I just finished reading Rumors of God by Darren Whitehead (Willow Creek) and Jon Tyson (Trinity Grace Church: NYC). More than anything else, this is Whitehead and Tyson’s attempt at describing what the Christian life looks like in 2011. They cover a range of topics including: abundant life, God’s dream for humanity, generosity, love, grace, freedom, commitment, community, justice, and hope.
For me, the strength of the book comes in two areas. FIrst, they do an excellent job of describing our modern context. For instance:
Ironically, the culture grows increasingly more “spiritual” while the church grows increasingly more practical.
In another passage they guess the dreams of many modern Americans,
You would like to have more money – financial stability. A comfortable living environment would be nice, perhaps a newer car. You’d have a progressing career, be respected in your field. You’d like to have emotionally healthy friends, who are energetic, encouraging, spontaneous, and fun. Maybe you’d wish to change something about your appearance – lose a few pounds, be taller, more athletic. If you’re single, you might desire to find a life partner, someone supportive, kind, and attractive (not just on the inside. Maybe you want to have kids. Or maybe you already have kids, and you want them to be well-educated, high-functioning, successful, well-mannered children who do better in school than your friends’ kids.
They then helpfully compare this with God’s dream for our lives.
The second thing they do very well is tell stories of grace and transformation from their communities. In several places they describe people whose lives have been utterly reshaped by the Gospel.
Overall, the book is well-written and clearly communicates their central concept that the Christian faith is remarkable and thriving even in a world where people are more skeptical than ever about the Christian faith. I’d recommend this book most to people who are trying to teach the gospel to a modern audience in ways that are engaging and simple.
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