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Reappearing Church: The Hope for Renewal in the Rise of Our Post-Christian Culture

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What if the rise of secularism is good news for the church? For decades, we set our hopes on technology, politics, and the appearance of peace. We wanted to believe we were headed somewhere better—that progress was happening. But now as our technology ensnares and isolates us, our politics threaten to tear us apart, and our cultural decline continues to accelerate, peop What if the rise of secularism is good news for the church? For decades, we set our hopes on technology, politics, and the appearance of peace. We wanted to believe we were headed somewhere better—that progress was happening. But now as our technology ensnares and isolates us, our politics threaten to tear us apart, and our cultural decline continues to accelerate, people are understandably distressed. But throughout history these periods of decline traditionally precede powerful spiritual renewal—and even revival. What if all the bad news in this world is actually good news for the church? Discover why there’s reason to be wildly hopeful and how to prepare yourself and your church to be a part of renewal now and in the future.


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What if the rise of secularism is good news for the church? For decades, we set our hopes on technology, politics, and the appearance of peace. We wanted to believe we were headed somewhere better—that progress was happening. But now as our technology ensnares and isolates us, our politics threaten to tear us apart, and our cultural decline continues to accelerate, peop What if the rise of secularism is good news for the church? For decades, we set our hopes on technology, politics, and the appearance of peace. We wanted to believe we were headed somewhere better—that progress was happening. But now as our technology ensnares and isolates us, our politics threaten to tear us apart, and our cultural decline continues to accelerate, people are understandably distressed. But throughout history these periods of decline traditionally precede powerful spiritual renewal—and even revival. What if all the bad news in this world is actually good news for the church? Discover why there’s reason to be wildly hopeful and how to prepare yourself and your church to be a part of renewal now and in the future.

30 review for Reappearing Church: The Hope for Renewal in the Rise of Our Post-Christian Culture

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave Hallahan

    I don’t know if Mark Sayers and John Mark Comer set this up, but Reappearing Church was such a great follow up to The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. Where John Mark points out that the distraction and busyness of our culture is destroying our souls and implores us to pick up the practices of Jesus (spiritual disciplines) to help slow us down and allow us to pick up the easy yoke, then Sayers reminds us that “spiritual disciplines [are] more than just additions to our personal life goals, but rat I don’t know if Mark Sayers and John Mark Comer set this up, but Reappearing Church was such a great follow up to The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. Where John Mark points out that the distraction and busyness of our culture is destroying our souls and implores us to pick up the practices of Jesus (spiritual disciplines) to help slow us down and allow us to pick up the easy yoke, then Sayers reminds us that “spiritual disciplines [are] more than just additions to our personal life goals, but rather central pillars and walls in the building of a new life architecture. Biblical faith deals with the ‘architecture of time,’ this as we recenter our lives around God’s presence, we reorder around a different scale.” For God to do a mighty work of renewal, I must allow him to start in me. I also just reorient my life to a different scale, a different measuring stick, a different speed. Thankful for both these pieces of work. Looking forward to the Spirit’s work coming in my own heart and life.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Erik Anderson

    I couldn’t decide on 3 or 4 stars. Content is solid. Some chapters were 5 star worthy. But the publishing is so obnoxious I wasn’t sure if I could finish it. He has so much profound yet simple truth in this book, but the pull quotes, the pointless “charts” and what I’m assuming are “tweetable” lines separated out and underlined are so distracting it’s almost unbearable. I’ll plan to recommend the book with preemptive apologies for the presentation.

  3. 5 out of 5

    David Lasley

    Awesome book for any interested in following Jesus and sharing faith in current culture. Sayers unpacks the challenge of living in an age that “wants the Kingdom without the King”. He then points to how movements of God occur in the seemingly most unlikely places through ordinary people. He provides principles and methodologies to help give practical next steps. Really challenging, honest, yet hopeful read

