Leonard Sweet’s newest release, Nudge: Awakening Each Other To The God Who’s Already There (David C. Cook, 2010) will make you fall in love with evangelism again. Or more likely, for the first time.
Many of us who follow Jesus have been exposed to evangelism as hard-sell, complete with tips and techniques. Or it’s a scary guilt trip, as in “I should do this”, or its corollary, “You’re going to hell”. Or we lean into the hopeful, beige-tinted “I hope they ask why I’m different”.
Leonard Sweet wants us to know that evangelism is so much more than a single-dimensional program, a guilt trip or a wish. The title Nudge sounds like it might shrink evangelism to little more than a tiny shove in the right direction, but Sweet’s book is a celebration of evangelism in ways that most of us have never explored. He believes we’re to become students of the world around us – the world God in which God placed us – and learn to “read” the signs and symbols around us in order to speak to those around us. He translates the work of Umberto Eco (and others) in the study of semiotics into the language of the kingdom of God in an accessible, winsome way:
The first section of the book explores what it means to pay attention in order to both witness and to bear witness. The remainder of the book invites us to realize how God moves and speaks through each one of our senses. Sweet’s playful, encylopedic presentation is meant to both spark our imaginations and provoke each one of us to action in our own context through word and silence, touch and taste, scent and sound.
Nudge is great news about the Good News. This is a rich, lovely, inspiring read – and one that connected me more fully to my own humanity, to the One who made me, and to the world he loves. Highly recommended.
*A review copy of this book was provided me by The Ooze Viral Bloggers.