Two Ways to Live in brief

Two Ways to Live is a memorable summary of the Christian gospel. In six simple points, it conveys the key information that the average non-Christian person needs to understand in order to become a Christian. And it does so in a way that does not assume any prior knowledge or understanding of Christian concepts. The Two Ways to Live outline is the basis for three different kinds of resources:

I've decided to trust Jesus

I want to know more about Jesus and Christianity before I decide

I've got some specific questions

Two Ways to Live in detail

At the most basic level, Two Ways to Live is simply a memorable summary of the Christian gospel. Or to put it more accurately, it is the Christian gospel including some of its necessary presuppositions and background.

In the New Testament, the word ‘gospel’ usually refers to the proclamation of Jesus Christ crucified. It is the announcement that God's kingdom has arrived in the person of his Son, the powerful Messiah, who inaugurates his worldwide reign by dying and rising again so that repentance and forgiveness can be preached to all nations. This Jesus Christ now rules at God's right hand, from where he will come again to judge.

 In other words, Jesus himself is the focus of the Christian message or ‘gospel’. However, Jesus does not arrive in a vacuum. He arrives as the culmination of God's plans, and their outworking in history. He comes and dies and rises, “according to the Scriptures”. He arrives in the context of all that God has already revealed about himself and humanity.

All this is part of the background or ‘world view’ that the biblical authors took for granted, but which many people now do not share. If we are to know and tell the gospel in a world where these basic assumptions about God and human guilt are no longer shared, or even common, then we need to fill in some of the rest of the story. We need to provide some of the background.

 This is what Two Ways to Live seeks to do. It fills in some of the wider story of the Bible, some of the biblical theology, so that the message about Jesus makes sense.

 If you are completely new to Two Ways to Live, you may like to pause at this point and read through the basic text of the outline, as found in the online presentation of Two Ways to Live. You will see that the six points not only provide a brief summary of the whole story of the Bible, but fit logically together as a coherent set of propositions.

  • God, the good ruler and creator; humanity ruling under his authority.
  • Humanity rebels, wishing to run things its own way.
  • God judges (and will judge) humanity for this rebellion.
  • In his love, God sends Jesus to die, receiving the punishment humanity deserves.
  • In his power, God raises Jesus to life as ruler and savior, and offers forgiveness.
  • This presents every human with a challenge to repent and believe.

Notice that there is a clear and easy-to-follow movement through the six points, not only logically but historically. On one level it is a set of six ideas or propositions, one leading naturally and logically to the next. However, these propositions are not abstract or removed from history. They represent in miniature the whole history of the world.

In other words, for those in these postmodern times who share very little with us in terms of Christian assumptions, Two Ways to Live provides a simple way to tell the whole story, to communicate (in brief) the whole Christian world view.

The drawings that accompany Two Ways to Live are designed to make this communication process easier. They serve at one level to help Christians learn and remember the gospel outline. At another level, they can also be useful in making the message clear and memorable as we share it with someone. The drawings may not be used in every circumstance, but they are an important part of the overall package.

Another advantage of the presentation is that it leads naturally to challenging someone to become a Christian, then and there. As the great American chess master Bobby Fischer always maintained: the first thing to learn about chess is how to get checkmate.

There are also translations, activity books and more that you can pass on to others!

Browse the whole range

Things to give away

Two Ways to Live (tract)

Two Ways to Live is a simple, clear, and challenging outline of the Christian gospel.

Who Will be King?

A colourfully illustrated and engaging adaptation of Two Ways to Live developed for children. Sensitively written with simplified language and concepts.

Two Roads

This adaptation by Kel Richards of the Two Ways to Live gospel tract adopts the theme of life being a 'journey', and is written at a simpler level.

The Essential Jesus (original edition)

The Essential Jesus combines the strengths of Two Ways to Live with the powerful story of the Gospel of Luke to offer "the dream evangelistic product".

Evangelistic studies

Two Ways to Live: a Bible study

Here is yet another way to take advantage of the widely known and highly regarded Two Ways to Live gospel outline.

