Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Book Review - The Way Back by Phil Cooke and Jonathan Bock

As I read this book, I was so convicted that practically every other page is highlighted. The full title of the book is The Way Back; How Christians Blew Our Credibility and How We Get It Back.

The premise is that in America, Christianity is losing its impact and influence on the culture. This is not a new statement and as illustrated in the book has happened in the past; history has a way of repeating itself.

The authors are Christians in the entertainment industry. They see first hand the degradation of our culture, but they are in positions to exert their influence.

I tend to shy away from how-to books because they tend to minimize the process; if it were so simple once shared everyone would change. So it's not so much a how-to book as it is a "how come?" book. This book provides insight into our current cultural state and then imparts suggested steps for navigating to the next level.

Some key points:

  • Christians should be known by their fruit; in particular the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • Modern Christianity (in America) is all talk, no action. Big hat, no cattle.
  • We've made ourselves God. The other God is you (which was the other working title for this book).
  • Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine - Dwight L. Moody.

My favorite quote: "How long have we chased the Sunday feeling of being in the presence of God because its more convenient than doing the hard work of being in the presence of God every day."

The authors trace the path of the early church and its impact on the surrounding culture. They show how the disciples turned the world upside down with the imminent plight of persecution. They were consistent in their care, values and beliefs. From church history, we see the ending of infanticide during the Roman Empire. "Without confrontation, protest or debate, love did it's work." This was a love embodied by Christians. From these and many examples, we know that as Christians we have this same power today.

The way back is a process the authors have dubbed the S7 Mysteries: Surrender, Scripture, Submission, Service, Sacrifice, Simplicity, Suffering. Each mystery is explained and supplemented with suggested action steps. But this is not a 7 step process that gets you a prize, this is a changed mindset with a lifetime of commitment.

The tone of the book is preachy but optimistic. It wants you to get the message and then be so convicted after reading that you decide to change. If you're serious about your Christianity and if you're struggling with making a greater impact, in addition to reading the Bible I would recommend reading this book.

PS - I received this book from Eden Digital Group for review; all thoughts expressed are my own.


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