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Publisher's Summary

In the post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism and apologetics. Most of these methods assume that people are open to, interested in, and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. The urgent need, then, is the capacity to persuade - to make a convincing case for the Gospel to people who are not interested in it.

In his magnum opus, Os Guinness offers a comprehensive presentation of the art and power of creative persuasion. Christians have often relied on proclaiming and preaching, protesting and picketing, but are strikingly weak in persuasion - the ability to talk to people who are closed to what is being said. Actual persuasion requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Guinness notes, "Jesus never spoke to two people the same way, and neither should we."

Following the tradition of Erasmus, Pascal, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Peter Berger, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on listeners' assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the credibility of the Gospel.

This book is the fruit of 40 years of thinking, honed in countless talks and discussions at many of the leading universities and intellectual centers of the world. Discover afresh the persuasive power of Christian witness from one of the leading apologists and thinkers of the era.

©2015 Os Guinness (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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Powerful and timely

Insightful in so many ways. You won't be disappointed. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to know why much of our evangelism and apologetics might be ineffective.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Different voices?

I was really looking forward to getting deep into this topic but right from the start this audio book seemed replete with distractions.

The reading of the text was clear and understandable however, when ever a quotation involved someone of a particular national heritage the narrator would switch between a multitude of dialects. On one hand, performance wise it's impressive, on the other hand it's quite distracting while in the midst of comprehending and synthesizing together abstract concepts.

The other distraction was that there were literally two narrators at different parts of the book. I couldn't quite understand why or if there was some logical reasoning for it. But the beginning introductions up through the first chapter was the most confusing in this respect . After which the reading remained with just one narrator.

Over all, I thought the writing seemed a bit strained with way too much repetition of key phrases. I always appreciated the problems that the author identifies with many approaches to apologetics and kept waiting for a practical solution. In the end, the journey may have had its effect, I think, but I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied. Not a true bait and switch but the conclusions didn't really justify the verbosity. Still I would recommend it because I think more Christians need to learn the lessons found in the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Thought provoking

Thought provoking nuggets in each and every chapter. A must listen for searchers and believers alike!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great and helpful!

I think this is a very timely book that is approached with humility and strength. I found it highly profitable for my ministry. I think any Christian out there need to listen to this book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Some good points but too verbose

Despite numerous good points here and there, it often kept going on without getting to the point. I appreciate that the author is trying to reason with the listener/reader without always imposing his own point of view, but at times it would have been easier to get to the point, make it absolutely clear and then elaborate from there.

Definitely a good read overall, I recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book about Christian persuasion.

Great book book about Christian apologetics and persuasion. very biblical and engaging! it is worth the read.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fool's Talk--let the title grab you and pull you in!

This is one of the finest, most intelligent, cogent, comprehensive writing on the crazy twisted dialogue environment we face today in public discourse. Don't let the title 'fool' you-it uncovers the thoughts and roots behind the arguments put out against God -but not only in a style all his own, and on par with CS Lewis, Os Guinness creatively answers AND brings out the essence Biblically of the true purpose and motive that is behind the 'persuade in love' mode that effective and true apologetics should operate in. I am going to read it again and again as a reference--stimulated my heart as well as wonderful brilliance for the mind!!

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  • Krkn
  • North Carolina
  • 06-27-17

An important book for it post-Christian time

much food for thought provided by Os Guinness. Our world is no longer one in which most people believe the truth of Scripture, or even in Truth at all for that matter. This book provides practical help for talking to and engaging with those people.

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Rethinking Apologetics

This Book made me think about how I/we should be doing Apologetics! Over 25 years, I have read 4 of his books, and they ALWAYS make me think deeply about my faith. OS Guinness has helped me, not only in his books, but when I have heard him in person making presentations. He is genuinely able to carefully craft his presentations /messages in such a way that I am always thankful for.

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Nice, well-balanced overview

This book provided a well-balanced overview of the primary reasons people reject the gospel, the balance between apologetics and evangelism, and the primary overarching elements to focus on when talking with people. I especially liked the speaker who changes his pitch and accent when quoting others, which is a nice touch. I was looking for more details on how exactly to construct persuasive argumentation. This book does NOT provide that, however, I suppose in the book's defense the author states that specific strategies were not his goal either. The book did a good job explaining why we shouldn't focus exclusively on strategies, however it would be better balanced if at least a few chapters did.

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  • Steve Harris
  • 11-28-16

Thanks. It made me think

Thanks this was a good book with lots to think about. Os Guinness is thoughtful and provoking lots of thought.

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  • J.Robertson
  • 06-11-17

Persuading argument 😁

This book has certainly open my eyes to question where people are at, to build relationship before I am so bold to witness by words my faith. A very daunting humbling task that nonetheless and proposed many new ideas now into my mind of how I might better serve others as a witness to the Christian faith.

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  • Martin Watson
  • 09-03-16

A brilliant writer

Os Guinness has live apologetics for much of his life and is a brilliant man. He communicates very well ideas that are deeply thought through and important. Some of this book is hard to take in, particularly in audio form. Suitable for people who want something meaty and are willing to work at understanding.