Thursday, January 26, 2012

book review: the faith of leap

title: the faith of leap
author: michael frost, alan hirsch
publisher: baker books
date: 2011

The books that Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost have written, both individually and together, are important books for understanding "missional". This book, “The Faith of Leap“ presents a theology of risk, adventure and courage that challenges the reader to step boldly into participating in God’s mission.

The promo on the back cover says:
"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."

Hirsch and Frost have a way of bringing together their research and observations from a wide range of disciplines and examine it through a theological/biblical lens. Each chapter in this book is a mixtture of illustration, insight and encouragement to engage in mission, to move from self-concern to other-concern, from holy huddle to venturing out into God’s world.

The books is a reminder that faith always involves risk. To explore this, Hirsch and Frost unpack the issue of developing “communitas” rather than simply “community.” They look at overcoming “risk aversion” and the dangers of individualism in risk taking, and the damage caused by our pursuit of safety and security. They provide practical insight for a church to move from complacency to developing a sense of urgency for God’s mission.

There is also a helpful discussion in one of the final chapters entitled “Missional Catalysis” in which Hirsch and Frost illustrate the need to understand mission as the organizing, catalyzing and even revitalizing principle of the church. There is much in each of the seven chapters to encourage the reader to understand risk and adventure as an indispensible component of a life with Jesus. You will certainly not be disappointed with this excellent addition to the missional church conversation.

"This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

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