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Yearning for the Vast and Endless Sea

The Good News about the Good News

Yearning for the Vast and Endless Sea

The Good News about the Good News

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Paperback / softback


Publisher: Canterbury Press Norwich
ISBN: 9781786225177
Number of Pages: 160
Published: 31/01/2024
Width: 13.5 cm
Height: 21.6 cm

Evangelism is a contentious word, conjuring up all sorts of assumptions. It can create suspicion or imply tribalism, or can be seen as a desperate response to falling numbers. For some the term has become irredeemably polluted.

But what if we recovered an authentic understanding of evangelism as good news that enables people to know that they are drenched in the love and grace of God? And how do we do that?

This is a book for everyone who wants to share the gospel but who cannot relate to what evangelism has become. Its title is taken from Saint-Exupery, ‘If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.’

Drawing on writers like Bonhoeffer, Newbigin and Pope Francis’ landmark Euangelii Gaudium, Chris Russell aims to redeem evangelism from its present predicament.

He sets it in a deeper and richer theological context, asks how the church and individual Christians can communicate the love of God in language and action, and explores how the good news is received.

Chris Russell

Chris Russell is Adviser on Evangelism and Witness to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He is a frequent speaker at New Wine, Spring Harvest and at diocesan and local training events.

'One commonly forgotten aspect of Christian belief is excitement. The sheer thrill of it. This book is full of that thrill. It opens all the windows of your house of faith and lets the light stream in. I finished this book about three days ago and, as you can probably tell, I'm still excited.' -- Frank Skinner

'Yearning for the Vast and Endless Sea is a gem of a book – inspiring, pastoral, gracious, and every page brims over with Chris Russell’s infectious enthusiasm for the Gospel. He casts a vision for evangelism that goes far beyond techniques, obligations and cliches and simply brings the reader back to God, back to Jesus and the sheer beauty of the Gospel.' -- Isabelle Hamley, Principal of Ridley Hall

'Chris Russell’s new book is a breath of fresh air, reminding us why the good news is just so utterly good. What I love most is that instead of giving us a ‘how to’ manual, Chris takes us right back to the start - inviting us to revisit the wonder, beauty and power of it all. For some this brilliant book will help renew the joy of their salvation. For others it will re-kindle a passion for evangelism. For many it will do both.' -- Matt Redman, songwriter and worship leader

'I may not do God but I am interested in faith, in the Bible, and in those who are genuinely expert about the stories it tells. I have been lucky enough to have had some wonderful conversations with Chris Russell about all of the above and more and am thrilled he has written this book. You do not have to agree with every word to recognise a fine analytical mind, plenty of wisdom, and faith that runs deep and to good effect.' -- Alastair Campbell

'In this marvellous book Chris Russell shows us that testifying to the good of the story of Jesus Christ is both the beginning and the end of evangelism. Evangelism is giving narrative shape to the good we’ve encounter by meeting the living Jesus Christ. This is a good book. Chris Russell is a good guide. He gives us a good vision for evangelism. One that is good for the world and good for the church.' -- Andrew Root, Luther Seminary

'It is the deepest longing of every soul to know they are loved. My friend Chris Russell captures within this book some of the historic, theological, present beauty of telling the story of love in Jesus through the image of the vast and endless sea. I commend to you this book to remind us of the importance of speaking, sharing, and inviting others to know the endless love of God found in the person of Jesus Christ.' -- Sarah Yardley, Mission Lead, Creation Fest UK

'Chris Russell provides a welcome at times challenging but always inspirational reminder of where the pearl that is the good news of the gospel is to be found. The answer at a time of existential crisis for the Church and our world lies in the warming of the heart, clarity of mind and the purposeful delivery that can only be found by making space in ourselves and our institutions for the all inclusive love of the fisherman who will never throw us back into the sea and the joy filled and amplified proclamation of his wondrous word.' -- The Rt Hon the Lord Paul Boateng CVO DL, Vice President of the Bible Society and Chair of the Archbishops’ Council for Racial Justice

'In Yearning for the Vast and Endless Sea, Chris Russell makes a timely, elegant and impassioned case for Christian evangelism. Fears for the recession of the church can easily govern its message about Jesus, to the weakening of both. Here instead is a compelling and personal call to be inspired by the Good News itself, and the beautiful landscape offered to all.' -- Andrew Rumsey, author, songwriter and Bishop of Ramsbury

'Chris Russell is one of the best evangelists of our time. He writes as he lives – with all the urgency, compassion, and wisdom of one whose life has been transformed by Christ, and who longs for others to know the same love. Read this book and join the many people Chris has guided closer towards the risen Christ, who longs for us to know and love him as he knows and loves us.' -- Archbishop Justin Welby

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