I am excited to have my favorite guest poster for this book review, my husband Rick. He loves to read and was very willing to read this new boo from Rob Peabody. Here's his review.
Rob Peabody's Citizen is a challenge to identify ourselves, and live, as citizens of God's kingdom and purposely look beyond our comfort zones to reach unbelievers. The author recognizes that many believers don't demonstrate their faith because they have adopted the principles of behavior and standards for success held by our culture. He also sees the need to learn about our neighbors who do not listen to the gospel message because we do not take time to understand them and build relationships.
All this is mentioned in the book, but these themes are not developed deeply because so much of the book is made up of personal anecdotes related to Peabody's personal faith journey, leaving a position in a Texas megachurch to minister in inner-city London. The adjustment to another culture relates to the topic of evangelizing an ungodly world as the ambassadors of God, and there are many examples of learning to build relationships with people outside our personal demographic. But the connections aren't always made, and some of the stories don't seem to illustrate much.
I'll admit that I'm more "old school" and less receptive to personal anecdotes carrying the bulk of the teaching. Still, many times I wasn't sure that there was a point to some of the autobiographical material. I was also put off by the numerous recommendations for the book [not the author's doing]. The publishers include favorable comments from ten people that I'd never heard of, which to me is less impressive than no remarks at all, and leaves me with the feeling that I'm wasting time before I even get to the author's words.
Peabody's zeal for outreach and his willingness to take risks as a citizen of God's kingdom are inspirational. His challenge for each of us to escape the complacency and worldliness that hinder evangelism is timely. But I wish I had found more reasoning from scripture and less personal stories.
About the book:
For Rob Peabody, the young pastor at a mega-church in southern USA, the realization that his faith had little real connection with the world around him meant that something had to change. He redirected his church towards the poor on their doorstep and then took the larger step of moving to the UK to establish the missional fellowship 'Awaken'. In Citizen he outlines the Kingdom-centered identity that is given to followers of Jesus. It's a wake-up call to the church in the West. Jesus' death and resurrection initiates and invites people into a life of so much more than the status quo. God is re-building, re-newing, and re-creating that which is broken and marred by sin, and he is doing this --- setting things right in the world --- through Jesus. As citizens of the Kingdom, we have been saved and set apart for this work. We have a new allegiance, a changed identity, and a new mission as we seek to establish the rule of God on earth as it is in Heaven.
Purchase a copy at the Awaken website and get a FREE study guide. Bundle discounts also available: http://ow.ly/CfYHp
About the author:
Previously the lead campus pastor at an American mega-church, Rob Peabody is now director of the Awaken Movement who left his church in the Texan Bible-belt to start and lead a Fresh Expression of church seeking to engage unreached 20's and 30's in northeast London.
Find Rob online: website, Facebook, Twitter
I received a copy of the book for the purpose of review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are those of mine and my guest reviewer.