That’s a strong statement.
You’re probably thinking “this book” should be the Bible. You’re right! But no one does that anyway. Actually, according the American Bible Society, 54% of churchgoers in the city of Charlotte engage the Bible less than once a month; which might be why we’re in this situation. So after the Bible, read this book.
Reading this book will change how you read the Bible anyway.
I’m convinced Irresistible will redefine and rejuvenate your faith. It would be great for every former Christian to read as well.
Andy articulates how Jesus (and what he introduces) is irresistible. He writes, “There was something about the faith of first- and second-century believers that made it attractive, compelling, and seemingly irresistible. People who were nothing like him liked him. And Jesus liked people who were nothing like him.”
Think about that thought-provoking sticky statement. This is certainly hard to argue with and makes me wonder what happened over the last couple thousand years that threw the church off course??
There is so much I’d love to share with you…
…like how Andy argues that the temple and the empire are the two powers most threatened by Jesus. They also have the greatest potential to taint what Jesus offers when the church aligns with either. The temple is all things religion. The empire is all things state. Unfortunately greed and wealth find their way into both. There is a direct correlation between the church’s ability to relinquish all allegiance to both and the opportunity for the church to be irresistible.
…like how Irresistible causes you to dig through the layers applied to your religion and understanding of Jesus over the years; which makes a mess of your personal view of God. This is a journey to discover the kernel at the center of a brand new worldview introduced through Jesus.
…like how you don’t realize the ways pastors, professors, biblical scholars, experts, and church people have skewed your view on the Old Testament.
…and so much more, but you should just read the book for yourself!
Much of this teaching parallels and overlaps with Andy’s teaching series Brand: New; which was very influential to me and the team I was on at the time it debuted. Many within the church will have a difficult time with this. They will call it too simplistic. I, however, am all in on the simplicity of the message. This might even explain why I myself have had such a difficult time fitting in to established local churches. In fact, the only way I could reconcile the call on my life as a pastor and remain in a local church was to start a brand new one.
Don’t make the mistake of confusing irresistible Jesus with attractional church. The message is not to get cooler or more relevant. I think Andy is asking us as the church to get simpler. Let’s get truer to the heart and mission of the Founder.
Andy pushes for the decentralization and deprofessionalization of the current local church system in order to allow the movement of Jesus to gain the most traction possible. I could not agree more…and this is coming from one of those professionals! After all, the cost of discipleship is hard enough. We should not add to it as an organized institution.
Andy also cuts through the confusion of the Old Testament to reveal the heart of God that is consistent with the new covenant Jesus announces. At the same time, he explains how our current version of Christianity brings with it and maintains portions of the Old Testament (Covenant) that make the current message so resistible.
Let me finish with this review and endorsement by asking a question…
Do you care about people?
Of course your answer is, “Yes!” Andy suggests we answer that question through our behavioral patterns, rather than our feelings.
He writes, “When you care about someone, you’re never content to simply make your point. When you care about someone, your goal is to make a difference. So you think long and hard about your approach.”
People in our communities close to people in conservative churches may think we care more about, “standing on the truth” than we do about them.
People in our communities close to people in mainline denominational churches may think we care more about “making a difference”…making the world a better place than we do about them. This really means we care more about making ourselves feel better about ourselves than we do about them.
I love this book and I’m sure you will too, no matter what (or if) you believe!
Andy is not necessarily compelling us to believe differently. Instead, he asks us to consider leaving some things behind that are unnecessary and even encumber our ability to fully experience the abundant life Jesus offers. He’s asking us to reconsider the approach.
Let’s take him up on it.
You can read more and order a copy of the book at Andy’s site.