  4. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Kassing

    This is the first Sayers book that I have read. I enjoyed his larger framework of how renewal can come about but what I enjoyed most was his humble and hopeful posture for the future. He isn’t pessimistic or naive. I’d recommend this to any one who is looking to begin thinking through how they can bring about renewal where they currently live.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    I need to start to start a petition for good reads to allow for partial stars in their ratings. On the one hand this is an thought provoking and insightful book in many ways but it is also abstract and conceptual and designed like a business focused self-help book (I know this is how people interact with information these days but still...). 3.5 stars would be helpful here. There is a lot to wrestle with here and if taken seriously much to challenge Christian readers. I think in the big picture S I need to start to start a petition for good reads to allow for partial stars in their ratings. On the one hand this is an thought provoking and insightful book in many ways but it is also abstract and conceptual and designed like a business focused self-help book (I know this is how people interact with information these days but still...). 3.5 stars would be helpful here. There is a lot to wrestle with here and if taken seriously much to challenge Christian readers. I think in the big picture Sayers is correct that the facing the challenge of post-Christendom is an opportunity for renewal and but that it will take much more that programs and marketing to prepare the church for God's movement. I also think he gets at the heart of the problem when he identifies the threats of hyper-individualism, consumerism and secularism (both progressives and conservatives embrace these isms in important ways). Not surprising since it has been my hobby horse for years now, I think it ignores the narrative/historical aspects of scriptures and in fact comes from a pretty Western/Modern approach to theology but that doesn't necessarily make the argument any less important.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Marshall

    Very much enjoyed the book. Much more optimistic than his "Disappearing Church" (although a also enjoyed that one). I'd say the main point of the book is that Christians need more DEDICATION. A small, dedicated, group (or "remnant") is more powerful than a large, lukewarm one. He then explains what that dedication might look like, and how to be open to God's plan for revival. My main critiques are; one, the odd graphs that were placed on every page. It is very possible that I'm not smart enough Very much enjoyed the book. Much more optimistic than his "Disappearing Church" (although a also enjoyed that one). I'd say the main point of the book is that Christians need more DEDICATION. A small, dedicated, group (or "remnant") is more powerful than a large, lukewarm one. He then explains what that dedication might look like, and how to be open to God's plan for revival. My main critiques are; one, the odd graphs that were placed on every page. It is very possible that I'm not smart enough to understand them all, or their importance, so others may find them very helpful, but I found them distracting. Second, the book was not exactly saturated with scripture. While I understand the value is mostly found in Sayers cultural analysis, it would have been nice to have some specific Bible behind it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paula Vince

    This was set as a course text book, and felt like one! Still, plenty of thorough research and good ideas from Mark Sayers. All about dynamics in the church over the centuries, where modern congregations tend to get it wrong, and the circumstances in which renewal has always seemed to unfold, no matter the place or time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Austenn Akers

    Good content & perspective for this post-christian culture. Definitely a timely book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Sadly disappointing. I've really liked everything else I've read or listened to from Sayers so this was a bummer. I liked the content of the first few and last few chapters the most. I found the design/layout style to be distracting from the content. I think it was designed to appeal to readers with little to no attention span. Every page had some mixture of unnecessary (not helpful) diagrams, pre-underlined sentences, or text boxes about related concepts. Sadly disappointing. I've really liked everything else I've read or listened to from Sayers so this was a bummer. I liked the content of the first few and last few chapters the most. I found the design/layout style to be distracting from the content. I think it was designed to appeal to readers with little to no attention span. Every page had some mixture of unnecessary (not helpful) diagrams, pre-underlined sentences, or text boxes about related concepts.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dick Wiedenheft

    Mark Sayers has a gift for stepping back from the urgent issues and conflicts of our time and insightfully reflection on the deeper dynamics and processes at work. In Reappearing Church he outlines the groundwork needed for renewal and revival to come in our time. Building on cultural analysis, Scripture, systems theory, and the history of revival, he inspires, fascinates, and challenges us to a more faithful faith. His book feels as once fresh and relevant while also grounded in time-tested truth Mark Sayers has a gift for stepping back from the urgent issues and conflicts of our time and insightfully reflection on the deeper dynamics and processes at work. In Reappearing Church he outlines the groundwork needed for renewal and revival to come in our time. Building on cultural analysis, Scripture, systems theory, and the history of revival, he inspires, fascinates, and challenges us to a more faithful faith. His book feels as once fresh and relevant while also grounded in time-tested truth and wisdom. That’s not to say all his arguments are air-tight. I felt he painted an overly dark picture of our current consumer/individualistic/globalized culture and the millennials it has produced. And he left me asking why some churches/regions experience renewal (as he hopefully anticipates for the West) while others simply die out. Despite these limitations, this book is highly recommended. It is a badly needed dose of sanity and encouragement in a crazy, anxious age.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tim Casteel

