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Our Last Great Hope

Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas has written a timely and challenging book to incorporate the Great Commission in the lives of every believer. In some ways, this book was not a new idea at all, but an old idea of following the Great Commission call into every part of life. Yet, even as many have tread the waters of evangelism in practice and through church, the church still needs to hear the call to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. If we can only gain the wisdom of someone who has laid their life on the line for Jesus, then I think Ronnie's wisdom is enough. Early on in the book, he writes, "When God hands out careers and directs the courses of lives, He is purposeful. Ronnie goes on to bear witness that in his corner of the world Tyson Foods, Walmart and J.B. Hunt all have part of their headquarters there. Part orkpof the church's ministry was to minster to corporate leaders in the area. In other words, the task of the Great Commission for Ronnie was the building up of business leaders to lead lives of integrity and honesty in their places of workplace.

Ronnies chapter on transforming our families was very good. He uses Deuteronomy 6 as a blueprint for training our children in the Lord. What I liked most about this chapter was the questions he posed back to the parents regarding their children. At one point he says, "If the children don't see faith take root in their parents, their faith will not take root" (80). It's not enough to drop the kids off at church and go watch Sunday football, we must be engagin in worship ourselves, leading our children in prayer and praise. I have seen this in my own life as I have sought to love otherw well and show my daughter what it means to seek the good of others first, a daunting task indeed.

In many ways, I thought this book missed the mark. In his chapter on Accept the Urgency, Mr. Floyd gets into the barebones of the faith regarding what we are to believe. He then talks in a specific way about heaven and hell, making the sinner's prayer the way for us to make an eternal decision. I think this move is in many ways devaluing the gospel and the story of the Bible. Once again, it is about the individual and God, not about being caught up in the story of Israel, Jesus and what that means for all of creation. Secondly, we get no sense of the community being called into bear witness for their lives. Throughout the book, I got a sense that Ronnie was calling people to believe in Jesus Christ without much in the way of what we do with that faith once we believe. A Great Commission faith without being a constant follower, without having the attitude change and heart, without having a grid to discern ethical and moral decisions is much like learning to swim in a kiddie pool and then being thrown out into the middle of the ocean for practice.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy.


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