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Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About [Paperback]
By Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson
208 pages, $15.99
Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd
Given the angst which seems to pervade our world, it is feared by many that the best days of the church are behind Christendom. To defeat this negativity, Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson have written Rumors of God.
This Prayer of Jabezesque book stakes its foundations in a prayer offered by Habbakuk, one of the twelve Minor Prophets. In Habbakuk 3:2 we read:
Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Renew them in our day
In our time make them known;
In wrath remember mercy.
Whitehead and Tyson have written Rumors of God as a vehicle to remind Christians that God is calling us to be part of his global redemptive tale. If ever there has been a time to wake up and stir from complacency—that time is now. To transcend from experiencing the “rumors” of God to the abundant life God offers, it is necessary to make God a priority intentionally.
Why did these two write this book? They see the irony of a childhood friendship that blossomed into God bringing two Aussies across the pond and planting them in American churches. Their writing is sharp and engaging, filled with personal anecdotes and biblical instruction. Just to make sure their biblical nuances were sound academically, on two different occasions, I tried to ascertain their educational qualifications. Sadly, on one occasion, my query was rebuffed by an assistant who desired to know where I would be publishing. The other query was not answered at all.
The book spins Habbakuk’s phrase “I have heard of your fame” into the following rumor motif, with a modest summary of the contents therein:
Rumors of Generosity—giving in secret allows you true freedom. Generosity springs forth when one breaks the incessant cycle of make money, spend, and then buy more stuff.
Rumors of Love—perhaps too many could resonate with a quote by Donald Miller; “I have become an infomercial for God, and I don’t even use the product.” Remember: God chose us to passionate living—not a covenant of indifference.
Rumors of Grace—sadly, too many Christians live their life in the false belief that we are to be known by our judgment. In spite of our sin, rebellion, and brokenness, there is a God who loves us completely.
Rumors of Freedom—in an excellently written analysis of God’s grace extended to the Ninevites as recorded in the book of Jonah, Christians are instructed to let go of anger, bitterness, and resentment.
Rumors of Commitment—covenant love is a truly beautiful expression of unilateral commitment. In other words, God loves us in spite of ourselves.
Rumor of Community—letting go of the harried pace of life and the dullness of superficiality to experience true community.
Rumors of Justice—spinning off the idea that the Greek word for righteousness, Dikaiosyne, conveys the idea of justice, Whitehead and Tyson advocate the idea that part of the gospel narrative is to help correct injustice and restore balance. While this could be an interpretation of this word, it seems out of context for other writings which employ the same word, such as Plato’s Republic. In this work, the same word carries a stronger connotation that justice is akin to a judicial verdict, or approval. In the sense of being just – one should be good as an outgrowth of being moral. Injustice should lead to inner conflict—the unjust person should be unhappy.
Rumors of Hope—as those who walked along the pathway with Christ on the road to Emmaus had hoped Christ was the Messiah, Whitehead and Tyson affirm that if we give up hope, we lose our context in the grander scheme of things.
The book is an easy read that seeks to remind Christians of what Douglas Coupland relates in Life After God, we are “beautiful little creatures who were supposed to have been part of a fairy tale but who got lost along the way.” If your story has been tainted or life seems tarnished, read this book and renew the belief that a good life vested with God is more than a rumor.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255