"Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion" by Os Guinness

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Title: Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion
Author: Os Guinness
Start Date: 4/16/2016
End Date: 4/29/2016
# of Pages: 270
Edition: IVP Books hardcover (2015)

Favorite Quotes: (1) “‘…give honest answers to honest questions…’” (2) “God is his own best apologist. At our best, we are humble junior counsels for the defense, and no more. At worst, we can behave like Job’s friends, the well-meaning ones who darken rather than enlighten the spiritual situation” (3) “Too many varieties of unbelief are halfway houses. Too many unbelievers have not had the courage or the consistency to follow their thoughts all the way home.” (4) “As we must say again and again, and in answer to many different kinds of objections: If the Christian faith is true, it would still be true even if no one believed it, or if all who did were hypocrites; and if it is false, would still be false even if everyone believed it and there was no apparent hypocrisy in their behavior. For the question of credibility, the issue is always and only truth.”

Why I Chose It: Tim Challies reviewed “Fool’s Talk” back in September 2015, saying “Eminently quotable and packed full of helpful insights, Fool’s Talk is a thoroughly enjoyable and remarkably helpful book. It is well-written, well-structured, and well-argued. I enthusiastically recommend it.”

Other Notes: It is eminently quotable - I only selected 4 of the 24+ ‘starred’ passages I could have shared (I can explain my reading method some other time, but in short, I underline, bracket, and ‘star’ quotes in different combinations for subsequent review…the ‘starred’ passages typically are what I share in this setting). As Challies identifies, often “we want to win arguments and don’t care a whole lot for patient, gentle persuasion” but this book makes a compelling case for persuasion being superior to simply seeking to be ‘right’. And Guinness fits in nicely with his short list of influences (Berger, Lewis, and Schaeffer to name a few).

 
BooksKarl Magnuson