Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations

Jimmy Scroggins, pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida and Steve Wright, pastor of discipleship and church planting at the same church, teamed up and wrote a short book on evangelism. The title is what caught my eye. Personally, I have a hard time figuring out how to transition from everyday conversations into witnessing opportunities. When I saw the title, I knew I had to buy the book and read it. I am so thrilled to have found it and read it. It took me just a couple of hours to do so, but it has changed my way of evangelizing forever.

I am not going to give too much away in this book review, because I do believe that one should read this 116 page book themselves; it is worth the money if you want to become a better evangelizer (I use the word evangelizer versus evangelist as evangelists are considered professional or “really good” at evangelizing; evangelizers are what every Christian should be).

In seven quick chapters, Scroggins and Wright take us on a journey of evangelism. Because of my wanting to know about how to transition better, I jumped to chapter three (apparently missing that chapter four was titled “Transition to the Gospel”). Chapter three was about “Everyday People and Conversations”. The premise is that if one is having an actual conversation with someone, a problem or unwanted circumstance will eventually come up. That’s the cue to transition to the gospel. “Our conversations are never completely random or altogether open-ended. People are often looking to us to offer meaningful responses,” (p. 52). The only question is: can we give the most meaningful response? With the help of this book, the answer is yes.

The first two chapters of this book deal with the mission field and what the gospel is (don’t forget the resurrection of Christ; there is no hope if He has not risen). Then a quick chapter on how everyday conversations develop in chapter three, and finally in chapter four we find out how to transition those conversations into evangelistic opportunities. When I read how to do it, I literally said aloud, “Really? That’s it!? That’s all I have to do!?” It sounded so simple and yet I had never thought about it.

From that point, you will read about an evangelistic technique called the three circles method. This is so “user-friendly” it is flat out ridiculous. I quickly taught one of the church members that I pastor this method and three days later he led a woman to Christ using it. No evangelism would be complete without offering an invitation and response. That’s what chapter six is all about. And finally, chapter seven about making the new convert a disciple and an evangelizer immediately, without delay.

I only underlined one sentence in this book because it struck me so hard. “Repenting and believing doesn’t fix everything, but it does forgive everything,” (p. 84). There were many good things about this book, but that one line made an impact. In fact, I’ve probably said it to someone at least once a week sense reading this book three weeks ago.

If you get a chance, pick up this book and read it. It was published by B&H Publishing back in 2016. You can buy it on Amazon with Prime shipping for $9.22 or on ChristianBooks.com for $9.29, not including shipping.

Book Review: Draw: The Greatest Gunfights of the American West

DrawIf you enjoy a good western, you’ll most likely enjoy Draw: The Greatest Gunfights of the American West. It is a book that was written by James Reasoner back in 2003. My son picked up for me for Father’s Day last year. In this book, you’ll find true historical short-stories about various bad guys and lawmen shooting it out. There are train-robberies, bank-robberies, and an occasional stage-coach robbery. Reasoner writes each account with whit and imagination, and by that I mean, he paints the picture with enough detail to get the scene into the mind’s eye of the reader, but not so much detail that one would get bogged down. Reasoner is known for his historical fiction writing, but in this case it is true-to-life-history. If he is adding a bit of detail, he’ll let you know by saying something like “he was probably squinting.” But little speculations like that do not occur that often.

The book is divided into six parts: 1) Man to Man, 2) Gangs, 3) Posses, 4) Holdups, 5) Backshooters, and 6) Gunfighting Mishaps and Misfortunes. Each story in each part is a stand-alone story. Though some are inter-related in that they involve some of the same characters, you don’t need to read one before understanding another. This is one of those books that you can pick up, read a chapter in 15 minutes (if you’re as slow a reader as I), and put down for a while if need be. It took me just under a year to finish this book, not because of its size or a lack of interest. It is neither large nor boring. But only because it is such a “when I have no pressing matters” kind of book. There’s no long story-line to remember. That’s just one of the many reasons I enjoyed this book.

Read stories about Doc Holliday, the forgotten Earp brother, the Dalton Gang, Wild Bill Hickok and more without all the hype and unbelievable legend stuff. That being said. . . The last chapter is rather unbelievable, but apparently true. It was my favorite story of the book.

The book has 294 pages but a whopping 31 chapters! Published by Berkley Books, Draw is definitely a book I would recommend to novice or western enthusiast. I told some of the stories to my children of various ages and they loved them; I am sure you will too. Amazon.com has it on sale for $12.49. But you can buy a good used copy from Half Priced Books for about $3.00