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The Mystic Way of Evangelism

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Elaine A. Heath: A Contemplative Vision for Christian Outreach

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The Mystic Way of Evangelism
A Contemplative Vision for Christian Outreach
(Baker Academic, 2017)

WHO: Elaine A. Heath, dean of Duke Divinity School and an author and ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.

SHE SAYS: “There is a striking absence in most contemporary discussions of evangelism of the wisdom of the great spiritual giants—the Christian mystics—to shape and lead our understanding of the theory and practice of evangelism. I find this absence particularly significant in light of a postmodern hunger for mysticism of all kinds.”

BIG IDEA: “Christian mystics are, without exception, the first and best teachers of the theory and practice of evangelism. Their contemplative vision of the love of God and the redemptive purposes of God in the world shatter our programmatic and market-driven assumptions about evangelism.”

THE PROGRESSION:
Part 1, “Purgation,” discusses the process the church must go through to be revitalized and to reclaim its prophetic, healing, evangelistic presence in the world.
Part 2, “Illumination,” examines the key elements of a contemplative vision for evangelism.
Part 3, “Union,” offers ways in which the church can take a contemplative stance, evangelistically living in union with God in daily life.

“Jesus is bound with eternal love to every person I encounter. This is the starting point. When I see people that way, everything changes.”

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