Book Review: On the Verge: A Journey into the Apostolic Future of the Church
The authors, Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson, point out the need for doing and being church in a new way and they provide a pathway for those wishing to discover and develop that new way. They state that the task of their book "is nothing less than to call the church to recover her most ancient, her most potent, and also her most beautiful form". They write "to help birth the paradigm shift, to compellingly describe it, and then to help churches practically implement it". Alan and Dave understand the data collected over the last decade clearly shows the serious decline of the North American church and they believe they have a solution to reverse that decline so that Christ is honored and people are brought to Him. Whether you agree with their conclusions or not I would urge you to take this journey with them through reading the book to help you discern what you should do and be in order to address this decline. How will you personally honor Christ and lead others to Him?
Alan states "On the Verge is really a serious attempt to process and apply the Apostolic Genius paradigm developed in The Forgotten Ways, to existing (largely evangelical and evangelistic) churches, as well as to other existing church systems." Dave states "I'm trading my life to catalyze a movement of reproducing churches". Alan is a strategist and theologian and he brings "systemic and architectural perspectives" to the process. Dave is a "practitioner" and he addresses how a church can really implement the process they lay out in the book.
The book is written by both men as a dialogue. In each chapter one man gives a proposal and the other provides a response. The pathway or map in the book is divided into four parts: Imagine, Shift, Innovate and Move with the purpose in mind to move the reader along the journey to discovering a new way of thinking about church. They seek to give God His rightful place in the process by urging the reader to turn to God for the conclusions and solutions to be drawn while on this journey.