I am a big supporter of what has been called the “New Monastic Movement”, which are groupings of communities of people that live together with a focus on Jesus teachings from the Sermon on the Mount. This one expression of Christianity is growing in recognition as a response to a new thing I believe God is doing among this generation.
In his most recent book, The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice a Common Faith, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove writes “for people who have a hunch, whether you like the language of revival or not, that God is stirring a new movement in our world today” (p. 13). This new revival is based on community, hope, reflection and action trusting in God’s providence.
Jonathan goes on to say that “the mission of the church is always to connect God’s story with society’s deep need” (p. 14). What deeper need is there than our Father’s desired relationship with his creation? The Fall has harmed our divine relationship with our Creator, but also our relationship with each other and our world. Jesus meets these needs and shows the way to make things new. Restoration, repentance and resurrection are bigger themes than they are often realized. Not only are they truths about our Savior’s desire, but they are ideologies that are to be lived by the Church as God’s redemptive plan for the world.
Jonathan tackles the “why” behind big questions like consumption, feasting and fasting, promises to one another, confessing sin and sharing the Good News with others. Through these reflection and actions pictures, the reader will be inspired by stories of God’s people being a peculiar type, living purposefully yet counter culturally for the Kingdom.
Shane Claiborne, in the Introduction, states that the movement of God” embodies the Good News” and that “our real challenge today is not just about right-believing—but right living.” (p. 9-10). Right living is about maintaining the mission of God and continuing the momentum of His movement. It includes living with “holy habits that transform ordinary people into saints” and takes doctrine as a discipline and discipleship.
In addition, the book is accompanied by a six session DVD series which along with the discussion guide offers an incredible small group study.
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