On The Verge (book review)

I’ve only been acquainted with the writings of Alan Hirsch for a short time, but — wow!do his thoughts resonate with me. On The Verge, which was co-authored with Dave Ferguson, is a thought-provoking, paradigm-challenging look at the potential of the church.

Alan and Dave make it very clear right from the outset that the church in America is at a crucial make-or-break point. They point out that the church in Europe and Australia have already lost their effectiveness in their cultures, and if the church in America doesn’t wake up soon, it will soon head down that same sad path toward irrelevancy.

The good news is that everything the church needs to become the disciple-making, missionally-minded, Christ-centered force it should be is right within it. If churches are willing to realign themselves with the apostolic gene at their core, they are right on the verge of something great!

On The Verge focuses on how churches can imagine, shift, innovate, and then move. Both Alan and Dave are well-suited to inspire their readers to take up this challenge before it’s too late. Alan’s thoughts about the church are so far ahead of the curve, and Dave is not just a church theorist, but he’s successfully doing all of the practices shared in this book.

Pastors and church leaders especially need to read this book. But — as Alan and Dave point out — this is not an issue just for professional clergy. In fact, if the church in America is going to survive and thrive, everyone needs to be involved. This will be a challenging book to read, but well worth your time.

I received a free copy of this book for review.

National Day Of Prayer & Fasting

Many times in our nation’s history, our presidents have called for a time for our citizens to pause from their normal routine, and seek God’s face in prayer. America needs prayer! But instead of this call to prayer coming from Washington, D.C., this one comes from Austin, TX, as Governor Rick Perry is appealing for us to pray.

Part of his proclamation reads —

Given the trials that beset our nation and world, from the global economic downturn to natural disasters, the lingering danger of terrorism and continued debasement of our culture, I believe it is time to convene the leaders from each of our United States in a day of prayer and fasting, like that described in the book of Joel. I urge all Americans of faith to pray on that day for the healing of our country, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of enduring values as our guiding force.

Right on cue the “usual suspects” have filed a lawsuit to stop this, claiming its unconstitutionality. HA!! One of those leading the charge to stop this day of prayer and fasting even said, “Nothing fails like prayer. It’s the ultimate political cop-out.” [1] DOUBLE HA!!

I won’t presume to speak for anyone else, but I know from personal experience that prayer works! And I also know from my history books that our Founding Fathers would be appalled at those who continually try to paint them as atheists or deists.

The Founding Fathers were so emphatic in their belief that prayer was to be an integral part of daily public life and public service that by 1815 they had called the people to pray 1,400 times! [2]

If you’d care to peruse some of the national, presidential calls to prayer from our so-called atheist/deist presidents, check out the resources at Wall Builders to see quotes from George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and others.

Despite the naysayers’ complaints, I’m answering Gov. Perry’s call to prayer and fasting on Saturday, August 6, 2011. I hope you will join me!

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