Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
SoulTsunami Paperback – October 1, 2001
|New from||Used from|
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
Will the tsunami wave of change sweep Christianity away? Or will religious followers be able to ride the cresting tidal wave of cyberterrorism and social malaise that threaten Christian values in the 21st century? Rather than sink into denial or flee to safe bunkers, Sweet suggests that devout Christians "hoist the sails" just as Noah did when faced with a flood. "While the world is rethinking its entire cultural formation, it is time to find new ways of being the church that are true to our postmodern context," writes author Leonard Sweet, vice president of postmodern Christianity at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. This book is packed with suggestions (framed as "Life Rings") for keeping Christianity a thriving and vital global force. "Life Ring" chapter titles include "Get Glocal--the Global Renaissance," and "Get De-Churched-De-Everything." Although the tsunami metaphor feels overextended, devout Christians appreciate the savvy and passionate vision of this popular author. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
The book's title comes from the Japanese word for a tidal wave that sweeps away all that it encounters; Sweet's thesis is that the present postmodern culture is advancing on churches, as it has on business, education and other areas of life, with comparable great force and speed. Like a French Impressionist painter, SweetAa Methodist minister and dean of the Divinity School of Drew UniversityApresents a canvas filled with numerous small points of light, offering a snapshot of a scene caught in that moment when one time blends into the next. The book presents almost innumerable details. The reader learns that the number of books being sold is increasing, that the average American must learn to operate 20,000 pieces of technology and that Generation X has witnessed (on television and elsewhere) more violence than any previous generation. The resulting information pileup makes the reader feel almost bombarded by hundreds of bites of data; in fact, one of Sweet's principle points is that contemporary culture is generating more and more information. The present human response to this glut of information ranges from a passion to keep up with it allAbuying more computer time, scanning more information sources and buying more booksAto a desire to escape into a private world or inner experience. Furthermore, Sweet argues that this increase in knowledge makes it difficult for present-day folk to reflect on the ultimate meaning of that data. The book's format invites its use by church discussion groups. Each chapter ends with questions, theological snippets and activities (including topics to be researched on the Web) that lead naturally to personal reflection and group conversation. Although Sweet believes that many churches are behind the times, he also notes that the postmodern world offers them new opportunities for mission. In places, these suggestions do little more than urge churches to use the best the culture has to offer; for instance, to construct Web pages, to use contemporary language and idiom in worship and to appeal to the high value that people today place on personal service. Sweet goes beyond such commonplaces and also speaks about the spiritual resources that churches possess. Sweet's insistence that postmoderns need to be reminded of the Christian teaching on original sin and human fragility and his sense of the need for spiritual values, such as humility, to counterbalance consumerism are cases in point.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
What is a soul tsunami? Leonard Sweet explains it this way: “A spiritual tsunami has hit postmodern culture. This wave will build without breaking for decades to come. The wave is this: People want to know God. They want less to know about God or know about religion than to know God.”
The book was loaded with brilliant insights and ideas for Christians to grapple with in terms of what is important to millennials and how that effects evangelism, the shape of our message, and even what our church services could look like to meet the evolving needs of new generations.
Sweet offers relevant insights such as, “Postmodern evangelism is recognizing that God is already at work in people’s lives before we arrived on the scene, and that our role is helping people to see how God is present and active in their lives, calling them home.”
People are leaving the church in droves because it doesn’t meet their need to experience God. The author says, “Postmoderns want something more than new products; they want new experiences, especially new experiences of the divine.”
Old models don’t work, but churches have been slow to adapt to the changing demands. For instance, “Postmoderns don’t want to be preached at; they want to be given a mission.”
I felt the chapters were heavy laden with cultural facts and observations, which grew wearisome to read. I would have liked to have seen fewer facts and more scriptural rationale for changing the status quo. Still, Church leaders would do well to read this book and explore ways to do church differently.
I, for one, am tired of the Church being a social club that does the exact same things, the exact same ways forever. As Leonard Sweet explains, “The church is bursting at the seams with rationality, decency, order, dignity, and predictability. What it needs is the holy intoxications of foolishness, humor, craziness, outrageousness, creative disorder, and passion.”
And these changing times—this New Reformation Era—call for creativity. The message, of course, will remain the same, but the delivery and methods will need to morph to ride the wave of change.
This review, along with additional book quotes, first appeared on my blog, ChristyBower.com.
The fracturing of Jesus' teaching and example into the several hundred competing denominations that Dr Sweet considers to be (but isn't) Christianity is the unfortunate end result of following what seems to be true to dogmatists like himself. Dogma may appear less harmful today than when it seemed to church leaders that those not subscribing to the latest dogma (Paul Johnson's odium theologium) were heretics subject to pogroms, crusades, burning or ghettoizing, but its essential role of obscuring Jesus' message is still intact.
Jesus warned that the way to the Kingdom that he illustrated for those who would follow him led through a narrow gate that few would find. Why is it hard to find? Because the Kingdom is not behind Dr Sweet's pearly gates in some remote location that can only be reached (assuming we've picked the right denomination) after we die, but is within each of us right now, on earth as in heaven. To get there is a tough discipline, a hard road to follow. Why? Because if we want to become at one with a God who is Love, as he prayed we all might, we have to learn to love utterly and without discrimination. Not judge, condemn or seek to punish others who don't do what seems to us to be right, but love without fear or thought of reward. If we can't love our neighbor whom we have seen, how can we love God whom we have not seen? As we learn to become at one with an omnipotent Spirit whom he said must be worshipped in spirit and in truth, our better-imaged Love gives us the power to heal. You will be able to tell those who follow my teaching, he said, by their ability to heal. They'll be able to do greater works than I have done. Simple, isn't it? Paul worried that Christians would be corrupted from the simplicity that is Christ. Hello? as Dr Sweet would say.
To build a church hierarchy, however, with all the attendant burdens of fighting for power and prestige within it and doing whatever it takes to capture and retain converts (including the production of complicated dogma) does not generate the quality of love that heals, and church dogma has long ago legislated the impossibility of spiritual healing - even though two fifths of the Gospels advocate and illustrate its necessity.
I am sure Dr Sweet is doing the best he can to alert us to the fact that humanity has gone through the wrong gate and is on the wrong road, but the answer is not more but less dogma. I would recommend that he and all who would wish to follow Jesus' healing message buy a book of Jesus' sayings, underline what he tells us to do and then start doing it. Forget for the time being his excoriation of the priests and scribes who, then as now, were leading people astray with their dogma so that neither they nor their followers could enter the Kingdom. Forget about all the dire predictions of what will happen if we don't follow his teaching and just do what he says to do. What you will have in his list of things to do is a frame of reference against which all the well meaning but diversionary ideas of those who would steady God's altar should be evaluated. If enough of us love enough, that big old tidal wave will dissipate.
Most recent customer reviews
Reviewed by Darren Cronshaw
Sweet prophetically follows on...Read more
noticed how fast the world is moving around you?Read more