Share Jesus Without Fear
A Research Paper in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
EVAN565 (Spring 2013)
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
Rick Mangrum (ID# 21757355)
April 13, 2013
Fay, William, Share Jesus Without Fear. Nashville: B&H Publishing, 1999.
William (Bill) Fay is a converted mobster who has now dedicated his life to spreading the gospel. As a “money-driven busman with Mafia ties” he traded in prostitution profitably for many years. His house of prostitution was eventually raided and he faced the consequences of his actions. Realizing he needed a different direction in his life he “turned to Jesus Christ for redemption” and has been working to spread the gospel ever since.
In addition to writing Share Jesus Without Fear, which has now sold over 5 million copies, he hosts a weekly syndicated radio show “Let’s Go!” and travels around the world as a speaker and guest lecturer. He also works with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration as a chaplain helping counsel agents in their work as well as those who are arrested, just as he was previously.
Bill Fay is an example of a man who completely turned his life around for Christ. The impact of Jesus on his life is evident in his writing and his work as he enthusiastically and energetically proclaims the gospel. Bill Bright, founder and past president of Campus Crusade for Christ described him as one of the most “enthusiastic and effective” people he has ever met in his spreading of the gospel.
Share Jesus Without Fear was written to give any believer an encouraging roadmap that leads to successfully sharing the gospel. It is presented in a way that from the beginning confronts the biggest fear of most believers about sharing the gospel and leads the reader down a path of successful methods and approaches. The structure of the work is a big part of its success.
The first three of eleven chapters deal with the believer, not the message or the receiver of the message. This part of the process is often skimmed over or skipped by most people or methods trying to help others share the gospel. We are all afraid of failure in this most-important mission of the Christian life! In reality, Fay accurately points out that you cannot really fail in this mission if you try. (p. 3) There are no failures in sharing the gospel. It is a marathon not a sprint. We must first understand the mission. The mission is to share. Most people are condemned to Hell from the silence of believers all around them. (p. 6) By acknowledging our fear of failure and understanding the mission clearly we can them move on to the decision of whether to accept or reject the mission. Fay clearly outlines the six most common fears that keep people from moving forward. (p.17)
If believer decides to go forward from this point, the next four chapters deal with the how-to portion of the book. There are simple methods to start conversations that lead to key questions. Fay gives us five easy questions to use in the journey of sharing with another. (p. 32) He then comes back to the reminder that you cannot really fail if you engage in the process! You succeed just by taking the journey. Once you have started the conversation and moved through some key questions to open up the subject, seven simple scriptures are presented to bring the issue to a biblical context.
The beauty of the scriptures chosen by Fay is that they will be familiar to most unbelievers in our society. Used in the order presented, they move the listener easily down the road. After the scriptures, simple questions to use to help move to commitment are presented. (p. 61) The final chapter of the how-to portion is a simple guide helping a new believer.
Through these first seven of eleven chapters describe the road and how to get on it. The eighth chapter is what made this book unique to this reader. Fay presents thirty-six of the most common reasons or objections given by nonbelievers to reject Christ and biblically based responses. It is a very comprehensive list. (p. 81) After the gospel is presented and rejected, why it is being rejected is a logical and reasonable question. Fay gives the most common whys and simple responses.
The next two chapters deal with everyday life among nonbelievers, how to be their friends and properly pray for them. This is a topic worthy of discussion and study. We all live in a nonbelieving society. A biblical approach to this life is something we should understand and practice. Fay gives a solid approach.
The last chapter of the book is a challenge to get moving on the journey. It is not optional. To be obedient, it is a journey we must all take. (p. 141) Fay finishes the formal chapters of the book by returning to the beginning. Our challenge is not to complete the journey, not to accept Christ for others, but to share the message. (p. 143) If we fail to share, we fail in the mission. If we share, we cannot really fail at all! (p. 3)
The structure of the book is one of its strengths, empowering the content. The logical, human approach of Fay, moving from the emotions of the believer to the message to the emotions of the receiver is easy to understand and accept as a method of sharing the gospel. The content of each chapter leads the reader to want to read the next one.
Fay clearly achieved his intended purpose in this work. The path presented is clear and easy to follow. It is not a simple or easy journey to share the gospel. Fay presents a starting place, warnings and solutions about potential detours or accidents that may occur and a vision of the end of the journey. His main theme is very convincing. You can share Jesus without the fear of either having no answers to the questions or your listener or without the fear of failure. (p. 82, 3) Since there is no real possibility of failure, there is no failure to fear. The achievement of his purpose and its convincing theme are seen also by the five million copies sold as well as the presentation of this material in kit-form for churches and individual teams to use in sharing the gospel.
Fay approached the subject with one significant basic assumption; the reader was interested in the gospel. While written to a reader interested in sharing their own personal salvation experience with others, the book is also an easy-read to a non-Christian interested in the subject. Fay also assumes that the reader has a basic working knowledge of the Bible and a willingness to accept it as the word of God. He briefly deals with objections to the Bible as a source of knowledge or influence. (p. 43) Using the seven basic scriptures that fully explain the gospel, Fay presents a logical, well supported and convincing path to the acceptance of salvation. He moves the reader from the fact of sin to its consequences, from its consequences to the only alternative, to the acceptance of the alternative. His evidence to support this main theme is the Bible and the logical story of the journey of man it tells. His conclusion is the one anticipated by the reader of a book titled Share Jesus Without Fear, that accepting Christ gives the alternative to the wages of sin. (p. 47)
For most readers of this work, the next step on the journey is not usually the decision to follow Jesus and how to help the new believer as presented by Fay; it is the answering of the non-believer’s objections to what you have presented that comes next. This is the truly unique and significant aspect of this work. Not only does Fay present general ideas and themes that may be used to help the non-believer overcome their personal objections to the gospel message, he outlines the most common objections given and effective responses. This is the heart of the work for this reader and where Fay reaches his highest success. Although there is nothing new in this material, the presentation is unique, easy to use and easy to understand both for the aspiring Christian soul winner and the non-Christian reader.
Fay’s style adds to the success of the work. Today it is fourteen years old but seems fresh and contemporary as if it were published yesterday. There are some minor biases present. They do not distract from the power of the work of the overall message. It does at times use church-language with the assumption it is easily understood by the ready. The words deity, salvation, faith and Holy Spirit are used many times with no real definition of their meaning. But this style does not distract from the journey or arrival at the final destination.
What is really good about this book is that is states a clear purpose, shows a path to the purpose and a definition of arrival at the purpose. Solutions to potential distractions and roadblocks are presented and explained. Success is defined. It is hard to find anything bad to say about this work.
Anyone interested in the gospel or sharing the gospel would find it helpful and insightful. It is easily oriented into serious ministry or casual reading. The subject is as old as Easter Sunday and as contemporary as this afternoon. It could be especially helpful to young people beginning their journey as soul winners. Understanding and being able to verbalize answers to the most common roadblocks as Fay presents would serve the reader well for many years to come. This reader’s understanding of successful sharing of the gospel was greatly advance by the reading of the work.
Baker Publishing Website, http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/authors/authors.asp?a=Fay_William. Accessed 4/10/13.
Fay, William, Share Jesus Without Fear, Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 1999.