- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Baker Publishing Group (1 Jan. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801090881
- ISBN-13: 978-0801090882
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,625,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future Paperback – 1 Jan 1999
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Helps Christians understand global changes in society and develop a Mustard Seed perspective of God working through the small and insignificant to make things new.
About the Author
Tom Sine (Ph.D., University of Washington) is a futurologist who consults with Christian organizations around the world. He has taught at Fuller Theological Seminary and the University of Washington. His previous books include Wild Hope, The Mustard Seed Conspiracy, and Cease Fire.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It is frightening to see in every town an office depot, target, old navy, petco, etc. Its like no matter where you go you can get the same exact thing. My wife and I always try to find anything but Applebees.
Part 1, A Crisis of Foresight, was about discerning the future and taking it seriously. A major focus was on how Christian culture has failed to anticipate the impact on values and behavior that the new global economy and explosion of commercialism has had on society. I didn't get much out of this - it seemed like another way to motivate readers, but you could get the same results by responding in a Godly way to present realities. I feel that bringing in such a focus on discerning the future is suspect. However, this section does include the most material on what McWorld is and the dangers it entails.
Part 2, A Crisis of Vision, summarizes how the church has adopted the secular values of McWorld rather than Godly values. It calls on churches and Christians to back up, look at the Bible, and understand what it really means to follow in Jesus's footsteps and promote the Kingdom of God. Sine calls out the Enlightenment-era separation between spiritual and material.
Part 3, A Crisis of Creativity, gives pratical ideas on how we can creatively reinvent our lives and mission to fit God's vision and get away from the world's rat race. I found parts 2 and 3 to be much more interesting and helpful than part 1, and think the book could have been improved by taking the "future-looking" material out of the first part and them splitting Part 2 between parts 1 and 3. However, Sine is a futurist, and this is what he does, so I can't really expect that he would see it the same way I do.
This book does not use a formatting or storytelling style that I like very much at all. I think the early parts have too much of a focus on the future, and I don't agree with how he phrases many later parts. But the overall message is so on-point that it makes up a lot for the deficiencies. Sine summarizes it well himself like this:
"The themes of the American dream are accumulating, upscaling, status, power, consumerism, individualism, and self-actualization. The themes of the homecoming future of God are justice for the poor, peace for the nations, the redemption of the people of God, a restoration of community, a renewal of creation, and a celebration of the shalom purposes of God for a people and a world. These are not two version of the same dream. These are totally different dreams. One is born out of an ancient faith. The other is the product of an Enlightenment vision of Western progress."
There are also a lot of positive creative ideas sprinkled throughout the book, many of which are quite outside the box of traditional thinking. For the truth of the overall message and the possibilities sparked by the creative ideas that are shared, the book is well worth a careful read.
Reviewed by Darren Cronshaw
Tom Sine is a futurist who urges the church to take trends about the future seriously, to grasp God's vision for the church and embrace creativity. He does not just outline theory but offers practical suggestions to set aside McWorld and embrace the gospel values of God's 'Mustard seed' agenda. He argues we are not forced to accept models our culture hands to us, but can experiment with alternative housing, different spending patterns, new ways of doing church. Why not design new churches on a village design that facilitates living as extended families, or develop a Celtic prayer retreat centre, or create highly visual and innovative worship space like Mark Pierson and Mike Riddell have done with Parallel Universe, or offer hospitality like Brown Bear Pub church in London does to reach out to Caribbean young people. Theologically, Sine is convinced the first call of the gospel is not to proclamation or social action (though committed to evangelism and concerned for the poor), but to incarnation. 'Only as we flesh out in community something of the right-side-up values of God's new order do we have any basis on which to speak or act.' (p.205)
Originally appeared in Darren Cronshaw, `The Emerging Church: Introductory Reading Guide', Zadok Papers, S143 (Summer 2005).
He then moves on to the dangers and challenges of this new McWorld. He looks at the pressures on young people and their accumulation of debt as they join in the race. He then highlights the plight of the world's poor who increasingly left behind. He uses the example of Ugandan villagers who can no longer afford locally produced fish as the producers have found a higher price from Western purchasers. The local population are left to queue for the scraps.
Sine's aim is to challenge Christian leaders to present an alternative to McWorld, based on a concern for the poor and for our environment. He achieves this in a way that is informative and readable. He presents material which is often perceived as dry in a lively and challenging way.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book.