StormFront: The Good News of God (Gospel & Our Culture) (The Gospel and Our Culture Series (GOCS)) Paperback – 5 Jan 2004
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"The gospel imaged as a storm presents a disturbing but ultimately life-giving image of God's and the church's missional presence in our world. Like the raging wind and pounding rain of a summer storm, God's good news is a power that sweeps away dead branches of faith and floods cracked foundations of institutions. At the same time, though, it brings new freshness into our heavy, stagnant lives. The authors of this book do not mince words. If the church is to change it needs this disturbing gospel to cleanse it and give it life."
"Deals effectively with important issues and fundamentally challenges the church to become a missional church.""
Stephen Bevans "The gospel imaged as a storm presents a disturbing but ultimately life-giving image of God's and the church's missional presence in our world. Like the raging wind and pounding rain of a summer storm, God's good news is a power that sweeps away dead branches of faith and floods cracked foundations of institutions. At the same time, though, it brings new freshness into our heavy, stagnant lives. The authors of this book do not mince words. If the church is to change it needs this disturbing gospel to cleanse it and give it life."Missionalia "Deals effectively with important issues and fundamentally challenges the church to become a missional church.""
From the Back Cover
Foreword by George R. Hunsberger
How does one authentically hear and live out the gospel in North America? This new book attempts to answer this question in a way that reveals much about the nature of Christian faith today and its relation to contemporary culture.
In keeping with the aims of the acclaimed Gospel and Our Culture series, "StormFront investigates how the gospel intersects American culture and seeks to reorient the church to its full and proper missional vocation. Four authors noted for their understanding of modern church life offer a sober yet hopeful critique of American culture that focuses on consumerism and the privatization of religion, and they challenge the Christian church to embrace its corporate task to be salt and light to the world.
Amid the many books on the subject, this one is distinctive in its concern for application. By constrasting contemporary life with a thoroughgoing reading of the biblical narrative, the authors help American Christians discern how our cultural location makes it difficult to live out the transformative message of the gospel. Few readers will fail to be engaged by the lessons offered here.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As the pastor of a new church in a new community, I continue to wrestle with the implications of this book: "The church is a witness to the world, in the world, of God's coming reign in Christ over the powers of the world" (91). The book is a valuable resource for all who are tired of "paint-by-numbers" approaches to the church. "Stormfront" is a book for all who long to discover God's alternative to consumer-driven models of ministry. Buy it. Read it. Share it with your friends. Discuss it. Live it, believe it and so be a participant in the "Missio Dei."
The title is meant to evoke the image of two masses of hot and cold air running into each other and creating a violent storm. One of these air masses is the Kingdom of God, the other is the Kingdom of this World. The church finds itself at the intersection, caught in the clash between these two forces. It is in this "dynamic and tumultuous" intersection where God engages our world.
The authors claim that many North American Christians act as if the gospel were a small ocean breeze, rather than a raging storm. The North American gospel, they argue, primarily centers on how God can meet my needs and how God can fulfill my desires. It has little sense of God's greater purposes in this world. They contend a Biblical understanding of the gospel looks a lot different. The gospel concerns God's activity to redeem the whole creation. The gospel isn't about me getting what I want. The gospel invites us to enter, receive, and participate in God's Reign, initiated by Jesus' life, death and resurrection. This gospel should radically reorient our lives.
Through the book's five chapters it examines our dominant understanding of the gospel, God's intentions on earth as found in the Old and New Testaments, the role of spiritual powers, the place of discipleship, and the practices that help us embody the gospel. The section connecting the gospel in the New Testament to the Old Testament is particularly helpful.
Few books accomplish what they set out to do. Impressively, StormFront does effectively answer the question: What is the gospel? And beyond that, on the practical level, it issues a significant challenge both for individuals and the church to participate more fully in God's purposes on earth.
Although this book is targeted to lay-readers, it is a dense and difficult read. It contains a great deal of theological language that can be at times hard to sift through. But for those willing to take the time and effort, they will find their understanding of the gospel deepened, and their faith commitments inspired and challenged.
I am thinking about working out a small group study for this book. I highly recommend this book for everyone.