 6), proclaiming the power of the cross (chapter 7), and going with courage (chapter 8). The book concludes with study guide questions for each chapter and resources for getting involved in this important work.
A Timely Teaching Tool
Jesus in the Secular World by Ben Pierce is a timely teaching and well-researched tool for Christians to engage today’s secular culture with the life-changing gospel. The book goes beyond the well-worn approach of evangelistic events and highlights how relationships effectively connect believers with those who need to hear the gospel and hope of Jesus communicated with them. The practicality of the book is on display as the experiences of the author paint a picture of the book’s principles in action.
Yet, the book’s practical goal can sometimes take a more personal approach. While the reader will benefit from reading stories that illustrate the principles of the book, there are times where expanding examples outside of the author’s context may have helped the reader think through what particular actions they could take in reaching a secular culture for Christ. The study guide questions do help readers think more through the book but chapters 6 and 7 of the book are really the model of striking this balance of telling personal stories alongside equipping the Christian how it may look like in their specific life context. With chapters like that, the book has the potential to move from being a teaching resource to a training resource.
This critique aside, this book is a resource to encourage Christians to share Jesus as they engage with the secular culture of today that needs it. It clearly communicates the gospel in a way that compellingly reaches the secular culture. Simply put, Jesus in the Secular World: Reaching a Culture in Crisis by Ben Pierce is an encouraging tool for sharing Christ today.
I received this book from the author and his ministry for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.