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Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion

Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion

IVP Books 2015

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Product Description


In our post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular while 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, interested and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. Our 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 we are strikingly weak in persuasion--the ability to talk to people who are closed to what we are saying. 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 and Malcolm Muggeridge, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on hearers' assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the plausibility of the gospel.

This book is the fruit of forty 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 our era.

More Product Information


  • Publisher: IVP Books
  • ISBN: 0830836993
  • ISBN-13: 9780830836994
  • SKU: 9780830836994
  • Release Date: June 4, 2015
  • Pages: 256
  • Language: English

About the Author


Os Guinness

Os Guinness (DPhil, Oxford) is the author or editor of more than thirty books, including Fool's Talk, Renaissance, The Global Public Square, A Free People's Suicide, Unspeakable, The Call, Time for Truth and The Case for Civility. A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, he has addressed audiences worldwide from the British House of Commons to the U.S. Congress to the St. Petersburg Parliament. He founded the Trinity Forum and served as senior fellow there for fifteen years. Born in China to missionary parents, he is the great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer. After witnessing the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to England where he was educated and served as a freelance reporter with the BBC. Since coming to the U.S. in 1984, he has been a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the lead drafter of the Williamsburg Charter, celebrating the First Amendment, and has also been senior fellow at the EastWest Institute in New York, where he drafted the Charter for Religious Freedom. He also co-authored the public school curriculum Living With Our Deepest Differences. Guinness has had a lifelong passion to make sense of our extraordinary modern world and to stand between the worlds of scholarship and ordinary life, helping each to understand the other - particularly when advanced modern life touches on the profound issues of faith. He lives with his wife Jenny in McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.

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