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ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs to the Burbs (and Everything in Between) Paperback – April 4, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book so deeply encourages me because it reminds me, you, us, and the rest of the world that no one monopolizes or owns the Gospel but rather the Gospel owns... and liberates us." --Eugene Cho, Pastor and Blogger; Founder of One Day's Wages

"What a delight to read these posts from people on the ground working out the Gospel in their cities and `burbs' in ordinary, everyday life. This is the kind of down-to-earth reporting we need right now. I will definitely be using this little gem for my work." --Alan Roxburgh, Author of The Missional Leader

"ViralHope inspires me to live more of the kingdom now." --Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Author of Finding God at Harvard and Finding God Beyond Harvard

"ViralHope is a unique and enticing collection of postcards from a veritable who's who of the missional church from across the Western world. It provides us with articulate and varied perspectives on how missionaries to the West are conceiving the good news in and for their various contexts. A worthy read." --Alan Hirsch, Author of The Forgotten Ways

"There has been a lot of talk the last decade about 'the kingdom of God' and being 'missional.' Going beyond mere explanation, ViralHope shows you what these terms mean. In fifty wonderful snapshots, ViralHope demonstrates that in many places and times the decade of talk has produced mature reflection and bountiful fruit." --Todd Hunter, Author of Giving Church Another Chance

About the Author

JR Woodward (editor) helps people and communities discover and live up to the sacred potential. He is the co-founder of Kairos Los Angeles, a network of churches in L.A. He is also co-founder of the Ecclesia Network and the Solis Foundation. You will find him tweeting at @dreamawakener.

The foreword was written by Scot McKnight and here are the contributors in the order they appear: Len Hjalmarson, JR Rozko, Brad Sargent, John Chandler, Sivin Kit, Brother Maynard, Danny Gutierrez, Dave Kludt, Kurt Fredrickson, Winn Collier, J.R. Briggs, Noel Heikkinen, Dustin James, Jim Pace, Erika Haub, AJ Sherrill, Andrew Perriman, Raffi Shahinian, Benjamin Sternke, Joey Tomassoni, Brian Hopper, David Fitch, Christine Sine, Jonathan Dodson, Jason Clark, Kathy Hanson, Alistair Johnson, Greg Larson, Brian Russell, Sonja Andrews, Jamie Arpin-Ricci, Nathan Colquhoun, Todd Hiestand, Doug Paul, Luis Fernando Batista, Even Hanson, John Santic, Mark Van Steenwyk, Ryan Bell, Joe Racek, Audrey Blumber, Tony Stiff, Maria Drews, Jason Coker, Matt Rogers, Andrew Bleyer, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Bob Hyatt, Jon Tyson and Christ Backert.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Ecclesia Press (April 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982623607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982623602
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,362,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick O VINE VOICE on April 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the past month I've had the privilege of reading some of the most refreshing, exciting books of missional theology I've ever come across.

The first was Untamed by Alan and Deb Hirsch. This is a profound work of truly creative, constructive theology that points towards new ways of thinking about our life with God in this world. The second was Sun of Righteousness, Arise! by Jurgen Moltmann. Moltmann's 60+ years of deep, academic thinking are poured into this very profound celebration of God. Though both are very personal and inviting, they are also somewhat removed from direct application. What, then, do we do with the profound thoughts we read in such books?

This is why I'm so absolutely excited about ViralHope. Here we have a collection of fifty short theological narratives about what the Gospel means in specific contexts, as understood by men and women in these contexts, who work in and pray for these contexts every day. This is not a collection of the supposed superstars of contemporary Christianity. This is a collection of theological, practical insights by those who are very rarely in the spotlight, but who are yet still clearly called by God to join in with his wonderfully varied work throughout this world. Some are trained as pastors, others are not. All have a passion for the continuing work of God in and seek to express what it means to share this good work in very specific settings.

