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The Mystic Way of Evangelism

Elaine Heath argues that the church is in a dark night of the soul. It has thus lost its prophetic voice - its effectiveness in proclaiming the good news of redemption. Rather than resisting or decrying this state of affairs, the church, says Heath, ought to embrace its situation as a starting point for renewal of its vitality - and consequently, its witness. A solution is proposed in the wisdom and contemplative spirituality of the great saints and mystics - people such as Julian of Norwich, Ignatius of Loyola, Phoebe Palmer, Henri Nouwen, John Wesley and others.As our vision of God is renewed, mission is reenergized. This book brings fresh insights into the theory and practice of evangelism by examining it through the lens of the classic threefold path of purgation, illumination, and union. Different ways of thinking about evangelism are drawn from the lives and teachings of the mystics. Different ways of practicing evangelism are then proposed via narrative theology. The result is a holistic perspective, offering a corrective to programmatic and consumerist forms of evangelism so prevalent today. Here is a unique contribution to the discussion on evangelism in our post-modern world.
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About the Author

Elaine A. Heath (PhD, Duquesne University) is McCreless Assistant Professor of Evangelism and director of the Center for Advanced Study of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas. An ordained United Methodist minister, she has served several churches and has taught at several seminaries. She is also the coauthor of More Light on the Path.


"Elaine Heath has produced a remarkably creative work, linking the church's missional priority for evangelism with the neglected resources of the church's mystics. To do this, she confronts contemporary issues in ministry by opening a treasure trove of theological insight and mystical practices including both current innovations and past centuries of Christian devotion. Within these pages are both a vigorous challenge to the church and a way for robust spiritual renewal of the faith to flourish."William B. Lawrence, dean and professor of American church history, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

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