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Epic

Epic

The Story God is Telling
  • Author: John Eldredge
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 18 September 2007

Epic starts off with a quote from G. K Chesterton, “ I had always felt life first as a story — and if there is a story there is a storyteller.”

John Eldredge knows how to speak to us about life, about the larger story, how we have lost our way and how we can find ourselves again. He speaks through four acts, a prologue and an epilogue. Simple yet powerful.

I found myself throughout this book of less than 100 pages asking myself about my role in this story, where I had come from, where was I presently and where was

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The Language of God

The Language of God

A Scientise Presents Evidence for Belief
  • Author: Francis S. Collins
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 26 August 2008

I heard Dr. Collins speak at the Presidential Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. and I was fascinated by his humility, his distinguished scientific and medical background as well as his spiritual journey from being an atheist to an agnostic to a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. He heads up the Human Genome Project in Washington D.C.

I did not know that he had written this book but when I was in Pakistan, I browse through bookstores and there was one copy left which I grabbed. I am so glad that I did. Dr. Collins does not disappoint. He is such an intelligent

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Prayer – Does it make any difference?

Prayer – Does it make any difference?

  • Author: Philip Yancey
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 14 June 2008

Philip Yancey has been a mentor to me through his books. This is a book that encourages us to pray and does not skirt the thorny issues as to why we do not. He draws insight from many different perspectives and many different ways to pray such as a Franciscan Benediction;

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To

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Waiting for a Father

Waiting for a Father

Hearing the Heart-Cry of the Orphans of the World
  • Author: Gary Stephens & Carmen Radley
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 3 August 2013

Marie and I have known Gary and Helen Stephens since the early 1970's. The Stephens and David and Carol Boyd, who you will meet in this book, were instrumental in our becoming involved in Missions to the poor and vulnerable of our world 40 years ago. Our lives have never been the same. We live in Bangkok, Thailand and these two couples are some of our dearest, closest friends. We are god-parents to all of their children. This book is about the difference that one person, one family can make in reaching out to the abandoned and vulnerable children around them. This

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Joy at Work

Joy at Work

A Revolutionary Approach to Fun on the Job
  • Author: Dennis W. Bakke
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 2 September 2007

This is an incredible story of leadership and how values shape an organization, business, school, church, mission or government. This book will help people who want to know how decentralized organizations like YWAM are successful and why young people are so attracted.  Dennis is a Christian with a biblical based view of the world, a Harvard Business graduate that put this into practice with his work in government services, an energy company and now one of the largest chartered school systems in the USA.

He shows how work is one of the ways we honor God. Work is worship. God

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Everything Must Change

Everything Must Change

Jesus, Global Crises and a Revolution of Hope
  • Author: Brian McLaren
  • Review By: G Stephen Goode
  • 15 June 2008

Two underlying questions are the reason for this book by Brian McLaren.
1. What are the world’s top problems today and 2. What do the life and message of Jesus have to say about these issues? This is a continuation of Brian’s previous book, “The Secret Message of Jesus” about the Kingdom of God and what does it look like today.

Brian traveled around the world in the writing of this book, talking to church, community, business and government leaders, asking questions and listening to answers. Brian is a thinker and makes you consider your faith, the mission

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Evil and the Justice of God

Evil and the Justice of God

  • Author: N. T. Wright
  • Review By: G Stephen Goode
  • 26 August 2008

This book is taken from 5 lectures given by N.T. Wright between 2003-2005 as he looks at the issues of evil and what it looks like in our world today.

Bishop Tom Wright basically reminds us that evil is not something that we are going to “solve” in this world but how do we as people of God bring signs of God’s new world through Jesus’ birth, death and through the Holy Spirit into this present time where evil exists.

He goes on to ask questions like, “what does a Christian and Jewish worldview on evil look like?”

