Archbishop of Canterbury leads tributes to theologian and evangelist Michael Green

Canon Michael Green(Photo: Vimeo/Highfields Church)

Tributes have been paid to Canon Michael Green who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 89. 

Green was the author of more than 50 books, many of them offering his perspectives on evangelism and apologetics. 

Popular titles include How Shall We Reach Them?, co-authored with scientist and theologian Alister McGrath, Evangelism in the Early Church, I Believe in the Holy Spirit and Who is this Jesus?.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said Green had been a 'compelling and consummate evangelist' and 'an example and model to all of the joy and energy that living and loving the gospel bring to proclaimer and listener'.

'He served the church locally, nationally and internationally through his ministry of communication in speech and writing,' he said.

'As the church we are deeply grateful for his tenacious ministry. Beyond telling, however, will be the gratitude of all those that Michael introduced to Jesus Christ – the Lord in whose presence he now knows joy beyond our imagination.' 

In Inspire Magazine, evangelist J John paid tribute to Green's 'rich and extraordinarily fruitful earthly life'. 

He credited Green with changing British culture, particularly where it concerned evangelism and the church's understanding of the Holy Spirit. 

'Particularly important was the way that, in two key areas, Michael was able to dispel prejudices,' he said.

'One was the belief, widely held until into the 70s, that you couldn't be a scholar and an evangelical, and certainly not one who was passionate for evangelism.

'Michael had an extraordinarily sharp mind and accumulated academic honours – indeed, had he chosen to be purely a scholar he could have been a professor in any of the great universities – but he remained openly and enthusiastically committed to sharing the good news of Jesus.

'The second widespread preconception was that the only people who believed that the Holy Spirit might be a powerful and active force in the world today were those who were uneducated and knew no theology.'

Others paid tribute to Green on Twitter. 

Rev Sally Hitchener added: 'Very sad news - hope they have a cathedral big enough for all the lives he's touched to say goodbyes.'

Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, said he was a 'great evangelist and servant of the gospel'.