Book Review: Mike Baker, We Speak: Proclaiming Truth in and Age of Talk

Baker, Mike, J. K. Jones, and Jim Probst. We Speak: Proclaiming Truth in and Age of Talk. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2015. 189 pp. Pb.; $16.00  Link to IVP including a 3 minute video

This book is intended to accompany a set of curriculum produced by Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Illinois where all three authors serve as pastors. Baker says he was struck by Acts 4:20, “we cannot help but speak about what we have seen and heard.” Using this as a kind of mission statement for the church, Baker argues the believer cannot help speak the Gospel since we have witnesses so much through the work of Christ.

Baker-We-SpeakEach of Mike Baker’s seven chapters develop an aspect speaking the Gospel to a distracted world.  These brief reflections (no more than ten pages) are focused on some motivation to communicate the gospel using illustrations from Scripture. For example, two chapters concern speaking the Gospel in weakness (Paul) and suffering (1 Peter). In the second chapter he sketches the basics of the Gospel as “good news” which we ought to freely share to any and all who will listen. This what Peter said in Acts 4:20, but this is difficult for many Christians.

J. K. Jones contributes five “daily devotions” based on each week’s lesson. These are tied to the lesson and are no more than a page each. Like most “devotionals” Jones cites Scripture, offers and illustration followed by a short encouragement to live out the week’s lesson.

Jim Probst a seven-session weekly group study guide by to guide a group as they work through the lessons. He suggests activities for each week (“gather, grow, give, go”), including discussion questions and assignments for the next week. The study guide follows the main text of the book and should be easy for small group leaders to follow.

There is a companion DVD available which includes brief weekly video teachings by all three pastors. I did not view the DVD, but based on the book this seems to be a good small group study which will help Christians to overcome some objections or obstacles to sharing their faith.  We Speak: Proclaiming Truth in and Age of Talk ought to be considered by churches wishing to enhance their evangelism through small group studies.

 NB: Thanks to Intervarsity Press for kindly providing me with a review copy of this book. This did not influence my thoughts regarding the work.

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