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Embracing Grace

Embracing Grace

A Gospel for All of Us
  • Author: Scot McKnight
  • Review By: G Stephen Goode
  • 15 June 2008

I purchased Scot Mcknight's book, "Embracing Grace - A Gospel for All of Us" because I read, "the Jesus Creed" about loving God and loving your neighbor. What does Loving God with all of your strength look like and what does Good News look like to your neighbor?..... "Embracing Grace" gives you some practical glimpses. It also gives some ideas of what the Kingdom of God looks like when we are "embracing grace".

Scot writes with fresh metaphors that allow the Gospel to

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The Starfish and the Spider

The Starfish and the Spider

The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
  • Author: Ori Brafman and Rod A Beckstrom
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 15 June 2008

If you want to know about YWAM, read this book.

This book is an excellent story about centralized, decentralized and hybrid organizations. If you want to kill a spider, cut off its head. You cannot cut off the head of a starfish as it does not have one. If cut off the leg of an starfish, it will grow another.......starfish. This shows how decentralized organizations have always been around and take after the way that our brain’s function. Once thought to operate in a hierarchy, latest research shows the opposite.

This book gives examples of the characteristics of decentralized organizations such as flexibility, shared

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The Jesus Sutras

The Jesus Sutras

Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity
  • Author: Martin Palmer
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 27 August 2008

From the book cover, “In 1907, explorers discovered a vast treasure trove of ancient scrolls, silk paintings, and artifacts dating from the fifth to eleventh centuries A.D. In a long-sealed cave in a remote area of China. Among them, written in Chinese, were scrolls that recounted a history of Jesus’ life and teachings in beautiful Taoist concepts and imagery that were unknown in the West...The best way to describe them is collectively, with a term they themselves used: the Jesus Sutras.”

This book is an amazing adventure of how the Gospels came from Jerusalem to Antioch and then around the silk routes of

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Two Billion Cars

Two Billion Cars

Driving Toward Sustainability
  • Author: Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 17 April 2009

I live in Asia and particularly in Bangkok, a city that has struggled with traffic since I arrived in 1980. The Thai Government  has limited the number of cars being purchased through a luxury tax of 100-400%. Even at that, we have spent the equivalent of 11 years in traffic in this incredible city. It is only in the last few years that the traffic has improved due to new infrastructure projects, Sky train, subway being completed.

Reading 2 Billion cars, I cannot imagine what that would look like in countries like India and China. As this is written, the Nano is

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Satan and the Problem of Evil

Satan and the Problem of Evil

Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy
  • Author: Gregory A. Boyd
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 13 June 2008

This is a book that requires a lot of thinking and reflection. It was helpful to have a dictionary close at hand. Dr. Boyd continues on from “God at War” but takes a closer look at the classical positions and what it means for God to be “in control”, freedom and the origin of evil, risk and the sovereignty of God to mention a few. This book is premised on six foundations that structure this trinitarian warfare theodicy and how God interacts with this world as well as their implementation;

1. Love must be freely chosen.
2. Love entails risks.
3. Love and

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Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory

  • Author: Jeffrey Archer
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 28 September 2009

A classic and enjoyable Jeffrey Archer read about mountain climbing with characters well considered and developed. This book is different in that it is based on the story of George Mallory, a climber that went after every mountain including Mt. Everest. A story of perseverance, passion and going after a dream regardless of the cost and the risk.

Jeffrey Archer is one of my favorite writers since Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less -- His development of characters through a life time or through several generations will have you wanting to read all of his books.

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The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

  • Author: Khaled Hosseini
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 2 September 2007

I write this summary from Kabul as I have been coming to Afghanistan since 1984 for holistic development work through our partners. The sounds of the call to prayer from the mosque outside my window and controlled explosions of mines and bombs, the sites of battle and the rebuilding, the fresh smells of naan and kabobs, the language, the Afghan hospitality bring reality in the reading of this novel. However, one does not need to be in Kabul to read this book. Mr. Hosseini’s ease of language brings it to you from an Afghan, a refugee and an American perspective.

