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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sine of the Times
Tom Sine looks firstly at the phenomenon of globalisation andthe growth of certain corporations who are now bigger than theeconomies of some countries. In his analysis of this 'race to the top' he presents a vivid picture of the alarming power of these 'super companies.' In this context he introduces the opportunities and dangers of technology and especially e-commerce...
Published on May 8, 2000 by S. Cornforth

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You can get through it -
Tom Sine espouses his theories on globalism and how believers in Christ and how they can, do, do not, sometimes, might go together. How does one influence the other? Who should we minister to? Tom relies heavily on statistics, so much so that the book is almost blinding at times. One can really go into statistical overload reading this book. With that said, Sine was...
Published on December 21, 2004 by Joseph Valentine Dworak


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sine of the Times, May 8, 2000
This review is from: Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (Paperback)
Tom Sine looks firstly at the phenomenon of globalisation andthe growth of certain corporations who are now bigger than theeconomies of some countries. In his analysis of this 'race to the top' he presents a vivid picture of the alarming power of these 'super companies.' In this context he introduces the opportunities and dangers of technology and especially e-commerce which is dramatically accelerating globalisation.
He then moves on to the dangers and challenges of this new McWorld. He looks at the pressures on young people and their accumulation of debt as they join in the race. He then highlights the plight of the world's poor who increasingly left behind. He uses the example of Ugandan villagers who can no longer afford locally produced fish as the producers have found a higher price from Western purchasers. The local population are left to queue for the scraps.
Sine's aim is to challenge Christian leaders to present an alternative to McWorld, based on a concern for the poor and for our environment. He achieves this in a way that is informative and readable. He presents material which is often perceived as dry in a lively and challenging way.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "WWJD" = symptom of a problem in Christendom?, December 15, 2001
By 
Timotheos Josephus (USA, Earth, Milky Way) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (Paperback)
Sine is not your typical conservative Christian author. If you're looking for a book by one of Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell's buddies, then you're in the wrong aisle; try checking over in the area with all the "WWJD" bracelets and T-shirts.
Sine's book would surely ruffle the feathers of the average church-going, capitalist-loving, suburban Christian. After all, this guy (Sine) has the audacity to claim that we, as Christians, are actually supposed to place the teachings of Jesus on a higher level than the priorities of an American culture based on consumerism. Sheesh!!! Who does he think he is? Sine's emphasis is on re-organizing our lives to get away from the perceived need to mold them in a way that feeds off of materialism, and to focus our efforts instead on the work of God's kingdom. Rather than having our priorities be 1) material things, 2) family, and 3) God, Sine rightly states they should be 1) God, 2) family, 3) material necessities.
If you're disappointed with working 50-60 hours per week striving for that next promotion while trying to find time to race the kids to their activities, feed the dog, mow the lawn, and do the dishes, (Oh! and I'll find time for God next week) all to end up with high blood pressure, a divorce, and bankruptcy court, then you definitely should read this book. It will either scare you or inspire you to start over! Or both...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get out of your box, July 12, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (Paperback)
Sine takes awhile to get to his point, having to lay some groundwork in the earlier chapters. However, once he does you will never look at the world around you the same. He challenges all the existing paradigms of the church, and what we're about as Christians. This is a must read for anyone in church leadership...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You can get through it -, December 21, 2004
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This review is from: Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (Paperback)
Tom Sine espouses his theories on globalism and how believers in Christ and how they can, do, do not, sometimes, might go together. How does one influence the other? Who should we minister to? Tom relies heavily on statistics, so much so that the book is almost blinding at times. One can really go into statistical overload reading this book. With that said, Sine was ahead of the curve in 1999 predicting global terrorism before 9/11. He also makes a strong case for ministering to the least of us, the homeless, etc. This book has a pretty strong liberal bend to it, and still is useful. Although a bit dated, it still picks up on trends of the McWorld globalization that is still occurring at a rapid rate.

It is frightening to see in every town an office depot, target, old navy, petco, etc. Its like no matter where you go you can get the same exact thing. My wife and I always try to find anything but Applebees.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not my style, but some very good material, August 12, 2011
By 
Jonathan Hakkeem (Bangkok, Thailand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (Paperback)
I felt so different about the first and second halves of this book that I want to split them up for the review.

Part 1, A Crisis of Foresight, was about discerning the future and taking it seriously. A major focus was on how Christian culture has failed to anticipate the impact on values and behavior that the new global economy and explosion of commercialism has had on society. I didn't get much out of this - it seemed like another way to motivate readers, but you could get the same results by responding in a Godly way to present realities. I feel that bringing in such a focus on discerning the future is suspect. However, this section does include the most material on what McWorld is and the dangers it entails.

Part 2, A Crisis of Vision, summarizes how the church has adopted the secular values of McWorld rather than Godly values. It calls on churches and Christians to back up, look at the Bible, and understand what it really means to follow in Jesus's footsteps and promote the Kingdom of God. Sine calls out the Enlightenment-era separation between spiritual and material.

