19 March 2012

Viral Jesus - REVIEW

'Viral Jesus' is an excellent new book by Ross Rohde.  It's well worth reading, be prepared for a challenging and absorbing romp through church history and more - much more.

Viral JesusIf you have no idea what a 'viral Jesus movement' is it will be a voyage of discovery. If you're already familiar with such movements your thinking will be expanded by the many examples from real life and you'll be encouraged as Ross shares his heart.

The book has three major themes
  • Defining and describing the concept of a viral Jesus movement
  • Examining the early church (an example of such a movement) and considering how and why it faltered and eventually withered
  • Advice and encouragement on viral discipleship, church planting and evangelism
Those three themes do not capture everything in the book, but they do give a sense of the framework Ross uses. And it was a good choice, allowing him to lay everything out in a logical way.

Lying deep beneath these themes and the many great stories are two important factors that crop up again and again. One of these is the idea that our thinking in Western culture is based on a Greek philosophy far different than the Eastern view of the world so familiar to Jesus and his disciples.

The second is the important principle that we are called to follow Jesus in practical ways - to do what we see him do and to say what we hear him say, no more, no less.

Here's a short extract as a taster...
[T]he way to live consistently in a deep, obedient, abiding relationship with Christ our Lord has to be learned. For that we need each other in community. We also need the guidance of more mature believers. These believers don't decide for us what we are to learn; they help guide us to the lordship and direction of Jesus himself. They push us toward Jesus; they don't step between Jesus and us. To do so would be to play the role of priest. We are all priests in that we have a direct connection with God. Yet we have only one High Priest, and his name is Jesus. Viral discipleship will lead us into an ever-maturing and obedient relationship with Jesus himself. That will end up having a profound impact on our lives and the world around us.
Read Ross Rohde's blog for more about Ross and some of the ideas behind the book. There's also a link for buying the book online.

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