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The Best Idea in the World: How Putting Relationships First Transforms Everything Paperback – September 28, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310290759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310290759
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,772,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“The best idea in the world; the most practical answer to the biggest problem on the planet.” -- Steve Chalke

About the Author

Mark Greene is a former adman and prepared to admit it. After seven years on Madison Avenue in New York, he returned to his native UK to study at the London School of Theology, where he became Lecturer in Communications and Vice-Principal. He is now the Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. He has written widely on culture and work and is the author of several books including Thank God It’s Monday.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Best Idea in the World is a deceptively simple book, calling the Church back to its primary calling of loving God and loving others.

The idea, of course, is both profound and essential, the lifelong task of all who take their faith seriously. The commands are there, we know the call, but how to live it out in our 21st Century world seems to elude many.

This is the exciting part of Greene's work. While he lays a good biblical groundwork, while he does his theology, he spends the bulk of his time exploring what love and relationship look like to those just trying to survive, to make it through today, to the lonely and the lost and the broken. Through story, example, and suggestion, Greene offers help in learning to live out our call in the marketplace, in the train station, in the office, at home, in our churches. Real people and their very real problems pepper the pages of The Best Idea. This is not so much a book for pastors as for those who get up and head to the public workplace every day.

But let me be clear about something else: while making the case that it is our call and duty to love God and love others, Greene shows us that this is no drudgery, no mundane task, no law to be followed. For it all begins with the fact that God loves us, that God chooses to be in relation to us. That God is present, seen in Jesus and the Spirit; that God is faithful and will never leave, that God is close to us and for us in this world. We can experience the fulfillment of our own deepest longings, our own loneliness, our own quiet desperation as we live into our relationship with God. As we do that, we can turn and share that love with the world around us. And as we do, we will see God's Kingdom lived out in our lives, and in the lives of those around us.
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Format: Paperback
In this short book author Mark Greene attempts to explore the simple question, "How does what I am about to do affect relationships?" His hope is to help his readers find satisfaction in a frazzled world.
I have to admit that Mr. Green had some difficulty in capturing my attention. He writes in short paragraphs that appear to be thoughts, but they don't always seem to have a sense of continuity with the rest of the chapter. He seems to think that every single decision we make has a relational impact on those around us....even the purchase of a microwave. What about pizza? Does the pizza that I order affect those around me?
I found much of the book to be a combination of an attempt at a self-help to re-focus on building relationships, complaints on socio-political issues that I have no idea about, and brief reflections on scripture. I would suggest that if you are going to write a devotional book...write it. But too much of this book mixes and matches with topics and context that leaves me wondering why I bothered to read it. I even read ahead to find some hope. But, alas, it was not found.
Perhaps Mr. Greene is writing to a different audience that I am familiar with? Perhaps you should stick with speaking on contemporary culture at conferences around the world? I'm not even sure that I will keep this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Snyder on November 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Out of my recent collection of freebies granted for prescreening by Zondervan, this was my favorite. It was the only one that actually challenged me to think outside my preconceived notions of religion in general and Christianity in particular. The central premise is that relationships are the basis of meaningful life, especially life with God. Using the Jesus Creed: love God, love others, Greene argues that every decision we make in life, including which microwave to buy has profound influence on our relationships with others, which influences our relationship with God. It's sort of a Christianized version of the butterfly effect. Great writing, excellent personal examples, and the first unique Christian literature I've read in some time. I strongly recommend this resource to those who realize there is something more to life than just following the rules, and are looking for a language to describe their internal predicament. I especially think this book would be helpful to emerging generations.
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