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Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)|
Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church MovementDave Ferguson, Jon FergusonZondervan / 2010 / Trade Paperback$10.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 4 Reviews Video
$18.99Save 42% ($8.00)
Each of us spends our lives on a journey toward God. Yet often our most deeply felt longingsfor meaning, for love, for significanceend up leading us away from, instead of toward, our Creator and the person he made us to be.
Finding Your Way Back to God shows you how to understand and listen to your longings in a whole new way. Its about waking up to who you really are, and daring to believe that God wants to be found even more than you want to find him. Its about making the biggest wager of your life as you ask God to make himself known to you. And its about watching what happens next.
JON FERGUSON is founding pastor of Community Christian Church, a teaching pastor for their Chicago network, and movement architect for NewThing, an international church-planting movement. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children. Brothers Dave and Jon are the co-authors of three books on church leadership.
Alan Hirsch, author and activist
"Even if youve never set foot in a church, youve probably heard someone say something like, Were all searching for God. But that search is not a one-way street. In their new book, my friends Dave and Jon believe that more than anything else, God wants us to find him. You need to read this book and rediscover the God whos been searching for you, all along."
Greg Surratt, Founding Pastor, Seacoast Church
"Dave and Jon Ferguson are passionate about helping people find their way back to God. If you know someone who is far from God or youve begun to feel that way yourself, this book is for you. Take their 30-day challenge and awaken to the journey of a lifetime."
Larry Osborne, author and pastor, North Coast Church
"Sometimes we convince ourselves that people are hard to reach. We console our lack of spiritual fruit to a cultural malaise of all things spiritual. Dave and Jon Ferguson have another idea. They have somehow managed the incredible challenge to connect the dots of spiritual awakening in the culture and hearts of everyday people. Like expert craftsmen they have made what is incredibly hard into real life possibilities and strategies that seem easy! I've read Finding Your Way Back To God and have already considered buying a box so I can give it to all my friends and neighbours. You should too."
Danielle Strickland, speaker, activist, author of A Beautiful Mess: How God Re-creates Our Lives
"This book is your invitation to startor restartyour journey toward an authentic connection with God. The awakenings Dave and Jon Ferguson guide you through are nothing less than life changing. Dont miss this book!"
Mark Batterson, author of The Circle Maker
"Ferguson presents this complex issue in a clear, straightforward manner. I am going to give this book to people I love who want to find their way back to God."
Pastor Joby Martin, The Church of Eleven22
"Dave and Jon Ferguson provide a practical roadmap for any of uswhether we are distant, disillusioned, or far from Godto return to Him. This timely book is full of stories, personal reflection and inspiring thoughts, and makes the road to be traveled and the journey to be taken both doable and enjoyable. I highly recommend it!"
Brad Lomenick, author of The Catalyst Leader and H3 Leadership, past President of Catalyst, founder of BLINC
"All of us have a void in our life that only God can fill. We need the forgiveness, hope and purpose that only God can provide. Dave and Jon's book points us back to the great promise that addresses this eternal pursuitif we seek God, we will find him. Embrace the journey."
Tony Morgan, founder and Chief Strategic Officer of The Unstuck Group
"One of the most helpful books Ive seen in a long time, Finding Your Way Back to God is a practical and hopeful pathway for everyone seeking a close relationship with God."
Louie Giglio, Passion City Church/Passion Conferences
"My friends Dave and Jon have spent years focused on one compelling message; helping people find their way back to God. This book is full of inspiring stories, practical steps and spiritual challenges to help anyone struggling with the journey. If you or someone you know is at a spiritual crossroad I highly recommend Finding Your Way Back to God."
Mark Jobe, lead Pastor of New Life Community Church, author of Unstuck: Out of Your Cave into Your Call
"I cannot imagine a better book for anyone who wants to find their way back to God or help others do so. It is full of inspiring stories that connect to the longings we all have. And the simple prayers and thought provoking questions Dave and Jon suggest will change the way you look at yourself, God, and the purpose of your life."
Dr. Rick Richardson, Professor of Evangelism and Leadership at Wheaton College and the Billy Graham Center, author of Experiencing Healing Prayer and Reimagining Evangelism
"In their new book, Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson have tapped into principles that ring true all across the world. From the U.S. to India, this book can guide people on the Jesus mission no matter what country they may call home. If you are serious about helping people find their way back to God, or if youre on the journey yourself, this is a must read! It can literally change the course of the rest of your life."
Dr. Ajai Lall, Director of Central India Christian Mission
"There is a constant gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be. For years, Ive longed to have a map to help me close that gap. This book is an answer to that longing! Its a spiritual GPS to help you find where you are and to help you get where youre going. It can help you find your way back to God over and over and over again. This book isnt just for people seeking God for the first timeits also for anyone who wants to continue to get closer to God year after year. If you took the classic, "The Pilgrims Progress," boiled it down into the main principles, and added modern-day stories, you would have this book in your hands. Its that good!"
