By Carter, Craig A.
International Bulletin of Missionary Research , Vol. 31, No. 4
Evangelism After Christendom: The Theology and Practice of Christian Witness. By Bryan Stone. Grand Rapids: Baker, Brazos Press, 2007. Pp. x, 335. Paperback $27.99.
This book offers a serious theological treatment of evangelism, questioning liberal and conservative assumptions from a deeply biblical perspective. Bryan Stone, the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at the Boston University School of Theology, has issued a profound challenge to the contemporary church. Drawing heavily on the thought of John Howard Yoder, he asks what evangelism would look like for a church that has "disavowed Constantinianisrn." His thesis is that "the most evangelistic thing the church can do today is to be the church-to be formed imaginatively by the Holy Spirit through core practices such as worship, forgiveness, hospitality, and economic sharing into a distinctive people in the world, a new social option, the body of Christ" (p. 15).
Stone is highly critical of the way evangelicals have conformed to liberal capitalist society in viewing evangelism as a results-oriented form of production, and he criticizes liberals for allowing Christianity to be marginalized as something "private. …