Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Forgotten Ways (or Alan Hirsch Has a Great Brain)

I'm reading Alan Hirsch's book The Forgotten Ways (Reactivating the Missional Church)

We got the book many months back but there has been no space in my life for reading. I am now reading and loving it.

In the last few years we have read a long list of very good books. The healthy survival and growth of the church has filled many volumes that we have taken in. They have been good. But if you find yourself dreaming Church, longing for her health and engagement in the world and you really only have time for one book, get The Forgotten Ways.

Alan's question to himself was, "How did a group of 25,000 Christians in AD 100 multiply to 20 million believers by AD 310?" In pursuing the answer to this, Alan uncovers simple, profound truths that fill me with hope and excitement.

I will not delve into a proper review of the book here. I think you should read it yourself. But I will tell you some of the things I love about Alan.

I love that Alan is outrageously bright and disarmingly humble and unaffected. I love that he is not angry. I have read books through which you can actually feel the chip on the author's shoulder. I love that he is brave and hopeful and that he loves the Church with passion. I love that he is a Jewish South African who lives in Australia and follows Jesus. I love that he calls everyone "Beautiful," as in "Hello, Beautiful!" And (maybe mostly) I love that he is married to Deb. I'm a big fan of Deb Hirsch and I can't wait for her to write.

So thanks for The Forgotten Ways, Mr. Hirsch. It's a major blessing to this world.


Jenelle said...

I also bought this book recently but have had no space to really really read it. I'm very thankful that it's required reading for my next class!

Did you know he's speaking at Fuller the same week that I have to be in a seminar for another class! I'm a bit annoyed.

I can't wait for Deb to write, either.

I thought I should add that I reached your post via Technorati favorites page, as it cut off the end of your title and mysteriously put: The Forgotten Ways (or Alan Hirsch Has a Great...

lisa said...

I suppose you could fill that in with lots of things :-) So pleased you HAVE to read the book. Find out where Deb is that week and grab a coffee date with her.

G-Man said...

Dear Lisa,

That book looks gooood... I'll have to check it out.

I had just listened recently to John Piper's audio biographies of Athanasius (298 - 373 a.d.), 5 time bishop of Alexandria, and Augustine (born 354 a.d.), bishop of Hippo. Found them on

They were really encouraging in facing my difficulties with joy... and waiting on the Lord as I love my 'neighbor' into the kingdom... among other things.

But they also made me curious as to how the church grew be so strong in Egypt by 300 a.d. I mean, these men were really in love with God and had a passionate love for the people of the church. So, I'll have to check out that book to see what led up to their time.

Thanks for the book rec!

Louisville, Ky

Anonymous said...

Lisa, now I really do think you're beautiful! What a refreshing review. Thank you, I am deeply humbled. And Jannele, I hope we see each other at planned.

alan hirsch said...

That last comment was me...Alan Hirsch

lisa said...

Hello, Alan. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you like the little review and thanks for the "beautiful" bit.