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Speaking authentically

about the faith we embrace does not come easily. There is a tendency, on the one hand, to hold our inner beliefs so privately that no one in the personal or public realm has access to this core value in our lives. On the other hand, we may broadcast our faith so aggressively that people are turned off by our words. The goal of this book is to help us engage in developing a healthy self-confidence that allows us to use words of faith with grace.

Christians have the mandate from Jesus to proclaim the Good News. Can we learn to do it in genuinely respectful and invitational ways?

Through stories, commentary, and a section at the end of each chapter entitled, To Ponder and for Further Study, readers are invited, without formulas, to join the author in learning how to speak about their faith in ways that resonate in our North American culture.

From the Introduction

  1. How do we know when to speak assertively, when to engage cautiously, when to remain silent and, perhaps, avoid conversation? What is a healthy verbal self-confidence that includes proclamation of the Good News?
  2. How vital is word proclamation today, given the obvious urgency that is portrayed in the Bible after the resurrection of Jesus?
  3. We tend to use many words for the call to be missional. How do witness, evangelism, peace ministry, justice work, mission, service, reconciliation activity, and Christian presence, for example, all fit together to proclaim the Good News of Jesus?
  4. What does Canadian or United States culture look like today, and what proclamation language and posture speak in such a context?
  5. How do we integrate both personal and corporate salvation into our verbal witness?
  6. Given the Canadian/United States culture and the biblical mandate, what can give impetus to healthy missional activity today?

Endorsements

“My heart is warmed by the way Hugo articulates his gentle, humble, courageous, loving, fun, "experimental," experiential, growing, organic, sensitive-to-the-Spirit, authentic way of being with Jesus and with others and being open to speak, integrating all of life into one.  These are the stories of a Witness Worker told in this culture in this context!”

– Tobia Veith is engaged in long-term Witness Ministry in China

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“Through a compelling collage of personal stories (“testimony”) and devotional reflection (“witness”), Neufeld offers a unique invitation to consider how we might again enter into conversations that bring “good news.”

– Norm Dyck, Pastor of Listowel Mennonite Church, Chair of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada Mission Council and Mennonite Church Canada Witness Council


 

Chapters

  1. Words
  2. Words and the Word
  3. We Cannot Keep from Speaking
  4. Shifts in the Culture
  5. The Strange Silence of Words that Enlighten
  6. The Quest for Words
  7. Incomplete/Unhealthy Responses to Christ’s call to be Witnesses
  8. Toward Witness Integrity
  9. The Story Enlightens
  10. The Church into the Marketplace
  11. Celebrations and Disappointments
  12. The Invitation to Speak
  13. An Intentionality that Flows
  14. Witness in our Places of Work
  15. Discovering, not Defining, what God is Doing
  16. Deeper Longings in a Culture of Satisfaction
  17. An Integrated and Comprehensive Gospel
  18. Learning the Language of Christian
  19. Surprises
  20. Conclusion

Hugo, still trying to figure out words that enlighten

 
 

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