Shipman’s Book Review
Number of words: 1555
The Shipman’s book, Any-3: Lead Muslims to Christ Now!: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime, provides an insight that Islam as a religion, grow at a pace that is higher than any other in the contemporary world. This piece of work emanated after Shipman’s fruitless years of ministry work in the resistant land of Muslims. Together with his team, he developed three approaches, which can be used to share the gospel with anyone, anywhere, and at any time. This technique, on the whole, offers a spiritual openness filtering method under Holy Spirit work. Besides, Shipman addressed different false perceptions that bedeviled their mission. Shipman’s awareness has a diverse inference for people globally. Particularly, for the Christians, it bears a meaning of increasing exposure and interaction with the Muslims. This way, engaging staunch Islam believers with the gospel, hence, infers both existential reality and missiological consideration for every Christian. Shipman’s short writing offers an evangelistic conversation with the Muslims, whereby his work seeks to inspire actions while normalizing and simplifying the process of gospel sharing.
Shipman’s book describes the need to share the gospel with any person, at any place, and any moment. This strategy equips Christians with the necessary awareness to evangelize the Muslim group. However, this technique, according to the author, can be used to any other group. This inference is feasible because the book stems from Shipman’s literature, “Jesus’ pattern of witnessing,” which is traceable in the Samaritan case, courtesy of John 4 (Shipman 25). This example reveals five evangelistic steps to witnesses. Firstly, one is supposed to connect to his or her listener. Secondly, “get to God” is the next step involving questioning and observation. Thirdly, “get to lostness” questions about one’s sins and forgiveness. Fourthly, the evangelist is supposed to ask his or her witness about the gospel. Lastly, the witness is supposed to decide based on the entire summon. These steps are believed to be useful in evangelizing to any other group apart from Muslims.
Undoubtedly, this book’s criteria offer many commands. It has several biblical inferences, to mean, its authoritative nature is supported by scriptures, which is a case for any evangelistic conversation. This observation perhaps is insignificant, yet it provides a noteworthy development over other literary work targeting the Muslim group. Explicitly, the author does not appeal to the Quran’s authority. Also, his argument does not relate merely to either natural or shared revelation. His technique can be analyzed to be based on scriptures, and this feature indicates the authoritative nature of his work. Furthermore, his methods are not formulaic. Instead, it is simple and easy to memorize. The author provides an evangelistic dialogue as he encourages witnesses to be instinctive when listening and interacting with the evangelist. Also, he avoids being propositional in his methods but supports a narrative strategy. As a result, a fair discussion is encouraged by eliminating biased perceptions. So, when “Any-3” is performed correctly, the success lies in witnesses’ participation, evangelist being able to listen to hearers, and talker’s ability to use memorable stories when passing a message. This way, connecting with witnesses can be quick, and understanding enhanced between the evangelist and the listener.
The book refutes the common for not sharing the gospel, depending on the situation. For example, Shipman extensively used the woman’s encounter with Jesus at the well. The two persons did not know each other well, yet Jesus seized the chance to evangelize to her. This case illustrates that gospel can happen even in the absence of a trusting relationship – an attribute the author tries to dispel among the evangelists. This analogy, therefore, strengthens the strategy of the book, share gospel anywhere, with anyone, and at any time. Overtly, Shipman is direct with his message, and they are expressed in such a way that is easy to understand. This method of evangelism regardless of the situation cements his perception of challenging the missionaries whose viewpoint is based on being slow, relational, cautious, and incarnation when dealing with the Muslim group. Instead, Shipman believed in early evangelism and that which is performed in accordance with Christ’s command. Similarly, a direct call for response is overt in his tactic. In responding to Christ, the hearer should have faith in Christ, and this means that the gospel is not merely sharing of information. Its overall emphasis is significant even if sometimes it may distort the assumptions and manipulation (Shipman 103). Stemming from this viewpoint, the focus is mainly presenting the gospel and then seeking the response. This assessment dismisses the chance of debate and apologies. In other words, the listener is not given an opportunity to reason and make queries. In most cases, Jesus is used as an example, and therefore, Shipman encourages his audiences to follow the gospel, and cease from questioning until later. Well, this analysis reveals the shortfall of Shipman’s work.
In an inspiring manner, Shipman’s book provides an evangelistic conversation with the Muslims and any other target group by simplifying and normalizing the gospel sharing technique. This book offers a natural path that any person can practice within a short time, do gospel presentation, and then receive an engaging response. On the whole, Shipman offers five distinctive steps, get connected, get to God, get to lostness, get to the gospel, and get to a decision, which prepares a person to get acquainted with the gospel and Holy Spirit, leads him or her to conviction, and eventually set them ready for salvation.
In my discussion with two Christians, Charly and Mark, I noticed a positive response to the Any-3 sharing. Following the steps, sharing the Any-3 was fruitful. Firstly, we got connected by knowing each other well and being friendly. In step 2, I noticed that most religions are alike in the sense that everyone is trying to please God so as to go to heaven someday. For Christians, one’s sins can be forgiven if he or she forgives others. In step three, Charly and Mark had a common answer as both believed that their sins are forgiven even though they know they are not perfect because they try to do good always. In number four, the first and last sacrifice story of Jesus informs Christians to get the gospel and surrender their lives to Jesus. Because of Jesus, their sins will be forgiven. Lastly, Charly and Mark believed that God had made a way so that their sins would be forgiven because Jesus died and was raised again.
My witness attempts with the three Muslims, Hasan, Faisal, and Hafiz, had a positive result based on Any-3 proposal. The first step, which is the connection, involved getting to know each other. We became friends, and discussing the gospel as presented in the Any-3 was okay. All of them refer to God as Allah, and all the three individuals consented to the fact that Allah forgives sins once a person asks for it. After that, a person is expected to turn back to him and do as he wishes. In this sense, the process is much the same as that of Christians as both insist on doing good always. I then asked some of the things each person does to ensure that his or her sins are forgiven. This step coincides with step three of the Any-3 procedure. Repentance was the common answer to this question, universal to all the three witnesses. Besides, the listeners consented to the need to do good to others, and even forgive other people; as such, God will find it easier to forgive one’s sins. I again queried whether they believed whether they think that their sins will be forgiven, and the answer I got was optimistic as all everyone seemed to believe that Allah will forgive them of their sins. So, Muslims believe that their sins are paid off once they repent to Allah and that even though they can still sin, which is characteristic of humans, repentance is always the key.
After telling the sacrifice story, as is in the Any-3, I concluded by saying that that is how I know my sins are forgiven. Turning on to my three witnesses, they all agreed to the likeness of this scripture to that of theirs. All of them noted that Jesus came to take away our sins and that his death was the symbol of that purpose. So, by surrendering our lives to Jesus and believing that he paid for our sins through the death sacrifice he accomplished, then our sins will be forgiven by God. In the last step of talking to the witness, I concluded by getting to a decision. I asked whether they all believed that even though we cannot clear the debts of our sins, God had made it possible so that our sins could be forgiven by the death and resurrection of Jesus. The response was positive, and witnesses had a convergent opinion about it. So, on the whole, witnesses believed in Jesus’ sacrifice and that he died for our sins, and later or resurrected again.
Shipman, Mike. Any-3: Lead Muslims to Christ Now!: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime. 2013.