Friday, June 01, 2012

Movements That Change the World

by Steve Addison

Christianity, according to Steve Addison, is a movement. A grouping of people yearning, working, living together for a common cause. Actually it's more like a movement made of mini-movements--periods of change that shake up the status quo and breathe new life into the spread of the Gospel. In Movements That Change the World, he looks at some of those movements and draws from them some lessons for the Church. Or maybe just part of the Church. I was left with some questions after finishing the book, and one of them was how the whole Church--the body of Christ throughout the world--fits into the picture. Mr. Addison makes the point a couple of times about how the great movements in Christianity's past tended to happen on the edges, on the frontiers of the faith rather in the offices of the popes, patriarchs or presidents. It makes one want to be out on those frontiers. But I also had to ask, "What about those in the hierarchy? What about the people mired in the status quo? Aren't they also part of the Church?" I tend to think, perhaps because I'm not on any sort of cutting edge myself, that books like this one tend to miss the depth of Christianity. As wonderful and as far reaching as movements like monasticism, the Reformation, or the Great Awakening have been, the totality of God's work is even more so. While the Holy Spirit is active in a dynamic, growing church, He's also with His people from the comfy middle class to those poor brothers and sisters trying to remain faithful amidst oppression.

That said, go ahead and read the book. Whether Mr. Addison is on the forefront of another great revival, or merely heading up a fad, he does offer some good ideas and a nice reminder of some great times in the Church's past.  

Check it out.
 LibraryThing link


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