Book Review Get Out and Get Rid of Dilemmas

G. Van Dooren Premier Publishing, Winnipeg, Manitoba

155 pages

Price – 9.00

Reviewed by MarieAnn Denning, Emmanuel URC

Available through Inheritance Publications:              Book Review: Get Out and Get Rid of Dilemmas by G. Van Dooren Evangelism is a tool that should be dear to everyone’s heart because so much has already been written about it. The book entitled Get Out and Get Rid of Dilemmas by the late Rev. G. Van Dooren is not another “how to do it” book that covers aspects of evangelism from A to Z. Instead it addresses some areas or issues surrounding evangelism that we may often get bogged down in as Reformed people. The book is comprised of two parts—mini booklets, if you will—that could each easily stand on their own. This does lead to some overlap and repetition of ideas for which the author need offer no apology. After all, repetition often reinforces or clarifies ideas.

The first section is actually derived from subject matter on which the author lectured based on a course he taught for members of the Burlington, Ontario Canadian Reformed Church. He begins by dealing with obstacles and objections to evangelism that might be put forth by fellow believers. Such objections must first be considered before “getting off the ground” and doing actual evangelism. Rev. Van Dooren then explains that evangelism can only succeed when it becomes a calling for all believers.

Van Dooren goes on to state that a grassroots movement will produce action and that some of the action must be organized. This section is followed by another that discusses various ways of organization and critiquing different methods of evangelism.

After the first section was available in print, Rev. Van Dooren received many speaking invitations asking him to clarify some practical problems that arose from his booklet. He saw the need to address some of the practical concerns that were raised and printed them in a second booklet entitled, A Dozen Dilemmas, even though more than a dozen are discussed.

Included are:

• Should evangelism be intentional (planned and organized) or unintentional (spontaneous or by examples of our daily living)? • What should have priority: home missions or foreign missions? • What should be the aim of the church: saving souls or building the church? • Do we have to preach the gospel or do we instruct in Scriptures? • Should we approach only unbelievers or also members of other churches? • Must new members adjust themselves to our Reformed ways or do we have to adjust our church life to accommodate them? • Wouldn’t things be easier for evangelism if we were more Arminian and not adhere strictly to the Canons of Dort?

Space and time do not permit an explanation of the author’s view on each question. For that, you must read the book. While I would not agree with everything that is presented by Rev. Van Dooren in this booklet, nor do I think it will ever become a best seller, it did cause me to contemplate various aspects and implications surrounding evangelism that I would not otherwise have considered. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in evangelism.