This is a

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Simply Christian

Simply Christian

Why Christianity Makes Sense
  • Author: N.T. Wright
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 26 August 2008

N.T. Wright, ie. Bishop Tom has been compared to C.S. Lewis. He is simple yet profound. He will have things to say that you have not thought about. He will make you think about yourself, what is number one in your life and why the important things are the important things. I guess you could say that he is alot like C. S. Lewis.

A powerful statement that is at the heart of this book -- page 148 -- This brings us to the first of two golden rules at the heart of spirituality. You become like what you worship. When you gaze

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Finding Our Way Again

Finding Our Way Again

The Return of the Ancient Practices
  • Author: Brian McLaren
  • Review By: G Stephen Goode
  • 20 December 2008

This is the first book in the Ancient Practice Series and by 2010, different authors will write books that cover Prayer, Sabbath, Fasting, The Sacred Meal, The Pilgrimmage, The Liturgical Year and Tithing.

This book is about the rediscovery of Christianity as a way of life and not just a system of beliefs or putting it another way how do we find sacredness in all that we do, everyday. How do we become more spiritual and less religious? How do we tend or care for our souls or how do we strengthen our character? Brian's writing always challenges me

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A Thousand Hills

A Thousand Hills

Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It
  • Author: Stephen Kinzer
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 10 January 2009

This is an awful and a beautiful story of Rwanda, pre and post-genocide, a gripping story like you have never read before. It is a  book about a country that was forgotten and how in this globalized 
world,  that is not possible to do anymore without grave consequences. It is also an important story of a country that has come back from the brink of hell to a totally different future. It is a story that is 
taking place right now.

It is also the story of Paul Kagame, almost murdered at the age of two years along with his family

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Not For Sale

Not For Sale

The Return of the Global Slave Trade - and How We Can Fight
  • Author: David Bastone
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 16 June 2008

I have been working in Relief and Development for 26 years in Asia, particularly in war zones, refugee situations natural disasters, civil unrest and major social issues like trafficking. David Batstone gives a terrible, graphic picture of slavery in the 21st century from just about every continent. It grabs your heart and will not let you go. This issue will require the same kind of perserverance that William Wilbertforce overcame in abolishing slavery, changing laws and worldviews in the UK in the 18th century.

We have had the privilege of supporting the work of Pierre and Simonetta Tami and the Hagar Project in

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The Jesus Creed

The Jesus Creed

Loving God, Loving Others
  • Author: Scot McKnight
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 11 September 2007

From the Preface :
“A Jewish expert on the law once asked Jesus what was the most important thing for spiritual formation. Jesus’ answer turned history upside down for those who followed him. This book is an invitation for you to explore Jesus’ answer to that man. I call it the Jesus Creed, and what he said should shape everything we say about Christian spirituality. Everything.”

Jesus knows what life is all about. He was born into a Jewish family and culture but he was more than Jewish. He took the Shema which was central to Judaism but he added to it to

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Same Kind of Different as Me

Same Kind of Different as Me

  • Author: Ron Hall and Denver Moore
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 14 June 2008

The front cover says, “ a modern day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together. “

This is a powerful, fascinating story that covers the early 1950’s to mid 2000 in Louisiana and Texas about a black, sharecropper (who was really a virtual slave) who became a hobo, hopping on and living on trains and then how he lived for 30 years as a homeless man on the streets of Fort Worth, Texas. This book is about how the life of a homeless, dangerous man meeting up with a couple, Ron and Deborah and their story being

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Too Small to Ignore

Too Small to Ignore

Why Children Are The Next Big Thing
  • Author: Dr. Wesley Stafford with Dean Merrill
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 18 September 2007

This is a book by the President of Compassion International on the importance and priority of children. By the way all royalties from the sale of this book go to Compassion's program to serve poor children around the world.

Dr. Wesley Stafford looks at the plight of poor children through his own life of adventure, being raised in a rural, African village. He and his sister had a rich, upbringing as missionary kids in West Africa. His experience of how young children were included in every aspect of life is worth the read. Childhood dreams, the strength of relationships and ceremony and communication

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The History of Prayer in America

The History of Prayer in America

One Nation Under God
  • Author: James P. Moore Jr.
  • Review By: G Stephen Goode
  • 15 June 2008

Friends in the Swiss government gave me this important review of American history and the foundational role that prayer has played in shaping and forming us as a people as well as the government of the United States of America.

