My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jim Cymbala, who experienced Hurricane Sandy in 2012, likens it to the storm he expects will soon hit the evangelical church of North America. In Storm he gives advice to pastors and lay people about how to get ready so that the light of faith won’t be snuffed out like the city lights of Lower Manhattan were in Sandy’s wake.
“I believe followers of Jesus in America are on the cusp of something horrible. I, and many others, see the early warning signs all around” – Jim Cymbala, Storm, Kindle Location 148.
Three areas that cause him to be concerned about the American church are:
- 1] The church isn’t as big or popular as it thinks it is.
- 2] Personal transformation is rare.
- 3] Biblical literacy is declining.
To remedy this he addresses lacks and needs in a variety of areas:
* The failure of modern models of church planting and growth (he calls them “fads and trends”).
* The need for prayer, both personal and corporate intercessory prayer.
“… the deepest secrets of prayer are only learned by spending time with God” – K.L. 805.
“Think about the people we love and worry about but rarely pray for” – K.L. 2641.
* Godly, exemplary leadership.
“… the quality of spiritual leadership can only be measured by how it looks in the Lord’s sight” – K.L. 1096.
* The need for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our churches and ministries.
* A clear, Christ-centered gospel message.
* Clarity on the difference between the Old and New Testament Covenants.
“Old Testament passages are only properly used when they ultimately point us to Jesus and the New Covenant” – K.L. 3006.
* How to live in anticipation of Christ’s return.
First person stories of people from his church whose lives illustrate the point he has just made follow chapters of teaching.
The book’s ideas are logical and the points well supported with Scripture. Cymbala speaks from a wealth of pastoral experience which gives his voice and message credibility, passion, and urgency.
There is nothing new here, really, just a plea to get back to basics, made urgent because of how quickly events are changing the political and social landscape in America and the world. For those who have lost fervor or gotten bogged down in esoterical theology, this easy-to-read book is an invitation back to Bible essentials.
I received Storm as a gift from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers for the purpose of writing a review.