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Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who's Already There Hardcover – 20 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 332 pages
  • Publisher: David C Cook Publishing Company; 1 edition (20 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434764745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434764744
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,265,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 36 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Nudge 24 Aug. 2010
By Virgina Garrett - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It seems I often get what I call "spiritual nudges". You know, those times you have a thought flit through your head and instead of flitting right out again, it stays. It consumes your every waking moment.

Sometimes they happen when you're in the drive-thru line at McDonalds, the thought that says, "Pay for the car behind you. Tell the worker to say, 'Jesus paid for your meal'" type of thought. Or sometimes you're nudged to tell the cashier at the bank, grocery store, gas station, or just your neighbor, "Hey! Did you know Jesus loves you?!"

Those nudges that you can't escape and can't ignore. But seem so very hard to do, so hard it is almost impossible? Those nudges that when you've moved on and haven't done what you know you should have, you feel a tremendous sense of loss?

We traveled last weekend to visit family and since finances are tight, we took our supper of ham and cheese sandwiches and chips with us. As I was getting on the interstate (I'm more of a highway driver, I like to see the sights no one sees anymore because everyone is in too big of a hurry on the interstate), there was a couple with a sign. I have no idea what the sign said, but they looked like they could use a good meal. I felt the nudge to stop and empty our supper cooler at their feet, apologize that it wasn't much but it was all I had. And instead I kept my supper and zipped onto the interstate. All the while feeling, I had somehow failed miserably the test I had just been given. I could have been the flesh-and-blood Jesus for that couple and I chose to keep my meager meal.

Leonard Sweet wrote in his latest book, Nudge, about this very thing. Nudge is about being awake and aware of all the times we are nudged by God to evangelize, even in some small way, those around us. It is about being aware of God working in, through and with us to reach a lost and dying world.

I had the privilege of sending messages with questions about certain things in the book to Leonard Sweet and forgive the pun but he was sweet to answer. To say the book is not without controversy would be to say the sun is without heat. Or maybe it was just so radical to me it appeared controversial. It is to say the least, revolutionizing. It will revolutionize your thinking and how you view evangelism.

Here is a quote I found especially convicting.
" Evangelism is more being the good news than telling the good news. But sometimes you tell. In fact, the first postresurrection of Jesus contains the whole of nudge: 'Go quickly and tell." 'Go' means to get off your seat, on your feet, and leave your secure world to venture forth into where God is up to something. Forget about hijacking people into holy places. Fish where the fish are. But go fishing."

I first discovered Leonard Sweet about 10 years ago when I read "A cup of coffee at the Soul Cafe". A book I still, a decade later, highly recommend. I loved "Soul Salsa" and "The Gospel According to Starbucks". This book, though had me really questioning why I liked those books so much. I mean they seemed to agree with me and my thoughts, my theology, if you will. While Nudge seemed to be so "out there" for me. Nudge stretched me in places I had no idea needed stretching.

So when you read this book, prepare to be stretched.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"Awakening Each Other To The God Who's Already There" by Leonard Sweet 25 July 2010
By Real4truth - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Leonard Sweet's "Nudge" is an artistic masterpiece that challenges, de/constructs, defamiliarizes, fractures, opens up, expands, nudges and Pneumafies our contemporary and anemic understanding of evangelism. Leonard Sweet's masterful metaphors, sacred stories, awe-inspiring anecdotes, wondrous wordsmithing and exceptional wit invites us to a profound new out/in-look on evangelism or what Sweet calls, "Nudging". "Nudge" seeks to, "awaken each other to the God who is already there". It is a book that I believe should be a standard textbook in all evangelism classes throughout all seminaries seeking to grapple with what it means to be followers/livers/lovers/proclaimers/planters/sanctified semioticians of the Grand Signifier Jesus Christ.

