Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Futureville by Skye Jethani - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Thomas Nelson Publishing)
Want to see the future? It is brighter than you think.
What we believe about tomorrow determines how we live today. As Christians debate how to faithfully engage with our rapidly changing world, our vision of the future has never been more important.
But rather than providing a clear sense of purpose for our lives, popular Christian ideas about the future steal it from us by saying our work in the world, apart from ministry, has no eternal value. Is it any wonder why young adults are less interested in church, or why a culture desperate for meaning and hope dismisses our message?
In Futureville, Skye Jethani offers us a vision-shifting glimpse of the world of tomorrow described in Scripture. He reveals how a biblical vision of the future can transform every person’s work with a sense of purpose and dignity today.
Futureville is a smart, inspiring call to cultivate the order, beauty, and abundance that reflects the heart and vision of God for our world.
My Thoughts:
“Similarly, the new heaven and earth, like Jesus’ new body and our newness in Christ, is not a material replacement of the current heaven and earth.  Instead, it is the radical transformation and re-creation of heaven and earth to reflect new qualities.” 

This is one of three pathways to following Christ and experiencing the resurrection power of Christ’s death.  I say that because evolution and evacuation are the other two.  Evolution is self-explanatory.  Evacuation is a pretty narrow view of the end times as preached by some – sort of the turn or burn theology to the exclusion of living a life that glorifies God and draws others to Him.  And the resurrection power of Christ does, in fact, transform lives and is the ONLY way we will ever live eternally with God.  However, the resurrection of the same physical heaven and earth that is now in existence is…conjecture.  I get the line of thought that makes this possible, but think it doesn’t line up with Scripture.

That said, the purpose-filled life that people are seeking, and the lack of confirmation in life pursuits (careers) because it’s not full-time ministry, is causing young folks are leaving the church in droves .  People are so confused, so lost, so skeptical, so cynical about the reality of Christ’s sacrificial life death and resurrection that the church needs to come back to the simplicity of the gospel.  The church needs to celebrate the calling and gifts given to every child of God and facilitate their pursuit of that calling rather than condemning it because it’s not "full-time ministry".

That’s where the church misses it.  ALL OF US ARE CALLED TO BE IN MINISTRY FULL-TIME.  Parents, teachers, bus-drivers, financial genius’, doctors, nurses, janitors….if we belong to Christ and are using our God-given gifts, we glorify God and provide the means for others to do the same!  We come alongside others in community and use our unique gifts to minister to others whether they are in need or whether they just need encouragement and confirmation.

Quite honestly, I cannot begin to truncate the message of this book.  I don’t want to concentrate on what I disagreed with…but on the fact that we need to be reaching out to others using our unique gifts and share the truth of the gospel with a lost and dying world.  I don’t want to chime in on the centuries-long debate about the end of the world particulars. There are certain things that we will never know in full until we reach Heaven.  I want to share the gospel with others and live a life that draws others to Christ. I think that is also the heart of Skye Jethani’s message.

This is a book designed to be used in a small-group setting, complete with study questions for each chapter and lists of references and research resources.  Check it out!! It’s a fascinating read!
About the Author:
Skye Jethani is an author, editor, speaker, consultant and pastor. He occupies numerous roles at Christianity Today, a leading communications ministry launched by Billy Graham in 1956. Since 2004 Skye has served on the editorial team of Leadership Journal and is currently the group’s Executive Editor. He is also the Senior Producer of This Is Our City, a multi-year, multi-city project telling the stories of Christians working for the common good of their communities.

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