    Of the 70 books I read in 2019, this book is the best. Mark Sayers brings much needed HOPE to the dismal realities of 2019. His most helpful insight: that times of crisis are actually opportunities for God to move in revival. Sayers combines a broad understanding of modern times with a historical pattern of how revivals happen. He thinks 2019 is primed for revival: "history shows it's precisely at moments like this—when the church appears to be sliding into unalterable decline, when culture is shak Of the 70 books I read in 2019, this book is the best. Mark Sayers brings much needed HOPE to the dismal realities of 2019. His most helpful insight: that times of crisis are actually opportunities for God to move in revival. Sayers combines a broad understanding of modern times with a historical pattern of how revivals happen. He thinks 2019 is primed for revival: "history shows it's precisely at moments like this—when the church appears to be sliding into unalterable decline, when culture is shaken by upheaval, when the world globalizes, opening up new frontiers & fostering chaos/change—that God moves again” "As the gap between what our culture promises and what it delivers grows wider, its failures create openings for the gospel."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liz Baker

    I would call Mark Sayers part cultural guide, part modern prophet, part revival expert, part giver of hope. There is so much in this little book, but a couple things stood out to me...the idea of being a non anxious presence in an anxious system because of the presence of God. Also, was convicted by his hypothesis that we can intellectually agree with biblical truth or belief in renewal, but what is most powerful is the pattern of our lives. We aren’t always shaped by our intellectual beliefs, b I would call Mark Sayers part cultural guide, part modern prophet, part revival expert, part giver of hope. There is so much in this little book, but a couple things stood out to me...the idea of being a non anxious presence in an anxious system because of the presence of God. Also, was convicted by his hypothesis that we can intellectually agree with biblical truth or belief in renewal, but what is most powerful is the pattern of our lives. We aren’t always shaped by our intellectual beliefs, but by the patterns of our actual days. If we pattern our lives as consumers, we won’t be changed or bring change to spaces around us. Really good book. Highly recommend to my church family who wants to see God move in our culture.

  13. 5 out of 5

    MayorEmma

    I received an arc of this book on netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Interesting... I liked some of the chapters but i'm not sure how useful this book would be in a small group setting as they suggest. I received an arc of this book on netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Interesting... I liked some of the chapters but i'm not sure how useful this book would be in a small group setting as they suggest.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mark Warnock

    I suppose it's appropriate that I finish a book on the renewal of the church--our desperate need of it, and the historical patterns by which God has renewed the church in the past--on Easter Sunday. Sayers thinks in ways similar to me. I'm a student of culture and sociological movement, generational theory and the history of philosophy. The interaction between the decadence of the West, our technologically driven global hyperconnectivity, the vast spiritual emptiness of so many people's lives, a I suppose it's appropriate that I finish a book on the renewal of the church--our desperate need of it, and the historical patterns by which God has renewed the church in the past--on Easter Sunday. Sayers thinks in ways similar to me. I'm a student of culture and sociological movement, generational theory and the history of philosophy. The interaction between the decadence of the West, our technologically driven global hyperconnectivity, the vast spiritual emptiness of so many people's lives, and the stuck nature of the evangelical church, all of these cry out for a move from God. Sayers walks out a fairly detailed and nuanced pattern of how renewal can and has taken place. It's a blueprint both for understanding the overall picture, and also provides multiple entry points for action. Only God can bring renewal, but we can repent of our failings, start prayer groups, engage new formation and discipleship habits, and cultivate holy desperation. I'm moved to contemplate what action God would have me take.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steve LaMotte

    I thought the content of the book was very good. Sayers does a great job of interpreting culture and what it means for the church. I'm reading more about revival and renewal from Sayers and others that I pray it is coming. The problem with the book is the layout. It makes it hard to read. There are "pull-out" quotes that are likely highlighted to be tweeted. Where other books highlight text, in addition to where the text appears in context, the editors/publisher have enlarged and underlined the I thought the content of the book was very good. Sayers does a great job of interpreting culture and what it means for the church. I'm reading more about revival and renewal from Sayers and others that I pray it is coming. The problem with the book is the layout. It makes it hard to read. There are "pull-out" quotes that are likely highlighted to be tweeted. Where other books highlight text, in addition to where the text appears in context, the editors/publisher have enlarged and underlined the text in the middle of paragraphs. It is disruptive and unhelpful. Layout aside- the content of the book is worth reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brydan

