Monday, September 19, 2011

Embracing A Theology of Risk, Adventure and Courage
By Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch

OVERVIEW: So much of our lives is caught up in the development and maintenance of security and control. But as Helen Keller observed, "Security is mostly a superstition...Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." And when our only experience of Christianity is safe and controlled, we miss the simple fact that faith involves risk.

In The Faith of Leap, Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch challenge you to leave the idol of security behind and courageously live the adventure that is inherent in our God and in our calling. Their corrective to the dull, adventureless, risk-free phenomenon that describes so much of contemporary Christianity explores the nature of adventure, risk, and courage and the implications for church, discipleship, spirituality, and leadership. (From the back of the book.)

AUTHORS: Michael Frost is an internationally recognized Australian missiologist and one of the leading voices in the missional church movement. His books are required reading in colleges and seminaries around the world, and he is much sought after as an international conference speaker. He is the vice principal of Morling College and the founding director of the Tinsley Institute, a mission study center located at Morling College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author or editor of ten theological books.

Alan Hirsch is the founding director of Forge Mission Training Network. He is the cofounder of and currently he leads an innovative learning program called Future Travelers, helping numerous megachurches become missional movements. Known for his innovative approach to mission, Alan is a teacher and key mission strategist for churches across the Western world. He is the author of several books and his popular book The Shaping of Things to Come (with Michael Frost) is widely considered to be a seminal text on mission.

MY REVIEW: Every review I have read of this book, praises it to the sky. And I only read one review that found anything wrong with it. And that fault was minor. And I too found much to praise about this book. But I also found it hard to read and follow. I kept having to look up words that are new to me and re-read sentences and paragraphs that I couldn't completely comprehend in the first reading. So my review will not be as glowing as others I have read. Now, let me quickly say that I am not as well read in the field of missions as I would like to be and I have never been proud of my vocabulary. However, I am a retired pastor of almost fifty years, have a Masters Degree in Bible/Religion and a large library. So I am not a complete dunce although I admit I am lacking in some areas when it comes to reading this book.

I like the call to a theology of risk, adventure and courage. I learned from the stories of those who have found the courage to venture out and take risks for the cause of Christ and for His glory. I recommend this book to pastors and teachers but I think the "average" Christian will find the same difficulties with reading the book that I did. But I can't end on this note. I must say, I agree completely with the authors that "God is a God of adventure, and a life well lived." Therefore I agree with them that "a life of discipleship, must be one that can take risks as we courageously follow our Lord." This is what they call the faith of leap.

(I received this book from C.Grand and Company for this review.)