Dave and Jon Ferguson are church planters in Chicago and leaders of the church-multiplication movement: Exponential. Exponential is also the name of their previous book, which may be my favorite book I read in seminary. (And I read a lot of books…) This gave me high hopes of course, but I also knew that this book was written for non-Christians more than it was written for me.
The way they communicate to seekers is very different than the way they communicated to church leaders in Exponential and, even though I was expecting it, it still rubbed me the wrong way at first. For example, the subtitle is “5 Awakenings for your new life.” Having grown up in a slightly new-age environment, the word “awakening” doesn’t get me excited, it makes me cringe. In the beginning there were several instances like that, but I quickly settled in and began to enjoy the book for what it is.
What Finding Your Way Back to God is, is a fantastic and biblically faithful guide to… finding your way back to God. Surprise! Following the parable of the lost son(s), it walks through what it means to realize your need for God, repent, and turn to Jesus’ work for your help. It’s all done in non-Christianeese, so they use “help” instead of “salvation,” they start with “regret” before building it into the fuller and more vital “repentance,” and so on. But the lighter word choices don’t lead to a light theology.
I even came to appreciate the word awakening. Luke describes the younger son with the words, “When he came to his senses he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father…” (Lk 15:17-18a, TNIV). The Fergusons are calling a generation to this kind of awakening.
In the coming month, Jesus has given me a lot of exciting opportunities, including celebrating Easter with my church, visiting my family in California, and attending two conferences. When I have more time to settle down and reflect, I’d like to share my own story as it follows the awakenings set out in FYWBtG. I may also compare it to another book I just finished, Tim Keller’s The Prodigal God, which is a beautiful retelling of the parable of the lost son(s).
If you are not a Christian, but want to know more about what it means to become someone who follows Jesus, I would strongly recommend Finding Your Way Back to God, and I would even be happy to give you my copy.
Brandon Ray Boulais
As with all the posts beginning with B4B, I received a copy of Finding Your Way Back to God from bloggingforbooks.org in exchange for an honest review.