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Friday, August 13, 2010

True Religion

True Religion:  Taking Pieces of Heaven to Places of Hell on Earth by Palmer Chinchen, PhD is one of the latest books I've read and was provided to me by Audra Jennings with the B&B Media Group Inc. for the purpose of review.

Chinchen grew up in Liberia, West Africa and his book True Religion includes many stories from his childhood there.  He saw first hand the ravages of war and disease and the effects of extreme poverty.  Because of these experiences Chinchen is passionate in his desire to encourage God's people to become "bothered" enough about the state our world is in to reach beyond "their comfortable church pew and reach out to those in need all over the world".

In the introduction to True Religion he says,
"Here's the kicker:  Give your life away to change this world, and God will change you.  Something transformational happens in our lives when we go and give them away."
Chinchen has a lot to say in his book about what it really means to be "missional".  That word is thrown around a lot today and I think he does an excellent job of giving a picture of what it really means.  In the chapter "Do Love" he has this to say,
"Love as God loves.  His love is deep and lasting and intimate.  He loves yo on the sunny days, and He loves you on the rainy days.  He loves you in the morning, and He loves you at night.  He loves you on the days you wander and on the days you wonder if anyone cares.  But if you are one who lives in the love of God, then know this - you are His hands from heaven.  Yes, you.  You are the means by which the love of God is scattered all over this world. You are His hands and His feet."
Chinchen spends a large portion of the book challenging the reader to live simply, letting go of some of our stuff in order to have more room to give to others in need.  He even challenged his congregation at The Grove in Chandler, Arizona to a "Barefoot Sunday" where he "asked everyone to come to church wearing their best and favorite shoes, then to take them off and go home barefoot.  Our team heading to Africa would pack the shoes and give them away."  Chinchen believes our world needs to see such a radical love as this in order to understand the radical love of God.

The only negative thing I found with the book is that after a couple of chapters it began to feel a little redundant.  And he gives the impression that the only way to serve the Lord is to go overseas.  However, maybe Chinchen's point was that we Westerners need this idea of radically giving our lives away hammered into our heads!  The book is full of stories from Chinchen's global ministry experiences and he seeks to convince the reader that "the church can be radically transformed if they will dare to give their lives away for Christ".

You will be challenged and will benefit from reading this book.  It can be ordered from and if you follow the provided link to place your order, I get a small commission.

True Religion by Palmer Chinchen at Amazon.