Boundless: What Global Expressions of Faith Teach Us about Following Jesus - eBook
Boundless: What Global Expressions of Faith Teach Us about Following Jesus - eBook  -     By: Bryan Bishop
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Boundless: What Global Expressions of Faith Teach Us about Following Jesus - eBook

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 9781441227478
ISBN-13: 9781441227478

Publisher's Description

In his many travels as a researcher for Youth With A Mission, Bryan Bishop discovered a startling phenomenon: hidden movements of Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists who are experiencing and following Jesus outside the boundaries of traditional Western Christianity. And they have plenty to teach Christians in the West who feel spiritually stagnant or disillusioned.

Through colorful firsthand accounts, Bishop unveils fresh expressions of faith that can revitalize our own. Those who have left or are feeling the pull to leave the church, along with those who chafe against Christianity's European-American cultural box, will welcome this expansive view of what it looks like to follow Christ.

Author Bio

Bryan Bishop is a director of research for Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Former editor of YWAM's magazine, he has also shepherded seven editions of YWAM's annual guidebook as editor and project manager. Bryan lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he leads spiritual retreats for his Willow Creek-affiliated church.

Product Reviews

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Quality:
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(3 out of 5)
Value:
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Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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  1. Mercy
    Age: 18-24
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Boundless
    September 19, 2015
    Mercy
    Age: 18-24
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    First of all, I really really liked this book. It was truly eye opening to see people worship God within their own culture. Also, I was encouraged in my faith by seeing how other people worship God and study Scriptures. Moreover, I really appreciated the stories and examples that the author shared. It felt like I was transported to their world to experience their faith and their way of life. This is a fresh, but also timeless, truth about connecting to God and growing in relationship with Him. The focus is on Jesus and His life-changing Word. I would definitely recommend this book.
  2. love2read
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Good Read
    July 22, 2015
    love2read
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When I signed up for this book, I did not have a good idea of what the book was about. What I read definitely surprised me as I had never read a book quite like this one. Bryan Bishop uses his book to challenge contemporary, American Christians about what it means to follow Christ and how that following can be displayed in a variety of ways. At first, the book did not sit well with me. He presented ideas that I did not necessarily feel comfortable with and openly admitted to doing so. As I read further though, I was convicted of my close-minded attitude and had my perspective broadened as I read stories of Muslims and Buddhists around the world who share the same faith I do, sans the label "Christian." Bishop admittedly says that the ideas he has are on the more controversial side, but after reading this book, I think they need to be heard. The face of evangelism is changing and we as American Christians need to keep up, even if it is different from our very safe, and clean-cut culture. Expressions of faith vary from culture to culture and if the Biblical theology is present, Buddhist rituals, Native American Peace Pipes and things of those natures can absolutely have place in Christianity. I give this book a 4/5.
  3. Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    National Geographic Meets Operation World
    July 15, 2015
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Author, Bryan Bishop set out to find answers in his travels through North American and Asia.

    What he found instead was a lot more questions.

    Based on reports of a Muslim who had a vision of Jesus as the living God and Savior who then began to read the Bible and evangelize his friends, Bryan began doing research in 1998 to verify the truth of the story. He learned that there are networks of Muslims who believingly follow Jesus without taking the name Christian or leaving their cultural roots. Known as insiders (because they choose to stay inside their own culture to live out their faith), the majority of them believe the core theological tenants of the Bible. Traveling to India, Bangladesh and Thailand to investigate these claims, Bryan discovered not only Muslim, but also Hindu and Buddhist communities of truth.

    Boundless is the record of his research, and it is strong on the compelling details of foreign lands: fascinating descriptions of unfamiliar lifestyles and world views set against the backdrop of a cloud strewn sky and the scent of water hyacinths; an aching, stiff morning after a night of sleeping on a Bengali-style bed; a trip to a mysterious destination on the back of a motorcycle traveling on dirt roads that traversed watery fields. Another strength is its discussion of the brow-furrowing questions that pervade Bryans research. Whos in and whos out? Adapted from John Traviss C1 to C6 spectrum, Bryan provides a continuum for describing a Christ-centered community in terms of its use of recognizable Western church culture and the degree to which it incorporates local and even non-religious culture. (To read more about the C1 to C6 spectrum in the field of missiology, click here.)

    The author wisely allows John Stott to voice the question that hangs in the air:

    Is it possible to conceive of converts becoming followers of Jesus without so forsaking their Islamic culture that they are regarded as traitors? Can we even contemplate Jesus mosques instead of churches and Jesus Muslims instead of Christians?

