John Kramp introduces the science of "lostology", the practice of putting yourself into the shoes of those who are without Christ with a view to understanding them and preparing the ground for effective witness. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (2)
Not the Best, But Still Has Some Good Things to Say
In this book, Out Of Their Faces and Into Their Shoes, John Kramp seeks to develop what he calls Lostology, or simply put the `study of the lost.'Through his study of the lost, Kramp hopes that he can uncover some information that may benefit those who try to witness to the spiritually lost.
Part One of Kramp's book deals with trying to get Christian readers to understand that lost people enjoy being lost.He points out that typical notions of lost people running around miserable all the time is not the case.Kramp emphasizes this point by using a string of examples of one being physically lost as a parallel to one being spiritually lost.He also stresses that it takes time and work to get one to admit that he or she is lost.While many of Kramp's insights are good, I think he misses a key concept: many (not all) lost people are miserable.I have heard countless testimonies (including one by the chairman of the deacons of my former church) of people who acted as if they had no worries, but were really torn-up inside. In seeking to debunk a possible myth for many, I think that Kramp may have overstated his case.
In Part Two, Kramp seeks to examine the way that lost people feel and act when they actually begin to admit that they are lost.He wants believers to understand better how to relate to those who are suddenly aware that they are lost and come to the church hoping to find directions.Kramp also desires to see Christians better pick up on the signals offered by lost people that they are interested in spiritual things. Kramp offers some good insights here.For many, the art of `reading people' is a difficult task.This section is filled with explanations of very obvious indicators that a person is ready to talk about spiritual things.Although, Kramp seems to move very slow from an initial contact to the actual presentation of the gospel.I believe hee may place too much emphasis on the understanding of the lost and not enough on the urgency of the gospel.
Part Three attempts to focus on the actual process that a person goes through in evangelizing the lost. Kramp hopes to encourage believers in their search for the lost by helping to draw a clearer picture of how important evangelism is. He also believes that one's lack of zeal for evangelism demonstrates one's lack of value for the lost.In the end, we must make evangelism a priority. This is perhaps the best section in the book.Here, Kramp steps away from the previous two sections that focus on the lost.Here, he nails many of us between the eyes with true-to-life examples of our excuses for not evangelizing, and an even more astute analysis of the thoughts behind those excuses.Kramp helps the reader to see that thinking about and doing something to reach the lost should be a consuming priority for the Christian.One point that I felt at odds with is the idea of re-centering of his life towards lost people; this seems contrary to Scripture. Certainly, we should be go looking for the lost!But I think if we were to truly re-center our lives on God, then we would have no problem developing a passion for the lost.
Finally, in Part Four, Kramp continues to offer advice to believers about how to go about reaching the lost.Here, he gives both practical advice and encouragement.In doing so, Kramp wants to give a realistic view of evangelism while at the same time encouraging believers not to give up too soon as results will follow from faithful work.He also emphasizes the necessity of waiting and working patiently with some people.Finally, Kramp tells us that celebration should be the result of a successful search. This final section is another good section.Kramp wants Christians to understand the hard work that often has to go into evangelism.This is important because when a visitation program starts up many come the first few weeks and then drop out when the results are far fewer than they expected.It is good to have a realistic view of evangelism that acknowledges that sometimes God allows us to reap the harvest immediately.However, it is also good to understand that more often, God gives us the responsibility of being involved in the long process of planting and watering as well.Patience and prayer are the farmer's strained muscles and sweat of evangelism.
Throughout the book, Kramp follows a general pattern: real-life illustration, example of Jesus from the gospels, explanation of appropriate action to be taken.Most of Kramp's insights are helpful, though perhaps over-stated at times.That is to say, some of the parallels he draws from being physically lost do not always transfer how he wants them to in terms of spiritual `lostness.' Amidst the many good things in this book, one major difficulty arises for me: the speed of Kramp's approach. Often I get the feeling that you are supposed to just sit back and passively interact with people, desperately trying to avoid breaking any laws of lostology, hoping that the individual will come to you searching for answers.Certainly, some people will require this sort of time and care, but sometimes people respond immediately to the gospel - even the ones who given no indication that they are lost.I believe the key is wisdom: one must know when to apply Kramp's lostology laws and when to look past the facade that many use to hide their pain.
More than methods, Kramp offers wisdom.
If Christians really understood spiritually lost people around them they would talk about their faith more naturally. Unfortunately, most Christians do not understand non-Christian.They do not know how they think or howthey feel.This book is designed to help Christians function on biblicalterms as a soul winner. John Kramps "Laws of Lostology" offerChristians a chance to change their attitude and the style in which theytell others about Jesus. This book is a perfect study tool for small groupsor Sunday school classes because its principles are easily communicated. It would also make a fine devotional for anyone who knows they need toshare Christ with their neighbor, but just do not know where to begin.
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