Sometimes, perhaps after an initial conversation, your non-Christian friends or family may be willing to sit down with you and read for themselves what God's Word says. In four or five sessions you could work through Investigating Christianity or Tough Questions. But if you only have an hour or so over lunch or after dinner one night, there is something ideal for the purpose: the Two Ways to Live Bible study explaining Christianity.

This attractively-produced Bible study will get people opening up the Bible to discover for themselves the core components of Christianity as they are logically explained in the Two Ways to Live outline. The study combines short passages, simple questions and explanatory text to link it all together. It can be done with individuals or with a small group of enquirers. It can be used informally with friends, as a means of follow-up to evangelistic events, or in conjunction with church visiting. The potential uses for this flexible new resource are enormous.

You, Me and the Bible

You, Me and the Bible is a resource to help two or three friends to sit down together and discover the central message of the Bible. Each of the six sessions contains:

  • two short Bible passages to read and talk about
  • questions and ideas to stimulate discussion
  • a linked summary video to draw the ideas together
  • concluding questions to discuss the implications

The passages in You, Me and the Bible are taken from all over the Bible, and introduce readers to six key ideas in the Bible's message:

  • God as our creator and ruler
  • Humanity as rebels against God
  • God's judgement on our rebellion
  • Jesus' death for our sins
  • Jesus' resurrection as Lord of all
  • The twofold response that all this requires of us. 

Introducing God Participant's Handbook

This Aussie-developed evangelistic course is a highly effective way of 'introducing' unchurched people to God. Presented by Dominic Steele, this course consists of an introductory session then a 7-session course. There's also an optional 'Weekend Escape' and 'Sexuality Appendix'. It requires additional video content.

Other course materials: Leader's Guide, Course Training DVD, Course DVD.

Training for Christians

Two Ways to Live (Course Participant)

The Two Ways to Live: Know and share the gospel course stems from the conviction that every Christian should know and understand the gospel clearly, and be able to explain their faith effectively when the opportunity arises. However, the beauty of this course is that it does not assume that every Christian will have the same gifts or opportunities to share the gospel.

Participants spend some time looking at what the Bible says about sharing the gospel, and at the attitudes, motivations and methods that should accompany it. They learn not only what the gospel actually is, but how to share it simply and naturally with others. This involves learning to adapt a basic gospel outline to their own conversational style, and practising this skill in different contexts. They also spend time reflecting on the content and theology of the gospel outline, through listening to two talks (available free online), and discussing them in the group.

After this seven-week course, participants should come away with:

  • a sound and thorough knowledge of what the gospel is, and
  • the ability to share it with someone clearly and naturally when the opportunity arises.

You will need a copy of this participant's workbook for the leader and each person doing the course. Leaders will require the leader's manual and probably the video material (available on Vimeo - DVD no longer in stock).

Two Ways to Live (Course Leader)

The Two Ways to Live: Know and share the gospel course stems from the conviction that every Christian should know and understand the gospel clearly, and be able to explain their faith effectively when the opportunity arises. However, the beauty of this course is that it does not assume that every Christian will have the same gifts or opportunities to share the gospel.

Participants spend some time looking at what the Bible says about sharing the gospel, and at the attitudes, motivations and methods that should accompany it. They learn not only what the gospel actually is, but how to share it simply and naturally with others. This involves learning to adapt a basic gospel outline to their own conversational style, and practising this skill in different contexts. They also spend time reflecting on the content and theology of the gospel outline, through listening to two talks (available free online), and discussing them in the group.

After this seven-week course, participants should come away with:

  • a sound and thorough knowledge of what the gospel is, and
  • the ability to share it with someone clearly and naturally when the opportunity arises.

This leader's manual gives you the content to help you lead the course. However, the video material (available on Vimeo) is an optional, but highly recommended, resource containing extra input for the leader as well as role plays and demonstrations to use throughout the course). You will also need a participant's workbook for the leader and each person doing the course.