review of Anna Rapa’s “Second Story: seeing what’s not being said” (part one)

As one raised close enough to the evangelical tradition, later embracing it, and still evangelical as to its core conviction of seeing the gospel as somehow front and center through Jesus in the work of God, evangelism has always been considered somehow central as well. Sharing the good news of Christ with those who haven’t heard, or who do not believe. Being a witness of what we have seen and heard.

But within evangelicalism the past twenty years or so, there has been at least questions about how we evangelize. Do we go door to door with something like “Evangelism Explosion”? Do we simply invite our neighbors to church, so that they can hear the gospel proclaimed there? Do we instead opt for “friendship evangelism”? Or maybe simply pray, and try to live out the gospel, always being ready to give anyone an answer when asked about the difference in our lives?

On top of this, during the same time there has become the awareness of the emerging influence of postmodernism, a different culture in which the air is filled with uncertainty, and openness to various forms of mysticism voiced as spirituality, more often than not without religion.

At one time I was convinced that I was failing to share my faith as I ought to. But I was not convinced that what I had seen and been a part of in door to door programs was the way to do it. So over time I settled into a kind of blue funk over evangelism. Yes, I thought it was important, but I was uncomfortable with what I had seen and tried myself. Evangelism for me was essentially on hold. At least in any way I had experienced it in the past.

That gradually in my mind anyhow has begun to change. First through my own theological revolution through N.T. Wright’s The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was & Is. Helped along from blogging with Scot McKnight, a favorite writer of mine, and rather capped off with his recent, The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited.

And from an acquaintance has come a book that I have personally found helpful in pushing me to consider just how I might best share my faith with others. In fact has given me hope that there is a good way, a way blessed of God to do this. Anna Rapa, an acquaintance has written a novel in a kind of wisdom story mode entitled, Second Story: seeing what’s not being said.

I found this book intriguing in being as encouraging as it was challenging, and challenging as it was encouraging. There are still matters for me to ponder. A depth in it I have yet to plumb.

Tomorrow we will explore the book itself. And I am thinking of doing so in a bit of an autobiographical way. This book hits close to home for me. And we need to consider what is being shared in it. But I want to do so in a way which would encourage you to read the book for yourself.

review of Anna Rapa’s “Second Story: seeing what’s not being said” (part two)