Josh Howard, Director of Leadership Training, Central India Christian Mission NewThing Network Leader
"Dave and Jon are treasure to Jesus Church. In Finding Your Way Back To God, you will discover why. Likewise, trusted friends, you will be awakened to the 5 Awakenings of your new life in Christ. You will be encouraged."
Derwin L. Gray, Lead Pastor of Transformation Church, author of The High Definition Leader
"I cant think of a better journey to take than one that reconnects you with God and helps you to discover your purpose in life. Dave and Jon Ferguson lead you step by step in this awakening process, which will change your life."
James T. Meeks, Senior Past of Salem Baptist Church of Chicago, Retired Illinois State Senator
CliffymaniaMichiganAge: 35-44Gender: male1 Stars Out Of 5It's Missing the GospelJune 5, 2015CliffymaniaMichiganAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 1Theologians and philosophers have posited for centuries that there is a longing every person feels that transcends time and mortality. Is there something more? Is life more than what it seems? It's been said that we are wired for eternity and so we ask, "Does God exist?" If God does exist, how can I find Him?
Pastors Dave and Jon Ferguson of Community Christian Church, a multi-site mega-church in Illinois, have written Finding Your Way Back to God with the hope that it will help people on this journey.
According to Rick Warren, Finding Your Way Back to God is, "Absolutely life-changing! Dave and Jon Ferguson have written a book that could change how our generation thinks about God." That is high praise that doesn't just border on hype, it's an atomic bomb; a declaration that the war is now over because we said so. If Rick Warren is right, this is the last book we'll need on finding purpose for at least the next 30 years.
Does the book live up to that kind of hype? Unfortunately, it doesn't. While the Fergusons remind us of God's love and grace they fail to tell us why it matters and the personal cost involved. This sets up several problems that make the book more confusing than helpful.
Whenever we talk about God and what it means to be a Christian it is important that we set proper expectations. In the book we are told to expect that we can find a power greater than ourselves to make it through life, discover unconditional love to transform how you think and feel, find a way to love others the way you want to be loved, purpose for life that gets you out of bed and excited every day, and hope for this life and the next. I wouldn't disagree with those points, but they are woefully lacking and paint a picture that just doesn't fit Jesus' description of following Him.
Jesus told us to expect persecution (Matthew 10:16), hatred (John 15:18), imprisonment (Luke 21:12), the possibility of poverty (Matthew 19:21), and the potential for martyrdom (John 21:19) and to count the cost (Luke 14:25-33). The Fergusons leave these items out and give not much more than a nod to adversity in chapter 9 when they talk about a man who continued to believe in Jesus even those his life got worse.
#2 Proof Texting
The book is based on the Parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15:17-24. For the most part their interpretation of the parable isn't bad, except when the lost son returns to his father. The son is received back without question, but the lost son still makes his plea for forgiveness. The Fergusons call this resisting grace, but there's no implication that he was resisting grace, only that he wanted to repent. If they'd only included the whole parable they could have avoided this problem.
Read the parable and you'll notice that it doesn't stop at verse 24. It goes all the way to verse 32. In those last verses we learn about the reaction of the older son who perfectly illustrates the idea of resisting grace, but the Fergusons leave him out and call him a tattletale which is indicated nowhere in the text.
#3 Bible Translation Cherry Picking
When you study the Bible it's good to use multiple translations in order to compare and contrast the language. When you're teaching it's better to stick with one translation so that you can keep the text in context and only go to alternate translations when you want to compare and contrast. The Fergusons jump between translations without offering any comparisons, or attempts to understand the context. While the Fergusons may not have intended this, cherry picking translations leads to taking scripture out of context and that is how you get the Bible to say what you want it to say rather than letting scripture speak for itself.
#4 Audience Confusion
The title of the book itself implies an audience; those who know God, but for whatever reason walked away from the faith and are trying to find their way back. That certainly fits with the Parable of the Lost Son. The Fergusons want the reader to identify with the lost son, but they also want the reader to pray, "God, if you're real"" which is not something the lost son would have prayed because he knew his father existed. This has to create confusion for the reader. Are they a wayward Christian, or possibly a Christian going through a traumatic season in life, or are they simply an unbeliever? The Fergusons muddle this point repeatedly.
#5 Weak Assurance
In chapter one the Fergusons undermine the entire point of the book. After saying you can find your way back to God and that God wants to be found they tell us, "Let me assure you that finding your way back to God is possible. But I won't lie to you. There's no guarantee. It can go either way." I'm not sure if the Fergusons realize they just said that this God who loves me and wants to be found might not be reachable after all.
Chapter 12 begins the fourth awakening and starts with the words, "In the swirl of your new life with the father"" which means that somewhere in the previous three awakenings we found God. The search isn't over, though, and they want us to keep praying, "God, if you're real..."
Throughout the book the various illustrations talk about people turning to God, but the Fergusons interject and leave the reader to believe that these are only the first steps to finding God. How many steps are there? The Fergusons don't say, but they do say you must join a small group, you must join a church, or you risk losing God again. While I agree that no Christian ought to go it alone, the Fergusons leave us with the impression that Christ is unable to preserve us in the faith unless we join a small group.
#6 Gospel Confusion " Why did Jesus die for me?
