The book’s been out for almost 11 months now.  I think I have all the reasons why some have not liked the book (about 3% of all readers have been very critical).  I have tried my best to listen and now boil it down to their main issues/concerns.  Here they are in order:

1.  Seems like there’s no closure to the stories.  You told great stories about conversations with people, but where did they lead?  Why didn’t you tell us the outcome?

Fair point.  Not much defense needed here really – I could have been clearer though by making it VERY clear (I thought it was clear) that since this book was about the art of NOT evangelism….  That telling how the “deal was closed” would actually lack integrity.

Also, I’d point out that the Bible seldom tells us the end of most of Jesus’ encounters as well.  We rarely know what happened.

2.  Why don’t you say anything about the church? Leading the reader to believe you don’t like the church.

Fair point – I don’t say anything about the church. This is not a book about the church.  I should have been wiser though in how I explained what I didn’t say. Seriously.  I love the local church. Have always been part of one and believe in its power.  (I think they are often a mess, but who cares, so am I).

3.  Where’s the cross?  We don’t see much about the cross.

Fair point.  No cross in the book. This is about having conversations with people about Jesus. It’s the art of NOT evangelism.   I’m a huge fan that the cross happened – even more that there was a resurrection that happened. The cross and resurrection and what they stand for is hugely important. I probably assumed that goes without saying – I was wrong. I should have said it….

4.  It seems you don’t like the Apostle Paul.

Oh so not true. It seems like that only because I pointed out (fairly I think) that many Christians get hung up on Paul and forget to get to Jesus.  Paul encouraged us to follow Jesus, but we get sidetracked and end up in love with Paul and his writings more than Christ – who he was attempting to point us to.  So I think this critique actually isn’t fair.

Paul’s awesome. Jesus is better.   🙂

5.  You seem at times to be just a tad fuzzy in your theology.

Fair point.  My theology is a tad fuzzy.  Not because I don’t care or don’t like theology. I’m a theologian.  I love theology. It’s almost all I read. But I’ve noticed that Jesus was fuzzy in some of his theology too, so….  Does that surprise you? Think about it. Even Jesus didn’t know everything.  He said “only my Father knows that” a couple of times.

My theology takes major shifts every 10 years or so. I think SO differently now at 50 years old than I did at 20. And I hope when I’m 70 I’ll think differently again. I don’t want my relationship to be static.  I want to change. To grow.  If my theology is hardened and rigid – where does that lead.

So, I’d say read Speaking of Jesus with caution.  It might confuse you or change your thinking.