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The Cross and the Switchblade. [Hardcover]

David Wilkerson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 1963
Fifty years ago, when a lanky country preacher stepped onto the gang-ridden streets of New York City, most people thought he had gone over the edge. But David Wilkerson had faith that God was leading him and never looked back. Today his inner-city ministry, Teen Challenge, boasts residential and crisis counseling centers in more than seventy countries. Its Christian discipleship program has restored hope to tens of thousands of men and women with drug or alcohol addiction. In this 45th anniversary edition of The Cross and the Switchblade, readers will experience anew the dramatic story that started it all. Since its original 1963 publication, The Cross and the Switchblade has sold more than 15 million copies. Wilkerson's story continues to inspire renewed faith in God's ability to overcome problems that even the most determined human efforts cannot resolve. Foreword by Charles W. Colson.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Inc (T) (Jun 1963)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394420810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394420813
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,387,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David Wilkerson (1931-2011) was the founder of Teen Challenge and World Challenge and longtime senior pastor of Times Square Church. He authored more than thirty books, including the bestselling The Cross and the Switchblade and Knowing God by Name. He ministered to people worldwide, and on the day of his death, he was still ministering. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
THIS WHOLE strange adventure got its start late one night when I was sitting in my study reading Life magazine, and turned a page. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Christianity really is 15 July 2009
By Anna
Christianity is coming under an unprecendented degree of attack these days and, the truth is, I think we've brought some of it on ourselves. There's no condemnation in that - Christians are, for the most part, very loving, and *want* to extend His hand to others - however, we seem to have grown weary and, collectively, we aren't showing the world who Jesus is. I know that if I were to see another Christian write that, my pride would balk at it... but it's the truth. As individuals, we may be doing everything we can; but the church, as a body, is letting people down - both Christians and non-. But David Wilkerson genuinely went out into the world and showed people who Jesus is... and he's still doing it to this day.

Christ tells His followers to love those in need, to feed the poor and to clothe the naked; to give what we have, and never fear about not having enough for ourselves; to bless the people that hate you, to soak their hatred up like a sponge and, in return, give them love. So in the 1960s, David Wilkerson - a small-town preacher - felt led to go to New York, where he went out into the streets and told the gangs about the love of God.

The gangs then were every bit as vicious and hateful and hated as the gangs of today. But, on his own, he spent months and months sleeping in his car so he could be amongst them, loving them. He made no grand gestures - he just kept his word to never leave them, and to love them and hold them even when they threatened his life. It took a long time, but people gradually started coming to Christ. These evil, hateful gang-members - ostensibly soulless in their rage - slowly laid down their hate and accepted new lives as Christians. Nicky Cruz (author of
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't put it down 19 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read it as a teenager, and am now ordering it for my teenage daughter. A gripping book which you won't be able to put down. A normal bloke gripped by the love of God has a big impact on youths caught up in gangs. And it's a fantastically written story too. And it's true!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The story of an ordinary minister of a Christian Church who brought the Gospel to a group of people who were in need of redemption. This book is flavoured with the desire to see these young violent men won for God and is an inspirational story for those of the Christian faith. I read this book over ten years ago and as a young person I was inspired and challenged to grow in the things of God. This is a book which I know will challenge anyone who reads it. A great read which has some graet characters in it which move you to think of your general attitudes towards our fellow humans. It paints God as a loving God who seeks out the sinner to repentance. I rate this one of the best books I have every read second only to the bible!
David Jones ( Teacher in Religious Studies )
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conversion 30 May 2001
I gave this book to a drug addict some ten years ago-today he is a minister in his local church. One of the most powerfull books available today to help to bring people to knowledge of the Lord. I highly reccomend it...........Gerald
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Inspirational 11 Jun 2003
This book really inspired and motivated me. It is full of testimonies of teenagers caught up in the drugs and violence of the gangs of new york and how they were saved from it all by the love of Christ and the faith, belief and perseverance of David Wilkerson and his team. It is very insightful into the things that go on within the gangs and certainly made me wonder what I could do to be a part of it, but also realise how difficult a task it is!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give this book away! 24 April 2007
I first read this book, probably when I was about 15, since then I have re-read it a few times, along with Run Baby Run, and more recently Soul Obsession.

In the last few years I have bought 10-25 of the Cross and the Switchblade for use in prison work. Young lads will read them and we have reports of some being deeply touched by the fact that God cares for them, no matter what they've done.

An excellent book telling the story of a true man of God. We should all take David's example and follow/seek our call just as courageously!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
hi i read this book when i was 16 iam 39 now through my ups and downs with christian faith this book and nickys run baby run have stayed with word discribes David and Nicky integrity...
real people not like the usual crock asking for a quick buck.. God Bless him and Nicky
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars s thapar 27 July 2006
I was recommended this book by my husband who read the book over 10 years ago as a teenager.

The book is truley inspiring, a terrific true story, illistrating the power of christian faith.

I recommend it to all.
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