By This Name by John Cross
Veteran missionary John Cross has spent a lifetime attempting to communicate the central message of the Word of God to cultures that have little, if any, knowledge of that message. As America and other Western countries become increasingly biblically illiterate, a similar approach is needed here as well. By ThisName is the methodology Cross has developed to communicate this central message.
The concept behind this book is that it is most difficult to attempt to evangelize those who have no background in biblical narratives and themes. To give a gospel presentation, even one containing all the essential elements, will not benefit most hearers because they have no context in which to comprehend the message. Worse, if the evangelist is aggressive and forces an immediate decision, the hearers may well profess belief without understanding what they are professing. The result is that the evangelist reports encouraging statistics on conversions and the “converted” claims Christianity, but spiritually nothing has transpired. What is needed is to take unbelievers through a study of the central theme of Scripture—Christ and His redemptive plan—in order that they receive a true understanding of who Christ is and what He is offering spiritually. By This Name provides this context, tracing the theme of Christ and redemption from Genesis through Revelation. In turn, the gospel message is made clear to even those who have never before heard the name of Jesus.
By This Name would make a fine personal study but is also highly useful for a Bible study class for children as well as adults. The book is an adaptation of Cross’ early book, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, but is aimed at those who live in a post-modern, post-Christian, and secular society, or in a culture influenced by pantheism, polytheism and animism.