The Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), the leadership development agency for the denomination, announced the release of a new book, “E. Stanley Jones and Sharing the Good News in a Pluralistic Society.” F. Douglas Powe Jr. and Jack Jackson are the general editors with the foreword by Jane Boatwright Wood, president of The Foundation for Evangelism and member of GBHEM Board of Directors.
Produced in cooperation with The Foundation for Evangelism, this book will help Christians seek ways to authentically, faithfully, and genuinely share the gospel. Often Christians find themselves pulled in two opposite directions. One forbids mentioning the name of Jesus and the other tries to forcefully lead people to confess Jesus as Savior without any regard for their social circumstances. Neither option works or is sustainable, but both do make the church irrelevant to the very people it seeks to reach.
The life and thought of E. Stanley Jones offers a third way of evangelism that is theologically grounded and socially attuned to the hardships many endure. This book explores why this third way must be reclaimed. Eli Stanley Jones (1884–1973) was a Methodist missionary and theologian. He is remembered chiefly for his interreligious lectures in India, thousands of which were held across the Indian subcontinent during the first decades of the 20th century. According to his and other contemporary reports, his friendship for the cause of Indian self-determination allowed him to become a friend of leaders of the up-and-coming Indian National Congress party and spend much time with Mohandas K. Gandhi and the Nehru family.
F. Douglas Powe Jr. is a James C. Logan professor of Evangelism, an E. Stanley Jones Professorship, and professor of Urban Ministry. He also serves as managing director for The Institute for Community Engagement and director of Urban Ministry Program at Wesley Theological Seminary. Jack Jackson is an E. Stanley Jones associate professor of Evangelism, Mission, and Global Methodism at Claremont School of Theology.
Contributors for “E. Stanley Jones and Sharing the Good News in a Pluralistic Society” include Thomas R. Albin, Jeffrey Conklin-Miller, Robert E. Haynes, Jack Jackson, Joon-Sik Park, F. Douglas Powe Jr., Mark R. Teasdale, Kimberly D. Reisman and Brian Yeich.
The book has received praise and recognition from scholars and pastors around the country. “The family of E. Stanley Jones is indeed grateful to the authors of this insightful book,” said Anne Mathews-Younes, president, E. Stanley Jones Foundation. “I was pleased to find in it a remarkable description and analysis of Jones’s contextual ministry with its presentation of Jesus Christ in multicultural contexts. Jones’s ministry and message speak directly to our religiously plural world and illustrate our need to engage in this world with the grace offered by Jesus Christ.”
“This book is long overdue! E. Stanley Jones was one of the most important figures in the history of Methodism. His theology was forged on the mission field as he shared Christ with the people of India,” described Adam Hamilton, author and pastor. “His faith and reflections on the gospel inspired millions around the world. This book invites the reader to rediscover the riches of Jones’s thought as we consider how we share our faith in Christ in an increasingly post-Christian world.”
“Except for Jesus, E. Stanley Jones is the overall leading influence in my faith and ministry. Among many things I learned from his writings is the call to contextualize the gospel. The authors in this volume issue an invitation to manifest Brother Stanley’s spirit in the 21st century—to go and do likewise,” explained Steve Harper, retired United Methodist elder and seminary professor.
“The Introduction alone is worth the price of the book, but know that all of these distinguished scholars understand E. Stanley Jones at his best,” said Robert G. Tuttle Jr., emeritus professor of World Christianity, Asbury Seminary. “These pages remind us once again that Stanley Jones is just as relevant today as he was for his own day. As I read and studied each chapter I found myself eager to put the principles described into practice so that I could become a more effective witness for Jesus Christ.”
“E. Stanley Jones and Sharing the Good News in a Pluralistic Society” is available at Amazon.com and will soon be available at Cokesbury.com. For more information about GBHEM’s Publishing Office, visit Publications or follow @GBHEMPublishing on Facebook.
Wesley’s Foundery Books is an imprint of GBHEM. Foundery books are clearly and accessibly written by Methodist/Wesleyan experts, with an emphasis on church life and ministry. Representing the rich diversity of the church, Wesley’s Foundery Books offer a disciplined and balanced approach.
About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.