Unification News For February 1996


Book Review - Gentle Persuasion

by Tom Bowers, Unification Theological Seminary Librarian

Aldrich, Joseph C. (1988) Gentle Persuasion: Creative Ways to Introduce Your Friends to Christ, (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Press). $8.99 pp.237. To order call 1-800-933-7526.

Recently I was looking for books for the library in a used bookstore and I came a cross a gem that I want to share with you. We are constantly called upon to invite our "contacts" to something and I, at least, come up short most of the time. If you would like a good laugh and a kick in the pants, pick up this book. It's written from an evangelical Christian point of view with a focus on introducing friends to Christ. The insights the author presents and the principles he articulates can easily be applied to introducing friends to True Parents, the Principle or other meaningful experiences such as the Blessing.

The operative word is friends and the author admits that "it is easier to talk to a stranger than to build a friendship." (p. 154) He makes creating friendships and an important part of what he calls "life style evangelism". Reaching out to others, as he describes it, is not an event after which you go back to what you were doing. Rather reaching out calls for a strategy and he clearly has one. He says that without a strategy persuading people is like "throwing hamburger in a fan and hoping someone opens his mouth." (p. 18)

What Aldrich is articulating is consistent with the concepts of Home Church and Home Town and he presents advice and humor on the foundation of many successful years of applying the principles he offers to his readers. This book reminded me of how unexpected acts of kindness opens my heart to people and gave me many good ideas about how I can move the hearts of the people who are within my reach during many everyday life. In this spirit the second chapter is entitled: "Can You Bake a Cherry Pie?"

Most book reviews are about recent publications. I am not writing this to announce a new book. I am writing it to say that I think that many members of our Unification family would enjoy it and find it useful.

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