Graham Tomlin: The Provocative ChurchA quick post, to remind you that I’m still here, and to draw your attention to an excellent little book about evangelism and the Church, The Provocative Church, by Graham Tomlin. I’m amazed that I haven’t had this book thrust at me constantly over the past 12 years since it was first published, as it really is a gem. It’s now in its fourth edition (2014), though I’ve just read the second edition (2004).

Anyway, enough from me. Here’s what it says on the back cover:

Sometimes Christians assume that people ‘out there’ are eager to listen to what the Church has to offer. But why should those we try to evangelize want to hear the gospel? Surely people will only be intrigued by Christian life and community when they see something provocative or attractive. Then they will want to know what’s going on.

The Provocative Church offers a liberating understanding of evangelism as a corporate activity, in which all the gifts needed to enact the life of the kingdom – to stir people into asking, ‘What does this mean?’ – are spread throughout the whole Church. It encourages the development of a theology of conversion that sees beyond ‘becoming a Christian’ to bring each individual life increasingly under the rule of God.