James P. Moore Jr. has done an incredible job of writing this book and compiling resources from thousands of different sources on the history of prayer in America. Before writing this book, Mr. Moore looked for equivalent writings and the role and significance of prayer on American history and he could find none. So after seven years of writing

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The Great Emergence

The Great Emergence

How Christianity is changing and why
  • Author: Phyllis Tickle
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 12 July 2009

Phyllis Tickle is one of the spokespersons and historians for the Emerging/Emergent Church. Her premise in "the Great Emergence" is that there are major changes in Christendom that happen every 500 years and  she takes the reader through those past events and brings us to the changes that are occurring now in the Global Church, particularly in the United States.

The reader will need to be prepared to read this book with a good dictionary at hand or by googling the definition of words online. If you are a history buff and a strategic thinker, this book will be a challenge

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The Other Side of the Sky

The Other Side of the Sky

The Story of an Afghan Girl
  • Author: Farah Ahmedi with Tamim Ansary
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 14 June 2008

I got Farad's book because we have been working in relief and development in Afganistan since 1984. It is a well narrated book, an uplifting account the suffering of a child and of people who come into our lives and believe in us, love us and walk with us through the difficulties of life in Afghanistan, Pakistan and in America.

Farad, a young, Hazara girl, has lived an unbelievable life before reaching the age of 15. Her story is a first hand picture of the devastation of a beautiful country destroyed by war and ethnic conflict. She and her family were caught in

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A Deadly Misunderstanding

A Deadly Misunderstanding

  • Author: Mark D. Siljander
  • Review By: G Stephen Goode
  • 20 December 2008

This is fascinating reading for all who are concerned about the world of Islam, Christianity, exploring ancient texts and how a bridge between people of faith is already occurring. It is an incredible journey of a politician, a man of faith facing his own questions, assumptions, prejudices regarding Islam and Christianity that have led him into the most unbelievable situations and circumstances.

A friend of mine in Washington recommended this book to me as a must read. I have to say that I do not think that I have read a more important book in the last few years

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David Bussau: Facing the World Head-on

David Bussau: Facing the World Head-on

  • Author: by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 9 November 2008

A wonderful, continuation of inspiring, life-changing stories from the series Christian Heroes: then and now.

Janet and Geoff Benge have captured, in an easy to read - keep turning the pages book - the heart of the David and Carol Bussau family and their contribution to the globally poor of our world.

David's life was shattered at the age of 9 when he and his brother were abandoned by his parents and taken into a children's home in New Zealand. This is a story of overcoming life challenges regardless of what is thrown at you. It is the story about a young boy's

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The Powers that Be

The Powers that Be

Theology for a New Millennium
  • Author: Walter Wink
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 12 August 2009

 

If your a business person, this book is for you. If you work with the poor, this book is for you. If you are an educator/trainer, this book is for you. If you are a pioneer, a leader, a parent or in government, this book is for you. 

Walter Wink has been on my radar screen for many years but in reading recently from N.T Wright, Greg Boyd and Rob Bell and their references to Walter Wink, I had to get this book. In 1993, Engaging the Powers  and the Powers trilogy won several awards. The powers that be are a shortened version, particularly of Engaging

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What difference do it make?

What difference do it make?

Stories of Hope and Healing
  • Author: Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 6 November 2009

This is a continuation of the book - Same Kind of Different as Me about slavery and the homeless in the 21st century and what difference has been made in the last two years upon thousands of homeless in the USA and around the world through these two incredible people. People have started to see the homeless through the eyes of God, even if they are not people of faith.  People are venturing out of their comfort zones, slowing down, stopping to talk and visit and listen and doing some small things to help and bless those living

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Surprised by Hope

Surprised by Hope

Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church
  • Author: N.T. Wright
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 26 July 2009

I grabbed this book as I was heading for another country recently for a funeral.  I saw that it was related to death, heaven, the resurrection and hope.  It had been referred by several people to me but was I in for an unexpected read and another great one by N.T. Wright, the Bishop of Durham. 

