Book review: Tell the Truth by Will Metzger
Monday November 18, 2013 19:49
Metzger, Will. (2012; 4 Ed) Tell the Truth. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 300p
Reviewed by Stephen Smith
Tell the Truth is one of the most comprehensive and biblically faithful books on personal evangelism known to this reviewer. The book places a heavy emphasis on the truth and message of the gospel. The reason for this is that so much that passes for the gospel today is a watered down message that does little good. Therefore, for the eternal good of the souls we reach, we need to know the full gospel to be effective as servants of Christ.
Part 1 of the book discusses the content of the message. The scriptures warn us that we must be aware of a false profession of faith as well as true saving faith. For example, the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23) teaches that it is possible for the gospel seed to land on stony ground and thus not be true saving faith. There is a danger of people thinking they are Christians when they are not! Biblical evangelism involves the whole person – mind, emotions and will. Truth must first come to the mind, which will touch the emotions and set the heart on fire.
Part 2 discusses the biblical concept of grace and why it is crucial for evangelism. Metzger helpfully discusses Ephesians 2:4-5,8-9 which teaches that because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made His people alive and saved them by grace. God’s sovereign will empowers the dead will of sinners and gives them a new heart. This part concludes with a helpful chapter on worship. A personal encounter with the living God will be an encounter to love and adoration – to worship.
Part 3 looks at how to witness. Some helpful advice is given on how to evangelise in a post-modern world. There is such a thing as absolute truth – the truth of God’s revealed word - even if that statement is intolerant. Metzger emphasises that we must proclaim the gospel to post moderns with love. Love overcomes accusations of intolerance. Then, some helpful advice is given on how to build relationships with people and develop common interests with the goal of making disciples.
The book has three appendixes:
- Training materials for learning God-centred evangelism
- A specific gospel presentation tool which can be used to share the gospel
- Study guide for individuals and groups
All in all this is a very helpful tool. It pays to read the appendixes alongside the main material in the book to gain full benefit of the books teaching.