Perhaps the most glaring item missing from the book is the Gospel. The Fergusons talk about repentance, although they confuse the Old and New Covenants. They talk about Jesus dying for our sins, although sins are described as mistakes that we've made. They talk about how we can't change our lives on our own and we need God's help, but they never tell us why. Theirs is a gospel without a foundation.
Jesus didn't just one day decide to die for our sins in hopes that we would see His sacrifice and appreciate it as a way to find purpose in life. From the beginning God had a plan of redemption. God created the universe complete and good. Adam and Eve sinned and so death entered the world and came to all people because everyone dies. In our fallen state we have sinned against a holy God by failing to keep His commands. Since we are lost and dead in our sins, and dead people cannot raise themselves to life, God planned from the beginning to send Jesus, the perfect and uncorrupted sacrifice to die for our sins and reconcile us to God. If we believe Christ has risen from the dead and trust that He is God we will be saved and there is no other way to be saved.
It's not that we need God's help, it's that it is impossible for us to be saved without Christ. The Fergusons never get to this aspect of the Gospel and so by the end the best they can offer is life change, but I can get life change at the chiropractor. Which means Christ isn't necessary for what their offering and allows the reader an out to achieve life change on their own, or just find someone else to help them.
I can't recommend this book. I simply can't. As my pastor once said, a sermon that doesn't require Jesus to make it work is a bad sermon and that's what we get in Finding Your Way Back to God " a sermon that doesn't need Jesus. I'm not for a second questioning the faith of the Fergusons, but for pastors considered experts in their field, leaders of a denomination/network of churches, I would expect this book to be clear on the Gospel and it isn't.
The best way to find God is to follow the advice of Paul to Timothy, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17)."
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books and was not required to write a positive review.
Karen N CraigPenn Hills, PAAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Lost No MoreMay 12, 2015Karen N CraigPenn Hills, PAAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book was an enjoyable read. It would make a great gift for someone who is new to the faith or for someone who has strayed. If you are looking to establish a relationship with Almighty God, then this book will help you. The Five Awakenings are a step-by-step guide for you to begin to have a personal relationship with God or re-establish a previous one. I really appreciated the more in-depth study on one of the most famous stories in the Bible: the prodigal son. I also enjoyed how the brothers weaved in personal stories to emphasis their point.
The 30 day wager at the end of the book was an excellent idea since most people like to be challenged. Everyone who takes this challenge will experience God in a new and amazing way! Lost No More!!!
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Klassy TotsNigeriaAge: 25-34Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Finding your way back to GodApril 19, 2015Klassy TotsNigeriaAge: 25-34Gender: FemaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 5Two things made me request for this book--
1. Rick Warren's purpose driven life is one of my all time favorite books. Reading his comment on this book's cover :Absolutely life changing" made me thing this book will be worth reading.
2. "God if you are real, make yourself real to me"
I remember making this prayer several times as a young believer in my desperate need and longing for God. This is a very simple yet weighty prayer. Looking back at those short years, I discovered that my relationship with God was much sweeter and real then. So that prayer longing paid off, because God answered me.
Well years have passed, while I never doubt whether God is real or not, I have seen more struggles and drawbacks in my Christian life than I need as a younger believer. This challenges have sometimes made me forget God or put Him in a box, or backslide.
Whenever this happens, I always feel the need to get back to God, but it always difficult because of one fear or the other.
I was at that point where it seemed difficult to find my way back to God when I saw this book, and out of curiosity and need to revive my relationship with God, I requested for a review copy.
When I began reading this book, I wasn't quite sure where the authors where headed-- was it for a new believer? an old believer or a non believer?
Reading through this book and the 30 days wager which of course I'm going to give it a shot. I cannot imagine a better book to recommend for new, old and non believers and or anyone who wants to find their way back to God or help others do so.
Even if you have never been to church, you've probably heard some one say something like, "we're all searching for God' or 'we all have some form of emptiness in us that only God can fill' or sort.
The search for God or whom to fill the emptiness in us, or a meaningful life is not a one-way search.
God wants us to find Him and wants to reveal Himself to us more than we could ever desire.
You need to read this book, and discover or rediscover the God who's been searching and waiting for you all along.
This book is a collection of inspiring true life stories of people, some like me, who struggles with balancing up their life experiences with what they have seen or heard about God.
Reading this stories, you will find that this people have something in common; they all got to a point in their live when they cried out: "God if you are real, make yourself real to me", 'God reveal yourself to me', 'God, if you are truly God, I want you to show me''... and the likes.
These simple, one sentence, yet weighty request which is mostly born out of regrets, experiences, frustrations, disappointment, when we have come to end of ourselves and probably run out of options has proven over the years to be the beginning of a spiritual awakening and a journey into a deeper relationship with God..
In case you are at that point in your life, or you don't want to get to that breaking point but you desire your relationship with God and your Christian life to be more real, I recommend this book for you.
This book is an invitation to start or restart your journey toward an authentic connection with God.
You can find it in any online book store or your local book shops.
I received this book as a complimentary from Blogging for Books for my honest review.
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