This book is not so much about dying as it is about living. This book is not so much about death as it is about the resurrection of Jesus and his transformed body after death and what that means for us now and in the future. This

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Africa Rising

Africa Rising

  • Author: Vijay Mahajan
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 5 October 2009

Working with  NGO's, poverty and with key issues like HIV/AIDS in Africa I was so encouraged to read Africa Rising. Most of what one hears from the African continent in the press and media or the perception of Africa  is one of war, disease, pessimism, corruption and general bad news. Vijay Mahajan, the Indian author, said that this was the same,  bad /negative press that India was getting 20 years ago and now look what is happening and where India is going. In this perception, it is easy to overlook the business opportunities that are occurring. He predicts after multiple visits that

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Half the Sky

Half the Sky

Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
  • Author: Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 2 November 2009

Half the Sky is a powerful book about women that needs to be read and championed by men. It is written by two Pulitzer Prize winners on China who write for the New York Times. The title is taken from a Chinese proverb, "Women hold up half the sky." This book will change the way that you think about your wife, your daughters, your women neighbors and girls and women around the world and then will move you to do something. You will not be able to walk away and do nothing after reading this book.  

The authors have

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God at War

God at War

  • Author: Gregory Boyd
  • Review By: G Stephen Goode
  • 15 June 2008

Since working in the aftermath of the Tsunami in Indonesia and Thailand and with those affected by the earthquake in Pakistan, I have been grappling again with issues such as prayer, suffering, warfare, the destructiveness of creation and the problem of evil. Greg Boyd helped me deeply with his short book, “Is God to Blame?”

I did not have to look much further to delve more deeply. God at War addresses spiritual warfare in a way that I can only say that this book is a must

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The Real Mary

The Real Mary

Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus
  • Author: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 31 December 2010

Scot McKnight gives many reasons why he should write a book about Mary but his reason that stuck with me the most is on page 6 "that she always leads us to Jesus. When we discover the real Mary, the one who lived in first-century Galilee with Joseph...who struggled at times herself, we also discover someone we can embrace because Mary embraced her son as we are called to do."

How much of what we have come to believe about Mary comes from our 21st century Americana picture of Mary rather than the first century reality and context of where she lived? I

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No Future without Forgiveness

No Future without Forgiveness

  • Author: Desmond Tutu
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 17 April 2009

South Africa is such an incredible country, a beautiful country and beautiful peoples meant to be a blessing to all of its people, to the continent of Africa and to the world. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has written a remarkable story of the impact of apartheid upon its people.  Nelson Mandela wrote on the back cover, "The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of South Africa has put the spotlight on all of us...In its hearings Desmond Tutu has conveyed our common pain and sorrow, our hope and confidence in the future."

This is also the story of the most incredible free elections that the

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Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life

Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life

Rethinking Ministry to the Poor
  • Author: Robert Lupton
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 12 January 2011

I read this book because I saw that Robert Lupton had worked with John Perkins, chairing the board of Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) as well as served the inner city of Chicago for more than three decades. John Perkins is one of my heroes and he has mentored me by his books for more than 25 years. Mr. Lupton must have something to say about poverty, justice and making a difference. He also had something in the title that anyone who has worked with the poor for any length of time becomes aware of and that is the need for, "rethinking

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Engaging the Powers

Engaging the Powers

Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination
  • Author: Walter Wink
  • Review By: G. Stephen Goode
  • 8 November 2009

Engaging the Powers is an award winning book written in 1992 - Why have so few read this incredible book? Agree or disagree with Walter Wink but read this book and have the way you view the world shaken up, seriously. He is a brilliant yet humble writer. I cannot believe that I did not read this book when it came out. I had to have referrals by Chuck Colson, Rob Bell, Greg Boyd, N.T. Wright and others. He has influenced a whole lot of other leaders in the Body of Christ. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It is

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