What is so great about this collection is how holistic their understanding of the Gospel is expressed. We are reminded of a Gospel which calls people into a deep relationship with Christ, saving us from our sins, and calls us to continued participation with each other and with all our neighbors in helping and hoping together in spiritual and practical ways.
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ViralHope powerfully weaves many unique storytellers into an inspiring collection of real-life good news. The book challenges and encourages me to view my own community in a fresh perspective--to share the only news that doesn't get old--with people around me.
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This collection of short, but profound explorations of the Gospel in unique contexts is a real gift to the Body of Christ. Through story and context this book offers great depth while not sacrificing accessibility. The diversity of perspective and experience still speaks to the unity of truth. Well worth it.
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This is the best book I ever read. But, I need to be honest here. JR Woodward is my son. Children learn from their parent, but I learn from my son. He expresses ideas and stories very well. This book has many authors which makes it very interesting. It's a good book to give as a gift around Easter.
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I enjoyed reading these 50 personal essays concerning the Good News. Within the various voices and contexts I found it interesting to see the similarities in their interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus, as well as the unique ways that integrating such beliefs into each person's understanding of reality affects their daily life. A good reminder that everyone has a story and how we interpret redemption, forgiveness, unconditional love, and service shapes our personal stories, marking us as individuals, while also connecting us in our humanity.

The experience of reading the essays caused me to both meditate on what I do know and believe on the subject as well as stirred in me a desire to uncover more truth to the mysteries surrounding the message and reality of Jesus. It is a welcoming read for those who may believe in Jesus and his teachings while at the same time find themselves agnostic concerning certain aspects of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God and his message.
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ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs to the Burbs (and everything in between)
J.R. Woodward writes and compiles a wide picture of hope coming from the same source. The stories captured here give an inspiring glimpse into what is happening around the globe today. It is current, refreshing, and eye-opening. I particularly enjoyed the "documentary" approach, because each writer gives a unique story out of their own geographical and spiritual perspective. The hope offered here is contagious. I hope it will keep spreading one person at a time.
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When I sat down and read this book I had no expectations because, I must admit, I never read a book like this before. What is the Good News? That question has never been asked of me so I had no idea what I was getting into. Needless to say I was floored. To hear how everyone has put this question into their own contexts with such a verve for discovery and insatiable appetites for answering this tough question in their own way was comforting to me. JR Woodward has created a dialogue with this book that attempts to answer a question we should be asking ourselves everyday, how can we understand the Good News in our own context so that we can attempt to live it out with each other, knowing we all come from different backgrounds and live in vastly different places. The ultimate discovery for me in reading this book was that the effort to answer this question is as important as the answer itself.
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[ASIN:0982623607 ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs to the Burbs (and Everything in Between)]] I highly recommend JR's book, Viral Hope: Good News From The Urbs to the Burbs. It's a delightful book, and it can easily be read in an afternoon or over a longer period. It's a series of short essays written by fifty different authors from around the world. Each author was charged with the challenge of summarizing "What is the Good News?" and to consider the audience being a local newspaper.
What came out of the exercise was a beautiful picture of the beauty and diversity of the Gospel as it makes it is translated from community to community in a unique way.
I love the title of the book as well--viral hope. Often in today's world we talk about viral movements and we mean something either really bad or really good. When something "goes viral" it spreads really quickly and viruses themselves tend to adapt as they spread from location to location--all without compromising the integrity of the virus itself.
So we all know how viruses can spread, but what about hope. What if hope spread like a virus. What if hope passed from community to community adapting and getting stronger as it spread? What if instead of massive amounts of negativity in the world there was a massive movement of hope?
When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God, he talked about it in terms of hope, but he also talked about it spreading really quickly--like yeast working it's way through dough, or like a tiny seed that grows into a tree where all of the birds of the air can find rest and make their homes.
I highly recommend you read this book--it was originally intended to be read between Easter and Pentecost, but it could be read any time during the year. It could also be read in a group as well. Maybe a group could read to each other as they gathered in a home or another relaxing space.
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