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Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People (9Marks) Paperback – February 1, 2011
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There is much keen insight in this book and more than a few places that make you realize that the author clearly understands this subject in ways that are overlooked by most church leaders today.
I am looking forward to using this book for new disciples and for those beginning to develop a biblical philosophy of church ministry. I am very happy to recommend it.
I would respectfully disagree with the reviewer who gives it 3 stars, saying that Leeman's polemical tone is too harsh. If I recall correctly, Leeman does not name a specific church or group of churches when he critiques how they sometimes use or misuse the Scriptures. This does not mean he sets up a straw man just to knock it down again, rather it allows him to carefully counteract patterns that I personally have observed in a number of different settings. Thus his critique is accurate, not just a careless iron fist. Nor would I agree with the same reviewer that Leeman's tone is harsh. I'll grant that it is strong, but I also sense a humility in it as well.
In short: read this book! Read it with a newer Christian. Buy 10 copies and hand it out to friends at church.
On the flip side of the coin I have seen, in my opinion, some churches move to a more strict orthodoxy in the way their churches are organized and their services held. In an attempt to be less seeker sensitive they turn to a more wooden liturgy and dare I say that legalism has begun to creep in the back door of some of those churches. It's at a time like this we need to get back to what the Apostles and Church fathers would have considered to be primary in the life of the church; the ministering of the gospel in the pulpit. It's this premise that Jonathan Leeman puts forth in his book, Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People.
He brings to the mind of the readers the idea that God's word should be at the forefront of Christian thought and practice. He brings us a clear view of God through the mighty power of His word and the things it accomplishes. He brings the reader in on a wave of God's word and shows how the wave forms, crashes down, and calls to the sand it has just crashed on. While Jonathan does not use the analogy of the wave I thought it a helpful idea to describe the sections Leeman uses to describe the reverberation which God accomplishes through the Word.
A theme that runs through the pages of this book is the idea that God's word will accomplish all it has set out to do. At times this includes dividing the people and effectually calling them to repentance and faith. Leeman is not afraid to state that the offense of the gospel is the aroma of life to some and the stench of death to others. He rightly points out that God's word does divide the wheat from the chaff and calls those to repentance the people the Father has given Christ. He talks about things in this book that many will find simply umbilical, though the problem lies in the reader. It's not that we don't want to believe the message of the word, as the bible points out, we can't! We can't unless the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is wrought in our hearts calling us to repent and give up our lives for the sake of the gospel.
I recommend this book to the entire church of God. Men and women from all denominations will benefit from this study of God's word. I have been helped by this book and been brought back to the right focus which the church should have in view. I pray this book will be taken up and read more than once. It's a timely message the church can ill-afford to be without.
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I received this book as a review copy from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.Read more