    Insightful throughout, the last couple of chapters rush by the fastest as you get caught up in the hope and momentum Mark has built throughout the book. Looking forward to reading through this book with a similarly minded small group, to help 'bed in' some of the lessons and life rhythms that Mark mentions are essential for bringing renewal - both personal and on a broader scale. While they aren't the mechanism through which renewal will happen (if X, then Y), practising various disciplines both Insightful throughout, the last couple of chapters rush by the fastest as you get caught up in the hope and momentum Mark has built throughout the book. Looking forward to reading through this book with a similarly minded small group, to help 'bed in' some of the lessons and life rhythms that Mark mentions are essential for bringing renewal - both personal and on a broader scale. While they aren't the mechanism through which renewal will happen (if X, then Y), practising various disciplines both personally and corporately is the logical next step to reading such a work. Ends on a note of challenge: 'Are you up for the task?'

  17. 5 out of 5

    Luke Wagner

    I read through this book quickly, as it is easily digestible. Yet, while it is an easy read, its truths and insights are important and impacting, leaving me with not only much to think about, but much to do. I appreciate Mark Sayers’ ability to critique and yet hold out so much hope for both the Church and culture. He truly has evaluated our moment in time and history, drawn connections between the time now and the times of the past, while still believing that real renewal and revival can happen! I read through this book quickly, as it is easily digestible. Yet, while it is an easy read, its truths and insights are important and impacting, leaving me with not only much to think about, but much to do. I appreciate Mark Sayers’ ability to critique and yet hold out so much hope for both the Church and culture. He truly has evaluated our moment in time and history, drawn connections between the time now and the times of the past, while still believing that real renewal and revival can happen! I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking change in the Church and in the culture around them. It is convicting and practical, requiring a response of its readers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Clemo

    Highly recommended, dynamic, presents data, examples and patterns. Great for understand yourself and how cultural influences you, and moving forward to being an influencer on the culture for Renewal in our culture. The relevance of breaking down secularism and its affect, and on us in the church and how we are trying to be the church while holding onto the ideals of secular individuality. Again highly recommend it, read it with a group as it was intended to.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric Blessing

    Best book I have read this year. I would highly suggest it for any Christian who finds unrest in our current culture (both Christian and secular) and for any minister of Christ who wishes to see the Lord's name known on earth as it is in heaven. Best book I have read this year. I would highly suggest it for any Christian who finds unrest in our current culture (both Christian and secular) and for any minister of Christ who wishes to see the Lord's name known on earth as it is in heaven.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Ferguson

    A fantastic book bringing hope to the seemingly hopeless church. A reminder that renewal is not only possible but an expected part of the Christian journey. A reminder to not lose heart as cultural Christianity wanes, but to pray fervently that God would intercede

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Walker

    There were some really good nuggets in this book however, at times it felt a bit formulaic. Overall has left me inspired to learn more about past revivals and to pray and prepare with the desire to see God bring revival in my community/nation.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Author's understanding of current culture mixed with his examination of historical patterns grounds his thoughts and supports his hopeful take on spiritual revival, personal and corporate, without seeming naive. Author's understanding of current culture mixed with his examination of historical patterns grounds his thoughts and supports his hopeful take on spiritual revival, personal and corporate, without seeming naive.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brett Balsley

    A very timely book amongst the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever is a time to contend for a revival in our world. Mark Sayers notes that times of crises are often followed by revival. I love Mark Sayers positive and and hopeful outlook. We must be hopeful, we must get on our knees and ask God to come and sweep over the lands with his spirit. To reawaken hearts and bring people to him. Do it again God. Do it again.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    Great content but it was just not the right book for me. A little over my head

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tim Littleford

    Excellent and helpful, particularly his work around church systems and how revival through history has overtaken the systems. A call to personal renewal.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robin Leigh

    The author encourages small groups to read this book together. I disagree because this book is entirely too academic to be useful for small group discussions.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marcás

