Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book review: The Faith of Leap

I read a lot of books and I genuinely enjoy most of them. Every so often though, I run across a truly special book, one that demands attention and action.  I was only about a chapter into The Faith of Leap before I knew it was one of those truly special books. After two chapters, I started informing everyone that I talked to that they needed to read this book. When I finished today, I couldn't stop myself from posting a recommendation for it on my Facebook page.  And I'm going to say it again here- if you are a Christian, you need to read this book. Now I'm going to take a brief break from gushing about how much I loved the book and will share some information about it, from the publisher's website:

So much of our lives is caught up in the development and maintenance of security and control. But as Helen Keller observed, "Security is mostly a superstition. . . . Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." And when our only experience of Christianity is safe and controlled, we miss the simple fact that faith involves risk.

In The Faith of Leap, Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch challenge you to leave the idol of security behind and courageously live the adventure that is inherent in our God and in our calling. Their corrective to the dull, adventureless, risk-free phenomenon that describes so much of contemporary Christianity explores the nature of adventure, risk, and courage and the implications for church, discipleship, spirituality, and leadership.
The book is primarily written to pastors and others in positions of Christian leadership, but the message that it contains is relevant to everyone.  There were even large passages that made me think about my parenting style and reevaluate some of the things that I do with my kids.

The Faith of Leap is a tremendously good and worthwhile read, but it's not always an easy one. The paragraphs tend to be long, words tend to be big, and there are a lot of references to books and movies. And the message contained in it requires action and changes. When I was describing the book to a fellow ministry worker, she said that my description reminded her of The Fellowship of the Ring, which she was reading. I laughed and told her that that story plays a big role and comes up in a number of illustrations in The Faith of Leap.

I marked so many pages of this book as having particularly motivating phrases or ideas on them. If I hadn't already promised to send my copy to my dad, a pastor, I probably would have even broken out the highlighters. 

I'll close this review with a quote from the book's conclusion, which I think neatly summarizes the message that it contains. "Christianity is an adventure of the spirit or it is not Christianity.  We must repent of our obsession with safety and security and do the task that only we as Jesus's people must do." 

Now, go buy this book. Right away. 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review for myself. However, I was under no obligation to post a positive review and all opinions contained in this post are mine and mine alone.