Rebecca Manley Pippert – Stay Salt: The World has Changed – Our Message Must Not
Good Book Company 255 pages Price £8.99 ISBN 9 761764984366
Anne Tyler has just released her 23rd novel, Redhead at the Side of the Road; it like all the others is about dysfunctional families in Baltimore. Interviewed about the book, she cheerfully admitted that all her books are basically the same book. Personally, I love that book!
Rebecca Manley Pippert will be forever known for the 1979 book Out of the Saltshaker, which is a brilliant book about personal evangelism. Stay Salt is 'Out of the Saltshaker: The Sequel'. All the same ingredients are here making this in some ways the same book but with a different twist.
Pippert organises her book around three themes: Means, Message and Method. And she presents a compelling, compassionate and comprehensive case for reaching out to others with the gospel.
Yet this is not to be confused with a typical how-to-tell-people-about-Jesus-book; it is so much more than that. In a sense it is as if Pippert is saying, with Paul: “Join with me in following Jesus”. Rather than selling a formula, she commends a lifestyle. The lifestyle is one that is rooted in an objective faith in the Christian message, a robust intellectual grasp of what that faith implies, an honest wrestling with questions, a winsome personality, deep spirituality and a genuine interest in people.
All of this is combined with an openness to the Holy Spirit to lead us to people and prompt an appropriate response to them.
Evangelism is not so much about what we say as who we are!
Pippert writes: “Jesus usually asked questions rather than giving answers, and would tell stories instead of preaching sermons.” In this book every Christian keen to tell others about Jesus will find questions to ponder and stories that make you laugh and cry, and motivate a desire to see Jesus at work in those who do not know him.
John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex