Movements That Change the World: Five Keys to Spreading the Gospel by Steve Addison (A Book Review)


While this book has been around awhile (orig. publication 2009, revised 2011), it should remain “timely” for quite some time to come for anyone interested in the church as a “missionary movement”. Steve Addison has packed this very quick read with a lot of descriptive history of movements that were successful in spreading the gospel. [It’s a good thing this book does read quickly—I found it very hard to put it down.] He aptly distinguishes the movements that succeeded beyond merely spreading the gospel and bore fruit for successive generations by “making disciples”. [Read more…]

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Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival by Leonard Sweet (A Book Review)


Only a few pages into this book, the thought struck: Leonard Sweet is a Renaissance Man for this generation! His breathtaking mastery of multi-disciplinary knowledge, powers of observation, and analytical skill in assessing the traits, tendencies and trends of this culture have been brought to bear in this newly released volume. Sweet has done his research and waded deeply into the waters of change—a “Gutenberger” immigrating from a tribe of Enlightenment-influenced navel-gazers into a country populated by relational, tech-savvy “Googlers”. [Read more…]

Viral Jesus: Recovering the Contagious Power of the Gospel by Ross Rohde (A Book Review)


What is preventing the Gospel from spreading in Western Christendom like it did in the first century—and like it did in China when the Cultural Revolution virtually shut down the institutional church by taking control of it? What is stopping a contagious Jesus movement today?  We proclaim that the Gospel has not lost its power, and yet… [Read more…]

“I Am A Follower: The Way, Truth and Life of Following Jesus” by Leonard Sweet (A Book Review)


To abandon all, to strip one’s self of all, in order to seek and follow Jesus Christ naked to Bethlehem where He was born, naked to the hall where He was scourged, and naked to Calvary where He died on the cross, is so great a mystery that neither the thing nor the knowledge of it, is given to any but through faith in the Son of God. __John Wesley

For more than half a century I’ve lived in a “church culture”.  For the first four decades it was a Methodist culture that, before my eyes, seemed to fulfill Wesley’s foreboding:

I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out. __John Wesley

Where did all the power go—not just in the Methodists—but in the entire Protestant church in the West? The power is only available to those who follow Christ, even to Calvary. The power belongs to those who “die” and rise with Christ to walk in New Covenant resurrection life, spreading a New Covenant Kingdom! I’m convinced the Western Church has lost its power because it’s following the wrong leaders, cluttered with errant Old Testament (and wrongly interpreted New Covenant) teachings, splintered into too many factions—each of which is focused more on self-preservation than on the Lord Jesus Christ. [Read more…]