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Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I was provided a copy of Leonard Sweet's book Nudge:  Awakening Each Other To The God Who's Already There by Audra Jennings of B&B Media Group in exchange for my honest review here.

I'm not sure really where to begin, because there was more about this book that bothered me than I could appreciate.  That's the problem when you have enough truth mixed in with untruth; I feel it is a very dangerous place to be in.

The book's supposed goal is to awaken the Christian church to a new view of evangelism.  And I agree that there is much in this area that needs improving, but Sweet's message is not the way to get there.  While there were places in the book that I agreed with Sweet such as much in his chapter "Picture:  Use Your Eyes:  Do You Have a Vision for the Kingdom? and especially this quote:
"Cultivate CultureVision, the ability to see people who aren't usually on our radar screens:  the piriahs, outcasts, rejects.  Can we envision the hidden worlds of the less fortunate than ourselves?  Can we give up TunnelVision for TogetherVision?  Can we turn away from the spotlights to turn on the searchlights and find the hidden and forgotten?"
and this quote:
"The church has been more prone to 'take a stand' on issues or 'take a vote' on programs than touch."
We Christians can be a whole lot about what we are against and very small on what we are actually for!  So there are points in the book that I said "amen".

However, there were many more places in Nudge that I had to back up and say, "Wait a minute!", such as:
"Evangelists always nudge...Their words when spoken are not so much 'You are lost in sin' as 'You belong to God."
Now do I believe the most effective way to evangelize someone is to walk right up to them and the first words out of my mouth be, "Hey!  You are lost in your sins!".  Of course not, but as you read Sweet's take on evangelism, he would have you think that there is never a time you have that kind of conversation with someone.  As a matter of fact at one point in the book he refers to any talk about sin and the wrath of God as "the bad news about the good news".

The good new is that we were dead in our trespasses and sins, but God's plan of redemption for us was to have his Son die on the cross and be the wrath removing sacrifice for our sins so that we could have fellowship with Him!  That has to be a part of the conversation when sharing the gospel with people.

One of Sweet's "God-guarantees" is:
"Every person you notice, every person you brush up against, is a child of God, a Jesus-in-you noticer."
We were all created in the image of God as he qualifies in the section after listing his God-guarantees, but we are not all a child of God.
One of the other "God-guarantees", I agree with:
"Every worst is a juncture for grace."
Absolutely!  A believer who has received God's amazing grace in their life should be quick to be a channel of God's grace and blessing to others!

Lastly, throughout Sweet's whole concept of "nudging" in this book, he had very little to nothing to say about the work of the Holy Spirit in a lost person's salvation.

So, can I recommend this book?  The answer would be no.  While Sweet says some good things, there are more bones than good meat to chew on here.