For me Sweet is a de/constructionist; one who shakes, rattles and roles-over the average person's understanding of evangelism at the same time constructing something that is beautiful, helpful, hopeful and sensational (encompassing all of the senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight). In "Nudge," Leonard Sweet becomes an iconoclast; chipping away at the false pictures, images and old, archaic, outdated and sometimes just purely unbiblical conceptual contemporary understandings of evangelism.

For example, it is typical in many churches to speak of our task as Christians, "to bring Christ to the Nations." It is a common understanding that until we bring God to people groups and locations then it is naively assumed or declared that God is not there (so much for His omnipresence). Sweet aptly and boldly writes, "If you think about it, isn't it the height of theological arrogance the notion that you and I take Jesus to anyone? You mean Jesus never arrived on the scene until you got there? You mean Jesus wasn't present until I showed up?"

There are so many golden nuggets that are in this book that could be mined by individuals, small groups and whole churches. Between Sweet's writing about Semiotics, the Semiotic 5, physics, music, relational, communal and Jesus immersed evangelism, his "decelerating rites," and many other evangelistic insights, "Nudge" is a must read.

I want to end with a main thesis of this amazing book:
1. Jesus is alive and active in the world.
2. Followers of Jesus "know" Jesus well enough to recognize where he is alive and moving in our day.
3. Evangelists nudge the world to wake up to the alive and acting Jesus and nudge others in the ways God is alive and moving
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Nudge - Rebirthing the Idea of Evangelism 20 Nov. 2010
By Chad Miller - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I fondly remember sitting in Bible college, listening to my Personal Evangelism professor tell stories about he led people to pray with him. I remember all the times I led someone down the "Roman's Road". A few years after Bible college, I realized that the "road" did not work for me anymore. I guess I quit believing it maybe ever worked at all.

Throughout my years as a follower of Jesus, I have heard of relationship evangelism. Although a lot of people thought it was a cop out, I started many more conversations started about having a faith in Jesus.

Nudge by Leonard Sweet is the next phase of "evangelism" or the spreading of the good news.

The book brings up two areas, shining and sensing. My heart resonated more with the sensing. Leonard talks about every sense and how we can experience the living God and therefore help others to experience who God is. He writes in a way, that I like to slowly and methodically read through his writing, as it is full of good short stories and quotes. He backs up a lot of what he says with other's thinking.

This book also made me think a lot about semiotics or the signs of messages coming. It is incredible to think of all the imagery that Jesus used as he lived and also told stories. I could tell you so much more about this book, but I would hate to ruin it for you. Much of it was new to me, and the depth of the content was really interesting.

Congratulations again to Leonard Sweet for yet another book that has helped me make more sense of my faith in Jesus.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Sweet: The Maestro of Metaphor 23 Oct. 2010
By Jeff Borden - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A little over a year ago I posted a multi-part review of Leonard Sweet's book "So Beautiful." A few weeks ago I started his latest work, "NUDGE." I will be providing a full (probably another multi-part) review of this book in the coming days/weeks. Anyway, the point of my mentioning So Beautiful in relationship with NUDGE is my first impression following the preface and opening comments of the first chapter. While I thought So Beautiful was the culmination of much of the thinking and study from Len Sweet, it appears at first glance that NUDGE is an extension of the MRI (missional, relational, incarnational) model in practice. I am excited with what I'm reading; very excited. I feel the welling up in my soul exclaiming; "yes, yes, YES!" Let me share a teaser quote from NUDGE and show you what I mean... Sweet writes:

I believe the lifeblood of evangelism is not propositions, but prepositions. For God to do something through us, God must be doing something in us. If we are not always evangelizing ourselves, we have no business evangelizing others. In fact, it is usually as God's grace courses through us to someone else that we become aware of God's love in and for us. Evangelism is an invitation for broken people together to meet the Christ who loves broken people. We all are damaged but loved, crushed but cherished, with a divine embrace. When love is the motivation for evangelism, nudging is love in action. And the cracks in our broken vases are where Jesus leaks out first. ~~Leonard Sweet; NUDGE p.28

I love this. I want to live in this constant and continual state of awareness of God's Presence working in me and working through me...working in others and through others... to perfect and transform the brokenness of a creation He desperately desires to reconcile and restore. It is a divine mystery that is unfolding right in front of us and I don't want to miss a nanosecond of it. Apparently, it takes a "nudge" every now and then to move us to action.