    This is a most transforming book and a really refreshing look at renewal in the church and secularism in light of the Church and her long history. Sayers sees through the modern idolatries which seek to restrict the church from within or without- especially via crude worship of 'autonomy' and the secularist project's dead ends. More importantly, Sayers doesn't try and tell the church's story in relation to secularism or accept it's arbitrary fatalism. As if the church is done, or that 'we can't b This is a most transforming book and a really refreshing look at renewal in the church and secularism in light of the Church and her long history. Sayers sees through the modern idolatries which seek to restrict the church from within or without- especially via crude worship of 'autonomy' and the secularist project's dead ends. More importantly, Sayers doesn't try and tell the church's story in relation to secularism or accept it's arbitrary fatalism. As if the church is done, or that 'we can't believe'. This ignores who God is, history and what is happening around the world. It is more to do with our misconceptions of God as per 'moral therapeutic deism' and our silly demands for Him to show His face to us. This is part of the character of mankind that needs to be met and respected. The enlightenment story of mankind as merely 'rational', in a quite limited sense, will not cut it. Modernists also seek their own revivals in going back to stoicism, Aristotle and the like and tell simplistic stories over and again to act like that gives their lives meaning. It's not enough and needs to be recalibrated to a real revival that marries historical truth and the order of the true God's revelation. Neither is the secularist return to tribalism or our new cultural 'temples' good enough. God is not present there and the good fruits of the spirit are not to be found there. Only the true and living God offers these timeless gifts. Christ and His kingdom far transcend the banal bacchanalia of Consumerism, Neo-Marxism, and the many dominant idols of the day. Sayers points to 'street philosophy' alongside developed intellectual notions to remind us that many people carry around these beliefs without examining them. However, they can't stand up to much of a challenge and the Gospel can always break through. He also looks at the sociological impact of technology, balancing out the emphasis on ideas, providing a fuller and more helpful picture. There are real and meaningful signs of Hope from Christians throughout the world, and Sayers provides plenty of evidence and arguments to meet the challenges of the day at the intellectual level and the level of ideas that are 'caught not taught'. Plus, he commends Christian habits to form us on the way, freeing us from technopoly and the mediocre life. History, Sayers shows, follows patterns of revival and lull on her pilgrimage to the Kingdom come. This has been the case since the early church. We do not seek merely to replicate what they did nor look to a utopia on earth, but reside in Christ's presence 'til He returns. Meanwhile, He is in our midst working with us here and now and gives us what we need for spiritual warfare. We need to refocus on being 'relevant' to Him, His terms of reference and His righteousness rather than the spirit of the age. This is the way, the truth and the life we are called to lead. Sayers shows how Christ takes away our anxieties, respects our differences, unites us in love and uses holy men and women to transition through conversion to higher ways of life and love that shine like a city on a hill. This plays out at multiple levels and offers what the author calls 'hot orthodoxy'. A real tour de force.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Sayers writes that we can look at the current situation as the death of Christianity or as a great opportunity. With understanding, he says, it can be an opportunity. He gives leaders information in this book to help them see the opportunity. He covers the stages of the renewal pattern, our culture and how it offers freedom, consumerism, individualism, anxiety, and more. My favorite part of the book was his insight into orthodoxy. It does not guarantee a vital faith nor preclude decline. Encounte Sayers writes that we can look at the current situation as the death of Christianity or as a great opportunity. With understanding, he says, it can be an opportunity. He gives leaders information in this book to help them see the opportunity. He covers the stages of the renewal pattern, our culture and how it offers freedom, consumerism, individualism, anxiety, and more. My favorite part of the book was his insight into orthodoxy. It does not guarantee a vital faith nor preclude decline. Encountering God's presence is what is needed. (1133/2397) People must also come to the point of holy discontent, no longer tolerating the current state of spirituality. Those people are the seeds of revival. Sayers' writing style is such that I felt I was reading a classroom text book or resource text, suitable for church leaders. The book is a study of the philosophy of renewal and revival. He writes about being self-differentiated, for example. (807/2397) That is something the average layperson would not have on their mind. “We must make the decision to no longer tolerate our low level of faith, our personal dysfunction, and give ourselves over to God's burning desire to remake us in Christlikeness.” (1302/2397) Only God can do the changing but we must choose to be changed. The next Great Awakening, he writes, “must be centered on our hearts being changed by God. It must begin by replacing the pseudo-Christianity of lifestyle enhancement with the Spirit-filled faith of biblical Christianity. It must offer the renewal of Christlikeness to those being deformed by our culture in the deepest parts of their hearts.” (397/2397) Sayers' book would be good for church leaders. It would help them understand the philosophy of renewal and what is needed to get transformation started. It is an informative book, rather than one containing a strategy to implement. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. The quotes are from an uncorrected copy of the book and may have been changed in the final edition.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rob Patterson

