The reader is encouraged to find their own special way of making a difference and living out a faith that’s better seen than explained....
The Way Back: How Christians Blew Our Credibility and How We Get it Back
Phil Cooke and Jonathan Bock
250 pages / soft cover
Those of us ‘in the church’ pretty much know that we’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere. It’s not even that we don’t know that the right formula for getting back on track lies in getting back to basics, but sometimes we need a reminder. That’s what Phil Cooke and Jonathan Beck provide in The Way Back – a reminder that we need to look at who we are, where we are, and why it seems that – to a great degree – the Church has lost its effectiveness in society. The authors don’t stop there. The latter part of the book presents ideas and recounts situations where the Body of Christ became relevant in ways that most people would think of as outside the box – and Lord knows we like our little boxes…
Pointing out that there’s a perception chasm, so to speak, between how we Christians see ourselves and how non-Christians in our culture see us, the pair of media-savvy authors (Cooke is a Hollywood producer, author, and lecturer, and Bock is the founder and president of Grace Hill Media, having marketed hundreds of major motion pictures and television projects to Christian audiences) make the case for getting out of a self-absorbed mindset and becoming the radically unique people we’re meant to be. The authors contend that we’ve become more concerned about having influence instead of being examples. References to ‘that other God,’ are sprinkled through the book – of course that ‘other God’ is ourselves, and Cooke and Bock suggest that we’ve forgotten that the True and Living God demands a life that, in and of itself, will cause people to see that Christianity is, in fact a ‘product’ that sells itself.
It’s my theory that nobody loves a good scolding more than The Church, but The Way Back does more than that. The book talks about how The Bible is full of examples of believers living a radically different lifestyle from the rest of the world by loving the unlovely, touching the untouchable, and daring to live apart from accepted social norms. The second half of the book tells stories of how contemporary believers have come up with unique and unconventional ways of doing the same in today’s world. The reader is encouraged to find their own special way of making a difference and living out a faith that’s better seen than explained.
The book’s style is easily readable and certainly not heavy on theology. The Way Back is more of a reminder of what we already know but for some reason have forgotten to put into practice – an attempt to kick-start a practical faith that will automatically draw people to itself. No revelations, no secrets to success and perfect spiritual health, no profound truths are revealed that will revolutionize your walk with God. Maybe just a little kick in the pants – and maybe that’s exactly what some of us need.
- Bert Saraco