I love to borrow a good idea, and I’ll confess that I’ve been borrowing from James Boccardo for some time now. James wrote a book several years ago called, Unsilenced: How to Voice the Gospel, and I have been using it with groups around the country ever since. I met James at a conference in North Carolina where he and I were speaking; he sent me the book prior to the event. As soon as I read it I knew I’d discovered an “evergreen” resource I would use for years to come.
If you’re the kind of person who recognizes your responsibility to share the Gospel with people in your life, but find yourself hesitant or uncertain as to how you ought to begin, this book is for you. Although I’ve explored a number of books on evangelism (while in seminary and during my time as a pastor), I continue to return to this book for the following reasons:
James is focused like a laser beam. He understands our fear and hesitancy and has learned to overcome these obstacles in his daily life. He’s an active evangelist who uses a single question to begin conversations that lead to the gospel: “What do you think happens after you die?” This simple approach is an effective “jump starter”; it is the practical foundation from which James begins.
Unsilenced is a very quick read. I read it on the flight to the North Carolina conference from Southern California. James is a layperson (graduating from UNC Chapel Hill and currently pursuing his M.A. in Biblical Studies) and he’s written the book in accessible language that simplifies the important issues as a catalyst for other laypeople.
What I love most about Boccardo’s book is the time he spent anticipating objections from non-Christians. In this sense, Unsilenced is a Case Making book that provides readers with a simple apologetic approach to evangelism. James’ “Bumps in the Road” chapter provides a responsive strategy for nineteen common objections. You’ll love the simplicity with which he navigates conversations.
Unsilenced is a “get off your butt and get moving” kind of book that will provide you with an effective strategy to start sharing the Gospel. It has a modest goal and achieves this goal in 170 quick pages. Unsilenced takes the fear out of evangelism by providing a path to the Gospel, and Boccardo has cleared this path for us.
If you’re like me, you’ve been in conversations with people you hardly know and wanted to find a way to share the Gospel. Maybe you tried to direct the conversation toward the things of God, or maybe you waited patiently for the topic to emerge on its own. Now, when I find myself in these situations, I immediately think of Unsilenced and find the courage to ask the first question. James Boccardo has accomplished what he set out to achieve; he’s helped me to speak up when I might otherwise be silent. I can only imagine what a difference it would make if all of us were unsilenced.
J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.
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