    With our view of the Christian life as the only eternal safe zone, the question of whos in and whos out becomes monumental for missiology and evangelism. Boundless does not attempt to shoe-horn this controversy into a yes/no, black/white box, but certainly provides an abundance of evidence for consideration.

    I found myself mentally squinting to discern the point where the incorporation of elements from another faith into Christianity moves beyond thinking outside the bun and becomes syncretism. We react negatively to the term walls in our culture, but few of us live in one-room shack. A wall that comes between the gospel and a heart that is seeking God is harmful and should be torn down. However, the walls that mark boundaries which distinguish truth from error are right and necessary, for they define the narrow way that leads to life. In light of this important distinction, Bishops Boundary Breaking Principles provide important clarification, because true Christ followers the world over:

    1.Put the Book in its place Stories, memorized truth from Scripture, are the basis for group gatherings and discussions.

    2.Move toward Jesus They are centered in a relationship with Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit.

    3.Turn pagan into holy They utilize elements of popular culture to enhance worship and understanding of God.

    4.Seek the whole truth They exercise curiosity to access the spectrum of creation and thought to demonstrate the concept that all truth is Gods truth.

    Reader, beware, for the spotlight of truth shines 360 degrees, and if you are not careful, you may find yourself in its circumference pondering the questions that its light illuminates:

    Am I being led by the Spirit in the same measure as these isolated communities of believers who rely solely on Scripture and prayer in the absence of other leadership?

    Is my over-arching trajectory toward Jesus and His Kingdom, or am I enamored with peripheral issues and traditions?

    Is the Bible central to my theology, or am I following more closely the words of authors and popular personalities?

    How well am I able to quote from memory the Words that I consider to be my Holy Book?

    Regardless of ethnic context or whether or not we call it Christianity, Jesus is pursuing relationships that transcend strategy, methods, and even culture. He is at work on this fallen planet, and His grace and mercy are, indeed, boundless.

    This book was provided by BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  4. Jen Pen
    Midwest
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Bible Study tool...
    July 2, 2015
    Jen Pen
    Midwest
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    SUMMARY:

    Traveling the world as a researcher for Youth with a Mission, Bryan Bishop experiences different religions following Jesus in unique, cultural ways. Challenging his own beliefs and way of thinking, as well as those of his readers, the author presents more culturally-tied expressions of faith with Jesus as the main focal point. Though different in customs and practices, the ultimate goal is the same.

    A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:

    Living in such a diverse world with emphasis on keeping customs and cultures alive, I found this book to be very thought-provoking and interesting. Unraveling some of the assumed conceptions, author Bryan Bishop shares his personal experiences in an easy, inviting manner. Perfect for a Bible Study (with included material), sermon topics, ministry or personal knowledge, Boundless is sure to provide new insights, answer questions, pose new thoughts and respect cultures while evangelizing Jesus. Though everyone doesnt fit into a tidy religious box, the end result- being followers of Jesus- is worth the time spent. (Love the cover!)

    RATING:

    4.5 (out of 5) pennies

    *I received a complimentary copy of Boundless from Baker Books for my honest review*
  5. GiniB
    Dallas, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Boundless
    June 26, 2015
    GiniB
    Dallas, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A very interesting book. And one that challenges you to think about what following Jesus is really about. Bishop describes his experiences in this book, as well as being open about some of the issues that challenge him. Yes, the present tense since he admits to still working through some things. He traveled to places where the predominant religious practices did not include Western style Christianity. He found followers of Jesus in communities from Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Native American cultures. Their practices generally tended to include their native culture and practices much more than what most Western Christians would find comfortable, and thats when this book gets interesting.

    The word Boundless implies a broader range of acceptable practice while staying true to the teachings of Jesus. Contextualization happens and when it does the doors open much wider than without it. Awareness of the holy books, music and worship practices from different cultures are not jettisoned or ignored, but explored. Mined, if you will, for those nuggets that can provide common ground. Where are the limits? What makes a person a true believer in Jesus and follower of Jesus? Can a person go to the temples or mosques to participate in worship any longer? Is truth Gods truth?

    After you work your way through this book you may have some new insights and answers to those questions and others. Also, there will probably be several new questions about your own practices and maybe a few new ideas that could be helpful where you are now. For that reason I do recommend this book to you. The book comes with a glossary, a study guide for groups, and endnotes. There are some videos available online that helped me see what had been described in the book. I find that helpful.

    This book was provided by the publisher in return for a review.
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