Review: Rumors of God by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson

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What kinds of conversations will it take to share the Gospel with those who are far from God…in the 21st century?  What kind of tone will be heard as authentic (not artificial), relevant (not dated) interested in the needs of others (as opposed to self-interested)?

If you’re interested in cultivating the kinds of relationships that go way beyond the usual suspects, if you dream of connecting the widening 60% that will not be reached by the attractional model…you will find an essential resource in Rumors of God, a new book by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson from Thomas Nelson.

One of the most compelling aspects of Rumors of God is that it’s written from the perspective of two Australian born American pastors.  Whitehead, a teaching pastor at Willow Creek and Tyson, church planter and now lead pastor of Trinity Grace in Manhattan, actually met 20 years ago as teenagers at a youth camp in Mt. Barker, South Australia.  That in itself makes this an engaging read.  Topping that aspect though, at least for me, is that their story (with its beginnings in Australia) may equip Whitehead and Tyson with an invaluable perspective from a next Christians vantage point.

Taking the rumors theme throughout the book, the authors share a passage from Habakkuk in chapter one and a prayer in chapter two.  Both provide a glimpse of their direction.

The passage they share in chapter one is Habakkuk 3:2 (TNIV):

“LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”

How appropriate for a time when many are beginning to recognize that we are now living in post-Christian America.  Their prayer is just as appropriate:

“May the dreams and visions of the church not just be fueled by Western culture, but may they be animated by the undeniable taste of the kingdom of God (p. 25).”

Taking their cue from Habakkuk and “reintroducing [us] to a God worth talking about (from Gabe Lyons’ blurb),” there are chapters on generosity, love, grace, freedom, commitment, community and hope.  Can you see where this is going?  You might figure these would be the topics.  It’s the way they’re presented, combined with the stories that are told, that make Rumors of God an obvious addition to the next Christians reading list and an essential resource for ministry at crowd’s edge.

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  1. Tim Ghali on April 26, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Hey Mark, I liked the book too and as you mention, the Australian roots and longtime friendship was an interesting feature in the book. (Cool that they were able to mention this naturally and not undermine their message too).  I blogged my thoughts on it 

    In short though, I think it’s a great introduction (or reintroduction for some) for today’s context.  

  2. Anonymous on April 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for jumping in here, Tim! And thanks for the link to your very thorough review of Rumors of God. Great stuff.