This is another one of those books for me. "Those books" are books that I cannot read breezily through. This is (or means) good, in the highest order. The author, Leonard Sweet, proclaims the premise of Nudge is about evangelism ...he's the author; I can't disagree with his premise. I think at a higher level, the book is about so much more than evangelization. I think it is about "rethinking" our entire perspective about how we recognize our relationship (heart, soul, mind, strength, and all our senses as well...according to Len Sweet) with the Living God. Naturally, when we reexamine and respond differently to this Living God according to previously unrecognized "signs" our methodology for evangelism is subject to (and likely to) change. So, yeah...while the book is about rethinking evangelism, I believe it has the potential to awaken us all to levels previously unrecognized.

If you're not familiar with Len Sweet's writing style, it may take some getting used to. Personally, I happen to love his writing style. He employs extensive use of metaphor and includes hundreds of quotes to reemphasize and support his metaphors, parables, and word pictures. I really enjoy this manner of writing and speaking, it helps me to understand the concept; true enough, but even more helps me to take ownership of the teaching allowing it to really shape me for the better. This is not to say that I necessarily agree or disagree with every concept, but coming to a fuller understanding of the thought is important to being able to understand why I might agree or disagree. The conversation is important and when the reader does not have the luxury of physical dialogue with the author, many word pictures and metaphor help the conversation to develop in the mind of the reader sans author.

The first part of the book is about the multitude of "signs" where God is working. Sweet calls this semiotics; the art and science of paying attention. These, he writes, are God's "nudges" showing us and calling our attention to the work that he has been and is doing in the redemption, reconciliation, and restoration of man. Extremely thought-provoking, intriguing, and inspiring stuff he writes in this portion of the book.

The second part of the book goes into sensory details of the tools we have to practice semiotic awareness of God's redemptive work. These sensory tools are the receptor-transmitters for all evangelistic nudges being received in us and broadcast from us. Again, I found this incredibly inspiring. The chapter on hearing, Pause: Use Your Ears, still has me reeling. Sweet, the maestro of metaphor, goes on to write in bountiful detail the wonders of God's presence made anew to all our senses in Presence: Taste, Picture: Eyes, Ponder: Touch, and Promise: Nose. So impressed was (am) I with these word pictures, I do not think a better job could have been presented in illustrating the ideas. The privilege to me is that each metaphor provides new thoughts and reflection and this is why I cannot "breeze" through this sweet writing style.

I was really taken with the last book release, So Divine, by Leonard Sweet. I thought it would be near impossible to improve on the work done in that piece. Nudge proves itself to be a most worthy companion to So Divine. In my opinion, they should be must reading for every Christian. I think each would provide fantastic discussion points for small groups.

My grade: 5-stars. I'll be reading it and pondering it for a long time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A New Way to Think about Evangelism 17 Aug. 2010
By Douglas A. Nicely - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to the publication of "Nudge," based on the previews I had seen. I've read about a third of thew way through this book. I am not disappointed. When I attended seminary, I had to learn and take course work in what I now call "Sales Pitch" Evangelism ("If you were to die tonight, are you sure you would go to heaven?" etc.) I never felt comfortable doing this. Now the idea is to base your witnessing on relationships, rather than interrupting a conversation with "diagnostic questions." As a hospital chaplain, I feel much more comfortable with the Nudge approach. I thank Len Sweet for contributing to an on-going dialog about witnessing in our culture that is already overexposed to sales pitches.
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