Book Review: Interrupted

Book Review: Interrupted

Book Review: Interrupted

The subtitle of this book is, “When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity,” which alludes to its out-of-the-box provocative approach to church planting and evangelism. This fresh book is thankfully neither self-satisfied nor the last word, but the beginning of a discussion on what it means to really follow Jesus, instead of the stale culture of most of modern Christianity. Even though I come from a very different take on theology than this author, her perspective is very valid and contains much that we can learn from.

I quoted this book back in December, when it inspired my post about philanthropy. You might want to go back and reread that quote again, since it is foundational to this book and bears repeating! And here are some other quotes from this book that are worth contemplating:

  • “In all our efforts, if we are not about people, our labors aren’t really about Jesus but about us.”
  • “It is hard to hate a rich country that is feeding you, advocating for your orphans, building schools in your villages, championing your human rights, and empowering your leaders. It’s difficult to dismiss the idea of a redeeming Christ when His followers are pouring their lives out. It’s tough to hate the Christian church when her members refuse to sit idly on their piles of luxuries while the rest of the world suffers.
  • “Only three out of ten twenty somethings attend church in a typical week, compared to four out of ten thirty somethings, and five out of ten in their fifties and older. …That represents millions of young adults rejecting the organized church. If the trend holds, the church is two or three generations away from mass cultural irrelevance.”
  • “Six out of ten spiritually active teens left the church in their 20’s.”
  • “34% of the US adult population has not attended any type of church service or activity during the past 6 months, about 73 million adults.”
  • “Roughly 62% percent of all unchurched adults were formerly churched. Let that sink in. Not only can we not draw new people, we can’t keep the ones we have.”
  • “Approximately one half of all American churches did not add one new person through conversion growth last year.”
  • “In America, it takes the combined effort of eighty-five Christians working over an entire year to produce one convert.”
  • “This is how grave the gospel’s challenge is: ‘Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matt 25:40) It is as simple as it is radical. If every believer obeyed accordingly, I daresay we could confront all that ails society.”
  • Stephen Olin quote: “You are to dig for rough diamonds amid the ruins of fallen humanity, and polish them up for jewels in the crown of your Redeemer. The church edifice is your workshop. Do not, we beseech you, convert it into a show room, to display, not the graces of Christians, but the vain fashions of the world.”
  • “Reaching a post-modern society requires [deep] changes: Relationships are of utmost importance. Authenticity is everything. Must be won over by integrity. They value genuine moral authority. The rejection of consumerism. How genuinely a church engages in relief work and care of the global society is everything to a post-modern.”
  • “As missionaries have always understood, the key is to study the culture you are passionate about reaching and submerge into that space with respect and love.”
  • Shane Claiborne quote: “There is a movement bubbling up that goes beyond cynicism and celebrates a new way of living, a generation that stops complaining about the church it sees and becomes the church it dreams of.”
  • “What bailouts, cold invites, media, and strategic marketing are still struggling to do, relationships through justice are accomplishing.”
  • “For the first time in our lives, we aren’t trying to create our own opportunities; we were simply trying to respond to the Spirit’s leading.”
  • “This was Jesus’ instruction: place your affections on My kingdom, and I will build my church. Bind your heart to things of eternal value, keep your mind on a vision bigger than you, and ensure all your efforts match those affections. Jesus will take care of the rest.”
  • “We believe that the church should be the best place to build honest and encouraging relationships that speak, share, and seek to live out God’s truth.”
  • “Missional at its core means ‘sent.’ It is the opposite of ‘come to us.’
  • Ed Stetzer & David Putman quote: “The church is one of the few organizations in the world that does not exist for the benefit of its members. The church exists because God, in his infinite wisdom and infinite mercy, chose the church as his instrument to make known his manifold wisdom in the world.”
  • “How lovely is a faith community that goes forth as loving sisters and brothers rather than angry defenders and separatists.”
  • “Love has won infinitely more converts than theology.”
  • “Church is not a place you go– it’s a people you belong with. The building is simply the place you celebrate God together.”
  • “Do we really need to be fed more of the Word, or are we simply undernourished from an absence of living the Word?”
  • “I believe the largest factor in feeling unfed is not feeding others.”
  • “Discipleship was never simply about learning; it was constructed on living.”
  • “If an endless array of Bible studies, programs, church events, and sermons have left you dry, please hear this: living on mission where you’ve been sent will transform your faith journey. At the risk of oversimplifying it, I’ve seen missional living cure apathy better than any sermon, promote healing quicker than counseling, deepen discipleship more than Bible studies, and create converts more effectively than events.”

I give it five stars. I think you will be glad to have read it, and I hope we can collectively apply its wisdom.

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I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

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