Skip to main content

Secret To An Open Door - A Review

David A. Morel's short book, Secret To An Open Door: Igniting a Passion for the Lost, was recommended to me by a dear friend. I'm glad it was.


This book focus is different than virtually every other book on evangelism that I've ever read.

Greatest Strength

Being different isn't always better. In some cases, books are better simply because they are different. I found the difference in approach that was presented by Morel to be a refreshing and edifying angle.

The biblical information that Morel starts with isn't what you might expect. He doesn't start at 1 Corinthians 15 or John 3:16. Instead, the biblical content emphasized is regarding the gospel as a "mystery." Morel spends a good amount of effort to trace the importance of this theme through the pages of Scripture and the life of the Apostle Paul in particular.

Understanding the spiritual aspect of the gospel is lost on many. Morel tries to make this clear. This spiritual understanding requires us to use spiritual means to advance the gospel. Such talk may make some people nervous. But denying the reality of spiritual warfare would be a mistake. Morel focuses his attention and writing on the importance of understanding the unseen forces at work when preaching the gospel. He seeks to help Christians learn the secret to fruitful evangelism based on the ministry and, particularly, prayers of the Apostle Paul.

Relying on the power of Prayer
Learning to pray like Paul for success and open doors in evangelism is extremely important. Relying on God instead of methods of the flesh is crucial. After reading this book, I immediately began praying more like Paul. I found that God was pleased to open a door for me to share the gospel unexpectedly right away. If every Christian prayed this way, I am confident that much more genuine and fruitful evangelism would be the result.

Greatest Weakness

I mean everything I said above. Even still, I have a lot of theological differences with the material in Secret to an Open Door. Reading the section on the process of personal witnessing was very difficult. Aside from the discussion on the spiritual nature of evangelism and the importance of prayer in opening the door for effective witness, I can't say I found much of value for me personally.

Conclusion

For people I know who are already practicing evangelism in their daily lives, I would have no problem recommending this book. I would probably qualify my recommendation by saying they could read the first four chapters (only 46 pages) and ignore the last four.

Even with half of the book removed, I am not exaggerating when I say the part that remains is well-worth careful consideration. It is extremely easy for Christians, especially those who are comfortable in their personal witness, to rely on their experience and methods instead of the power of God. The Apostle Paul clearly understood the importance and power of prayer in effective gospel ministry. Morel's book brought clarity to this important subject more than any other book I've ever read. For that, I will always be thankful.

Comments

Popular Posts

Prayer vs. Petition

Q: What's the difference between prayer and petition? Phil 4:6 for example.

A: An excellent word study question! When attempting to study words from the text it is necessary to analyze the word being studied in the original language (in this case Greek) as attempting to look up the words in English will often produce erroneous results.

For example, in English the word petition has within its range of meanings things that are certainly not within the scope of meanings for the Greek word (i.e. “a sheet that is signed to demonstrate agreement with some principle or desire for some social action to be taken” is part of the range of “petition” but not of the Greek deesis from which “petition” is translated).

The word most commonly translated as “prayer” in our English Bibles is proseuche, which appears 36 times in the New Testament (NT) in one form or another (for the purposes of this study, we are only examining the usage of these words as nouns – the verbal forms will not be included…

The Church Isn't A Business

I used to be a salesman. I sold a lot of different stuff. I worked retail. I did door-to-door. In all my various jobs my function was essentially the same. I was the link between company and customer.

Successful companies know their customer demographics. Many sales meetings revolve around numbers. Persons are treated as statistics. The customer becomes a set of numbers, preferences, and habits. Really successful companies cater their goods and services to a target demographic.

It's all about the consumer experience.
I remember when I began in pastoral ministry. People assured me that my experience as a salesman would be beneficial. They said there was a lot of overlap between pastors and salespeople. That may be true in our experience. But is it true of what we read in Scripture?

When I open my Bible and read about Christ's church I see a beautiful design that is very different from a business. Night and day different.

When Jesus walked the earth He rebuked those who failed t…

Three Obstacles To Salvation

My children sometimes enjoy making obstacle courses. In our backyard. In the basement. They enjoy racing against each other to see who can get through the course the fastest.

Some adults enjoy obstacle courses.

I am not one of those adults.

Obstacles are annoying to me. I prefer a straight, smooth course. Even still, life is filled with obstacles. They are unavoidable. We must learn to deal with them.

Everyone who desires to live as a witness of Jesus Christ needs to understand three common obstacles to the salvation of others. We must understand and look for them so we can faithfully navigate the way.

1. The Enemy. The Bible describes the devil as the god of this world. Part of his work is to blind people to the gospel.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
(2 Corinthians 4…

Lift Up The Son, Part 1

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life." (John 3:14-15)
There is a difference between outreach and evangelism. Outreach can take many different forms. It can be service. It can be advertising. Outreach can (and should) contain evangelism. But it doesn't always.

Sometimes Christians fall into the trap of preaching ourselves. Preaching our churches. Preaching our favorite doctrines, moral battles, pressing burdens, or our pet programs.

To be sure, there is a time and a place for all of that.

But Christians must also remember the counsel of Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles:

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. (2 Corinthians 4:5)
We do not preach ourselves. We preach Christ Jesus as Lord. We present ourselves as servants of others for Jesus' sake. Our service to them can take many forms. …

The Promised King

As Peter wraps up his explanation of Christ on the Day of Pentecost he uses two additional Old Testament passages.
The first reference is seemingly a paraphrase of Psalm 132:11. It could simply be a summary of several Old Testament passages. The final passage is Psalm 110:1. Both texts serve to drive home the same point: Jesus is the promised king from the line of David.

Psalm 132 in Context
Psalm 132 is a Psalm of Ascents. It would have been sung by faithful Israelites on their way to the Temple to worship. This particular psalm calls on the Lord to remember His promise made to David. This promise included:

God providing a king from David's line to rule on the throne foreverGod choosing Zion as His habitation foreverGod's blessing upon His people for their faithfulness to the covenantGod bringing shame upon the enemies of His king
All of these hopeful truths are found repeatedly throughout the Old Testament. This psalm served as a reminder of God's promises and a stimulus t…