So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church  -     By: Leonard Sweet
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So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church

David C. Cook / 2009 / Paperback

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God's divine design shines through everything, from DNA's double helix to the blueprint for his church. Referencing the life of John Newton, Sweet calls for a reunion of complementary strands that make up the "beautiful" structure of the church---missional, relational, and incarnational---and shows how today's congregations can weave them together to accomplish God's purpose. 256 pages, hardcover from Cook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1434799794
ISBN-13: 9781434799791
Availability: Available to ship on or about 10/20/14.
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Publisher's Description

More than 50 years ago scientists made a remarkable discovery, proclaiming, "We have found the secret of life ... and it's so pretty!" The secret was the discovery that life is helixical, two strands wound around a single axis—what most of us know today as the model for DNA.

Over the course of his ministry, author Leonard Sweet has discovered that this divine design also informs God's blueprint for the church. In this seminal work, he shares the woven strands that form the church: missional, relational, and incarnational. Sweet declares that this secret is not just pretty, but beautiful. In fact, So Beautiful!

Using the poignant life of John Newton as a touchstone, Sweet calls for the re-union of these three essential, complementary strands of the Christian life. Far from a novel idea, Sweet shows how this structure is God's original intent, and shares the simply beautiful design for His church.

Author Bio

Dr. Leonard Sweet is the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Theological School at Drew University. He also serves as a consultant to many of America's denominational leaders and agencies. In 2006 and 2007, he was voted "One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America." Dr. Sweet is the author of more than one hundred articles, over six hundred published sermons, and a wide array of books. To learn more, visit him at www.leonardsweet.com.

Publisher's Weekly

The prolific Sweet—author of articles, sermons, books—turns his vast knowledge of culture and faith toward what he calls “the secret of life”: an “MRI church where 'M' = Missional, 'R' = Relational, and 'I' = Incarnational.” He digs deep into “MRI theology,” calling it “the only theology worth bothering with” and offering leaders and laypeople a new paradigm for bringing Christ to the world. Sweet outlines the characteristics of each element: missional—”The church is 'sent' to be Jesus”; relational—”Biblical truth... feasts on relationship and revelation”; incarnational—”The Incarnational life strikes it rich by multiple connections with community and context.” Readers will find much to ponder, but they'll have to wade through Sweet's metaphor-heavy, rambling and jumpy writing style, plus his confusing, frequent use of quotation marks around words and phrases as if tweaking their meaning. His vision for following Christ individually and as the church is commendable; his presentation, however, is confounding. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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  1. Russ
    Dayville, CT
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    June 17, 2010
    Russ
    Dayville, CT
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    In "So Beautiful," Sweet takes aim at the entrenched institutionalized Western Church with purpose to draw her back to her original calling. Thus, to those outside of the USA, the arguments presented may not reflect their cultural experiences of being the church. Sweets MIR model while extremely helpful, is addressed elsewhere (by other authors) perhaps in a less caustic manner. One very good feature of the book (as it was used within a seminary setting) is that it sparked tons of debate as at times Sweet seems hyper-critical of the Church. I would recommend "Why We Love the Church" (Kluck and DeYoung) as a balance to Sweet.
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