Sharing the Good News with Mormons: Practical Strategies for Getting the Conversation Started will be published by Harvest House Publishers, a major Christian publisher of Christian material since 1974, this June. Presale signed copies of the book by some of the contributors will be made soon by MRM.
The book is co-edited by MRM associate Eric Johnson and Christian apologist/educator Dr. Sean McDowell and features contributions from 24 additional evangelists, scholars, and pastors on a variety of evangelistic topics.
The idea came to Johnson in 2016 when someone asked him which method of evangelism is best to use with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a question that is often asked by those who want to understand a good strategy in sharing their Christian faith.
“There are many tactics, so it depends on you and your personality,” he answered the inquirer. “Perhaps someone should just write a book that includes a variety of possibilities as a one-stop source.”
That night, Johnson mulled over the idea and decided to ask some ministry friends to contribute to a compilation book. He envisioned a book that would feature short chapters to include the contributor’s philosophy and methods while including illustrative stories. Because this is a book on Christian evangelism–a topic that unfortunately will never be a best-seller at bookstores–Johnson decided that the idea would never appeal to nation-wide Christian publishers. Thus, he decided that the only option would be to self-publish, just as he did in 2016 when he printed Mormonism 101 for Teens. (In addition, Johnson has co-authored three published books on Mormonism (with Bill McKeever), including Answering Mormons’ Questions (Kregel, 2013) and Mormonism 101 (Baker, 2015).)
However, two friends–Andrew Rappaport and J. Warner Wallace–appealed to Johnson to not “settle” for a self-published book. “If you want to sell 500 copies in its lifetime, then self-publish,” Wallace said. “But if you want this book to affect thousands, then get a real publisher.”
After getting a rejection email from one major publisher, Johnson appealed to his friend Dr. Sean McDowell, who were educator colleagues (Johnson was the Bible department head at Christian High School in El Cajon, CA until 2010 and McDowell has led the department for many years at Capistrano Valley Christian School in CA), for help. He contacted Harvest House Publishers and they agreed to take the project if McDowell was willing to become a co-editor. It was an easy decision and the project was underway.
The contributors come from different places, including scholars with doctorates (such as Dr. Lynn Wilder Dr. Corey Miller, co-editors of Leaving Mormonism: Why Four Scholars Changed Their Minds (Kregel, 2017); pastors (including Dr. Bryan Hurlbutt of Lifeline Community and Dr. Loren Pankratz of The Bridge Community); full-people apologists (including author Mark Mittelberg, Matt Slick of Carm.org, Sandra Tanner of Utah Lighthouse Ministry, and Bill McKeever of Mormonism Research Ministry); and laypeople with regular jobs (including Andrew Rappaport, Fred Anson, and Becky Walker).
Each chapter is to-the-point and covers tactics in sharing the Christian faith with Latter-day Saints, all in a gentle and respectful spirit as mandated by 1 Peter 3:16. The target audience is made up of those Christians who would like to explore possible ways to share their faith with LDS friends, neighbors and relatives.
“We might not write about every single tactic that Christians have used to share their faith, but I guarantee we’ll get to the majority of them,” Johnson said. “And even if all a chapter does is stimulate thinking in a believer who might think there are related ways that tactic could be used, then we’ve done our job. I want Christians to think outside the box.”
|Introduction: Should Christians share the Good News with Mormons?||Eric Johnson|
|1. Basic Training Approaches|
|1. Helping Our Friends Evaluate Truth Claims: The Straight-Thinking Approach||Mark Mittelberg|
|2. Sharing the Reasons for God: The Evidence Approach||Dr. Sean McDowell|
|3. Did God really say so? The Reliability-of-the-Bible Approach||Matt Slick|
|4. Who is the Real Jesus? The Christ-Centered Approach||Dr. Rob Bowman|
|Spotlight: Brett Kunkle||Brett Kunkle|
|2. Reasoning Approaches|
|5. Investigating Mormonism: The Case-Making Approach||J. Warner Wallace|
|6. Undermining Confidence in a Mormon’s Personal “Testimony”: The Police-Lineup Approach||Dr. Corey Miller|
|7. Joseph Smith’s First Vision and The Book of Mormon: The Historical Approach||Bill McKeever|
|8. Using Surveys with Mormons: The Polling Approach||Chip Thompson|
|Spotlight: Micah Wilder||Micah Wilder|
|3 Particular People Approaches|
|9. Interacting with Mormon Family Members: The Keeping-Good-Relations Approach||Carl Wimmer|
|10. When the Elders Come Calling: The Missionaries-at-Your-Door Approach||Sandra Tanner|
|11. Reaching out to LDS Women: The Compassion Approach||Becky Walker|
|12. Preaching from an Asbestos Suit: Reasoning-with-Mormons-on-the-Internet Approach||Fred Anson|
|Spotlight: Brody Olson||Brody Olson|
|4. Invitational Approaches|
|13. Engaging in Gospel Discussions: The Keep-It-Simple Approach||Aaron Shafovaloff|
|14. LISTEN: The Conversational Approach||Dr. David Geisler/Brian Henson|
|15. Authentic, Humble Dialogues with Mormons: The Colombo Approach||Dr. Lynn Wilder|
|16. The Power of a Simple Invitation: The Come-and-See Approach||Dr. Bryan Hurlbutt|
|Spotlight: Shane Jones||Shane Jones|
|5. LDS Event Approaches|
|18. Extra! Extra! Read all about It: The Newspaper Approach||Sharon Lindbloom|
|19. The Miracle of Forgiveness: The Free-Book Approach||Eric Johnson|
|20. Website Advertising: The Sign Approach||Rob Sivulka|
|Spotlight: Steve Dealy||Steve Dealy|
|6 Salvation Approaches|
|21. When Being Good is not Good Enough: The Awareness-of-Sin Approach||Joel Groat|
|22. Can Something Valuable Really Be Free? The Meaning-of-Grace Approach||Dr. Loren Pankratz|
|23. Are You Considered as Good as Jesus? The Imputation Approach||John Kauer|
|24. I’m Trying My Best: The Impossible-Gospel Approach||Keith Walker|
|Spotlight: James Walker||James Walker|
|Go For It!||Sean McDowell|
|Appendix 1: The Gospel According to the Bible|
|Appendix 2: 101 Mormons Terms Defined (from Aaronic Priesthood to Zion)|