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The Oxbridge Evangelist

In The Oxbridge Evangelist: Motivations, Practices, and Legacy of C. S. Lewis, Michael Gehring examines the evangelistic practices of one of the most significant lay evangelists of the twentieth century. In the early 1930s not many who knew Lewis would have guessed that he would become such a significant evangelist. He has left an evangelistic legacy that has influenced millions across the world. Yet Lewis scholarship has not given sufficient attention to this crucial aspect of his legacy. This work examines Lewis's loss and recovery of faith, and it shows how his experience heightened his own awareness of the loss of the Christian faith in England. Because of his ability to identify with others, Lewis engaged in the work of evangelism with uncanny skill. This work required singular courage on his part; it cost him dearly professionally and in his relationships. Gehring critically explores Lewis's motivations, practices, and legacy of evangelism. In doing so he provides penetrating insight for those interested in the theory and practice of evangelism in a culture that too readily leaves it to the crazies of the Christian tradition or relegates it to the margins of church life. ""Meet C. S. Lewis the brilliant, unashamed evangelist for orthodox Christianity. Nobody has done a better job than Lewis of addressing thoughtful, intelligent readers with the claims of Christ. And nobody has done a better job than Michael Gehring in presenting a loving but honest portrait of a flawed but brilliant man whom God used in a remarkable way. Gehring shows how Lewis deftly spread the gospel in environs thought to be impervious to the gospel. A joy to read."" --Will Willimon, United Methodist Bishop, retired; Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School ""In this fascinating and engagingly written book, Michael Gehring takes the complex and multifaceted C. S. Lewis and turns his life like a jewel under a lamp. Flashes of light and insight sparkle on every page. The literature on Lewis is vast, but even so, Gehring adds something new and fresh to the story of how a man so full of twists and turns, contradictions and surprises, became one of the most beloved and influential evangelists for Christianity in modern times. A must-read!"" --Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Emeritus, Candler School of Theology, Emory University ""In this meticulously researched book, Michael Gehring searches out underlying motivations that compelled C. S. Lewis, a respected Oxford don at the time of his conversion, to risk academic status and personal privacy in zealous pursuit of a vocation of Christian evangelism. . . . I learned so much from this book."" --Robert C. Dykstra, Charlotte W. Newcombe Professor of Pastoral Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary Michael Gehring is Senior Pastor of Broad Street United Methodist Church in Statesville, NC and Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Theology at Hood Theological Seminary.
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