21 Things God Never Said: Connecting Our Misconceptions About Evangelism by R. Larry Moyer. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004. 176 pp. Paper. $10.99.
There are so many misconceptions in churches today about how to evangelize and what should be said in evangelism that any book which helps clarify the offer of eternal life should be widely read and distributed. Moyer’s book, 21 Things God Never Said is one of those books. In it, Moyer takes 21 statements frequently heard from pulpits across America and in evangelism training classes and shows how these statements are misleading, unbiblical, confusing, and detrimental to evangelistic efforts.
Each of the 21 misconceptions is given its own chapter. Most, if not all, of these misconceptions are related to things that GES writers and speakers have been saying for years and so there is much that we have in common with Moyer in this book. For example, he devotes chapters to the unbiblical ideas that “If you want to be saved, just invite Jesus into your heart” (chap 4), “You’re saved even if you’re trusting something in addition to Christ for your eternal salvation” (chap 9), “If you doubt your salvation, then you’re not saved” (chap 10), and “Unless you’re willing to turn from your sins, you can’t be saved” (chap 13).
It was wonderful to see Moyer’s dependence upon the Gospel of John as the only evangelistic book in the Bible (pp. 14-15, 73). He also includes discussion of several passages that are often misused in evangelism, such as Rev 3:20 (p. 36), Ezek 3:18-19 (p. 46), 1 John 4:20-21 (p. 106), Mark 10:17-22 (p. 120), Rom 10:9-10 (p. 147), and numerous others.
Some JOTGES readers will take exception with Moyer on a few things he says, such as his understanding of repentance as a “change of mind” (p. 96), his preference for the word “trust” over the word “believe” (pp. 68, 82, 103, 170-71, etc), and his idea that election is God’s choice of “some to be with Him forever” (p. 130). However, these are relatively minor issues within the Free Grace camp, and most will find Moyer’s book refreshing and helpful as he refutes some of the popular misconceptions in evangelism today. For this reason, I highly recommend this book.
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society