Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age

Reviewed by: Megan Alms, Professional Writing Major at Taylor University, Upland, IN.



Book Title: Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age


Author: Alan Noble

Publisher: IVP Books

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 189 pages


It’s no secret that modern evangelism is inefficient. But what can be done in a culture of constant distractions and conflicting opinions? This is the heart of Alan Noble’s exploration in Disruptive Witness.

When we approach a conversation about our faith, both parties come to the conversation with the cultural presupposition that religion is a matter of personal preference. Everyone believes something. This belief is part of what forms each person’s individualistic identity and nothing more. There is no urgency.

When we talk about our faith in this way, we’re not sharing the gospel. We’re participating in what Noble calls a “rhetorical dance.” There’s some intellectual back-and-forth interaction, but it ultimately leads nowhere. Following such a discussion, you may receive a text, reminding you to check Twitter, leading you to read an article . . . and before you know it, you’ve forgotten any depth of conversation you may have had.

In order to battle this tendency, we must first battle the desires that have been programmed into us. “We should not naively believe that we can suddenly reverse the flow of innovation,” says Noble. Despite our inability to change an entire culture, we can make an effort to change ourselves.

We must constantly reassess how society and technology are affecting us. As Christians, we are called to reject evil practices. But rarely is a new technology purely good or evil, so we have to weigh the costs and benefits of the innovations we invite into our lives.

After evaluating these ideas within our own lives, it is necessary to apply them to our approach to ministry. “Past models of discussing faith have almost all assumed a listener who is active, attentive, and aware of the costs of believing,” says Noble. Media-driven culture has permeated our listeners, and we must circumvent the way they have been trained to absorb information.

In the words of the author, Disruptive Witness “does not aim to solve the problems of secularism and technology-driven distraction, but it does offer concrete, achievable, meaningful actions to help the church preserve its witness.”



Rating: 4/5

 Suggested Audience

Evangelical Christians seeking to effectively witness in the digital age.

 Christian Impact

This book discusses the changes we’ve seen in Western culture over the past several years and encourages Christians to be intentional and mindful about their methods of witnessing.


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Disruptive Witness

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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