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The Forgotten Ways

A book review

The Forgotten Ways gives us a thorough explanation of what Alan Hirsch calls apostolic genius – six key aspects of the New Testament church that we should aspire to today: making Jesus lord, discipleship, being missional and incarnational, the ministries named in Ephesians 4:11, the organic nature of church and the fellowship of working together in mission, that this Australian missionologist calls, comminitas.

This is a fascinating and absorbing read. Hirsch’s model fits together well and despite the lengthy descriptions the detail was easy follow with helpful diagrams. The Forgotten Ways uses well explained illustrations from business, sociology and science but its main thrust is thoroughly biblical. Hirsch may oppose hierarchy and institutions but has a healthy appreciation for discipleship that encourages others to live God’s ways. Despite including real life examples sometimes I felt the writing was a bit too theoretical. I also wondered if the abbreviations and jargon Hirsch creates is really necessary. But there is plenty here to challenge you. The question to grapple with is how to move yourself, your group and your church forward in these ways.

What I really liked about The Forgotten Ways was that it puts together being missional and incarnational with being prophetic and apostolic. Hirsch points out people today with apostolic gifts such as Neil Cole – a key figure in the organic church network. This book bridges the gap between books about Ephesians 4 ministries from charismatic circles and books that take more of an emerging church approach to being missional and incarnational.

This is a significant book. Church leaders, church planters, group leaders and students of missions definitely need to read The Forgotten Ways. There is also plenty in it for any Christian keen to understand more about missional, incarnational and apostolic principles.

Related post: The Forgotten Ways: Apostles in the Emerging Missional Church

September 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

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