Part 3, A Crisis of Creativity, gives pratical ideas on how we can creatively reinvent our lives and mission to fit God's vision and get away from the world's rat race. I found parts 2 and 3 to be much more interesting and helpful than part 1, and think the book could have been improved by taking the "future-looking" material out of the first part and them splitting Part 2 between parts 1 and 3. However, Sine is a futurist, and this is what he does, so I can't really expect that he would see it the same way I do.

This book does not use a formatting or storytelling style that I like very much at all. I think the early parts have too much of a focus on the future, and I don't agree with how he phrases many later parts. But the overall message is so on-point that it makes up a lot for the deficiencies. Sine summarizes it well himself like this:

"The themes of the American dream are accumulating, upscaling, status, power, consumerism, individualism, and self-actualization. The themes of the homecoming future of God are justice for the poor, peace for the nations, the redemption of the people of God, a restoration of community, a renewal of creation, and a celebration of the shalom purposes of God for a people and a world. These are not two version of the same dream. These are totally different dreams. One is born out of an ancient faith. The other is the product of an Enlightenment vision of Western progress."

There are also a lot of positive creative ideas sprinkled throughout the book, many of which are quite outside the box of traditional thinking. For the truth of the overall message and the possibilities sparked by the creative ideas that are shared, the book is well worth a careful read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that will rock the world should its proposals be taken seriously., July 27, 2008
This review is from: Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (Paperback)
Tom Sine belongs to a rare breed of thinkers who dares to take seriously Jesus' teaching of the kingdom of God. He applies his futurist's foresight to what the world can be like if enough Christians start taking the Lord's call to be the salt of the earth and mustard seeds of faith. Too often, we have given ourselves the excuse that we can remain where we are in our secular vocation and continue to do the Lord's work just as faithfully. Without debunking this approach absolutely (as it certainly works for some), Sine gives us the pause by pointing out that in practice that has easily become for many Christians a safe cover for building our own empires while leaving a mere pittance of time, energy, money and other resources for the Kingdom of God. Sunday is a day where we give a polite nod to the revolutinary message of Jesus but the rest of the workaday week is business as usual! The Bible has some strong words for such a subterfuge!

Yet, this book is not simply a book of diagnosis or indictment but a concrete proposal for implementing a 'mustard seed' program(s) that takes seriously the issues of poverty, social injustice, fragmentation of society, environmental pollution and other contemporary ills that come with McWorld - the world of globalization - and poses a challenge to Christians who will take up the call courageously to revamp their whole way of life in the light of Jesus' call of discipleship. It is one of those rare Christian resources that do not delve merely in abstractions and generalities but is committed to working out the brass tags of what it means to be Christ's followers in the 21st century. This is a brilliant exercise in what Walter Brueggemann calls 'hopeful imagination' that will call into question the status quo, bundled with lots of helpful data and practical strategies that will usher in the new millenium. One has to ready himself for the challenge as he opens this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Countercultural faith, March 31, 2010
By 
Darren Cronshaw (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (Paperback)
Tom Sine, Mustard Seed versus McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (Jacksonville: Seedsowers, 1999)

Reviewed by Darren Cronshaw

Tom Sine is a futurist who urges the church to take trends about the future seriously, to grasp God's vision for the church and embrace creativity. He does not just outline theory but offers practical suggestions to set aside McWorld and embrace the gospel values of God's 'Mustard seed' agenda. He argues we are not forced to accept models our culture hands to us, but can experiment with alternative housing, different spending patterns, new ways of doing church. Why not design new churches on a village design that facilitates living as extended families, or develop a Celtic prayer retreat centre, or create highly visual and innovative worship space like Mark Pierson and Mike Riddell have done with Parallel Universe, or offer hospitality like Brown Bear Pub church in London does to reach out to Caribbean young people. Theologically, Sine is convinced the first call of the gospel is not to proclamation or social action (though committed to evangelism and concerned for the poor), but to incarnation. 'Only as we flesh out in community something of the right-side-up values of God's new order do we have any basis on which to speak or act.' (p.205)

Originally appeared in Darren Cronshaw, `The Emerging Church: Introductory Reading Guide', Zadok Papers, S143 (Summer 2005).
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10 of 93 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The only problem is this book., December 4, 2002
By 
"christoid7" (fresno, ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (Paperback)
Well, maybe not the only problem. That would be too pressumptuous of me. Would you like to know the problem in short? Mustard Seed Vs. McWorld is simple. It's books like this vs. the Bible. Read your Bible as it relates to itself, practice distanciasion, and you'll be set. Why doesn't God focus on problems as presented in this book? Because they're not the point. This book is about a social gospel, God was about the gospel of and for His glory. Why did Jesus never tell His disciples, "you know, celebration is the key"?
"Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?" Isaiah 2:22
"Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation." Psalm 146:3
"Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength." Jeremiah 17:5
God's salvic nature (Luke 9:56) is to reconcile all things to Him self (Col. 1:20), that His glory be known (Rom 9:23). Not....anthropocentricism.
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