Communicating Christ in Simplicity, Peter Unoarumhi, Grace Springs Africa, pp. 119, 2019
In the words of the author of this book, Communicating with Christ in Simplicity, Pastor Peter Unoarumhi, “communication is a major challenge Christians face in evangelising in this contemporary world. It also appears to be at the heart of most human problems and crises. At homes, offices, in relationships, in churches, in non-governmental organisations, in government and on the streets, the one major problem the world is facing is communication – either the lack of it or the failure to communicate accurately.”
The book is, therefore, aimed at teaching “the benefit of communicating Christ accurately to this generation; how to effectively make the message of Jesus Christ understandable; and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform your life and the lives of others who listen to you.” That’s not all. It is a character moulding tool and blueprint for spiritual realisation and realignment; it provides the lever to draw wanderers home.
In Communicating Christ in Simplicity, Unoarumhi took the KISS (keep it short and simple) approach. The cover is simple but stylish. In terms of content and character, it’s a no-holds-bare offering.
Breaking down the imperatives of effective communication in evangelism into seven chapters, the author focuses on why and how every believer should master the art of communicating Christ accurately. Chapter One addresses the greatest need of churches today, which it identified as the communication challenge.
Here, it gives a robust definition of communication, stressing: “The message of the gospel drives on the wheel of communication. If we fail to clearly communicate Christ, we have failed in our sacred mandate.”
Again, this chapter acknowledges that though there is the proliferation of information instruments and media gadgets in the 21st century church, “however, there is a big difference between mass communication and effective communication.”
What truly is the gospel? Chapter Two offers a refreshing insight into the subject. Here, the book tells the old story of Adam’s transgression and humanity’s burden but with a touch of grace. It’s like a breath of fresh air.
Chapter Three bemoans the attempt to spruce up the gospel by some preachers, albeit to make it more appealing to achieve personal desires or objectives. The chapter emphasised that the gospel is neither about meeting social needs nor political activism. Quoting from a Christianity Today editorial, it explains that though the problems of the world grab the heart of God, the mother of the social problem is alienation from God.
“Today, it seems as if the church is doing everything except the thing our Lord told us to do. In many places, we have redefined the message, changed it, to suit our whims and caprices, altered it to make it more appealing to the people we want to reach. But as someone once said, our job is to make sure the people got the message; it is not to make them like it. Apostle Paul placed a curse on those who tried to change the gospel message,” it says, using Galatians 1: 8-9 to back up this position.
The caption of Chapter Four is Communicating Christ Accurately. Focusing on the communicating crises bedevilling the church today, it insists that one of the great challenges confronting believers today is communicating the message of Christ in terms that ordinary people can understand.
Take this from Unoarumhi: “Various versions of Jesus, different from the true Jesus of the Bible have been presented to an undiscerning public by well-meaning but ignorant people in the name of evangelism. Effective communication of the gospel will always result in an accurate understanding of the person and power of Christ.”
Chapter Five dwells on the guidelines for effective evangelism. The author talks about the simple way to lead someone to Christ, personal preparation for witnessing, and tips to follow in following up a new Christian.
Lifestyle evangelism is the sixth chapter. According to Unoarumhi, “Lifestyle evangelism is all about modelling Christ and His values in our thought, speech, actions and conduct… As a result, people can look at our lifestyle and see what makes us different from them.”
In the seventh chapter, Holy Spirit discernment in evangelism is the focus. One of the lessons taught here is that “to communicate Christ accurately, we must learn to differentiate between the gospel and culture of a people.”