    When I bought this book I thought I’d be getting something more of the podcast “This Cultural Moment” (which I thoroughly recommend for its cultural analysis). To be honest, I was looking for something safe to read. Well, I was disappointed - in both senses. What I got instead was a mash of “uncomfortably and pleasantly surprised” by how this book hit me personally. How would I describe it? A call to personal spiritual renewal. You know that foolhardy revival prayer? “Lord, bring about revival, When I bought this book I thought I’d be getting something more of the podcast “This Cultural Moment” (which I thoroughly recommend for its cultural analysis). To be honest, I was looking for something safe to read. Well, I was disappointed - in both senses. What I got instead was a mash of “uncomfortably and pleasantly surprised” by how this book hit me personally. How would I describe it? A call to personal spiritual renewal. You know that foolhardy revival prayer? “Lord, bring about revival, and start with me.” Well, that’s basically the goal of this book. Sayer wants you to see the pressing need for revival and have some kind of idea about how to move toward it - personally! He starts by describing the stages in the process of renewal and revival/awakening ... and then he lays them out as a pathway for the reader to follow. So it’s simple in structure, profound in content and challenging in impact. Simple in that Sayer lays out the revival structure as a pathway from the start. Profound because you get to walk this pathway with carefully chosen pearls of Sayer’s accumulated wisdom to guide you. And he does draw on a wide variety of sources. As well as Bible truth, he draws on things like Friedman’s systems theory to explain leadership (the more I read about leadership the more I realise how much we get it wrong!). And he draws on how the brain thinks to help us understand the steps renewing our minds might take. Finally, it’s challenging in that I’m repeatedly encouraged to walk that pathway myself. But is that you? Are you struggling to see fruit from your efforts to witness to God in the world? Or are you feeling spiritually dry, distant from God’s presence, joyless? (I’ve used the word “feeling” so I know I’m already losing some of you. But orthodoxy can be dry and God emphatically didn’t call us to dry orthodoxy.) If you answered “Yes!” to any of the above then this book might help you onto the path of revival. It will certainly help you in your journey toward a biblically framed and socially informed personal renewal. Read it. Even better - read it with a friend and tell me how you get on.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Lloyd

    It is so refreshing to read a guy who is so clearly charismatic, in the best sense of that word, and yet very engaged intellectually and culturally. I struggle a little with some of his 'systems' language (inputs, outputs, reserves etc.) but the points are still valid. He includes a great summary of the ideas of Friedman on the non-anxious presence and differentiated leadership. I think this is crucial for leadership now and in the future. He connects his analysis of culture and of renewal to th It is so refreshing to read a guy who is so clearly charismatic, in the best sense of that word, and yet very engaged intellectually and culturally. I struggle a little with some of his 'systems' language (inputs, outputs, reserves etc.) but the points are still valid. He includes a great summary of the ideas of Friedman on the non-anxious presence and differentiated leadership. I think this is crucial for leadership now and in the future. He connects his analysis of culture and of renewal to the big Story of Scripture, and I like his study of the Temple for putting the presence of God at the centre of the story, though it is a little bogged down in systems language at times. He is at his best when analyzing contemporary culture, and the trends of individualism and consumerist culture which are so toxic and so resistant to the commitment and contending that are necessary for renewal. It requires people who embrace hardship and sacrifice for the sake of God's purpose, who begin with their own personal renewal in the hidden place, rooted in humility and holiness, and who refuse to settle for less. This includes remnants of those who are discontent and seeking renewal finding one another, but I like that he addresses the dangers of factionalism and encourages engagement and serving. It is also a good thing that he points out some of the dangers of revivalism and of short-lived enthusiasm, without giving way to cynicism and cheap shots. Not everyone will like his style of writing, and the layout is a little annoying, but his message is worth taking the time to read or listen. Either this is just a new, intelligent re-working of the old revivalist message which will just set us up for disappointment again; or this is a vital and hopeful word for all thinking and reflective Christians who, perhaps despite disappointment, find their hearts still longing to see God's presence renewing his church and filling our world. I think it is the second, and the church needs to hear it and respond.

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