Mustard seeds of hope

It’s not often that I finish a book and write in the back of it: “Every high school and college student should read this – don’t underestimate what can happen!” This was the case as I completed Tom Sine’s latest book, The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time.

In case you are not familiar with Tom, he is a speaker, author, theologian, and futurist who helps us look at the relationships between the shifting broader culture and the changing church. He has a prophetic gift and uses it to suggest best ways to respond to the future, identifying creative and cutting edge expressions of Christian faithfulness. This summer I reread some material that he wrote over 20 years ago and I was amazed by how “spot on” he was in his predictions, and how many things that he anticipated had come true. What I also appreciate about Tom’s writing is that he can be prophetic, which can be downright depressing and seriously challenging, yet reflect the hope that, as Christians, we have through Jesus Christ.

In this book he gives a helpful look at the four streams of emerging, missional, mosaic, and monastic church movements and their key players. He leads the reader through the current myths of our post 9/11 global culture and gives a Christian response. In his section on the global rich, vulnerable middle, imperiled poor, and western poor he paints clear pictures of the need and helps us ponder a Christian response to these global challenges. In the final section of the book he identifies creative “new conspirators” and challenges us to reflect biblical, rather than cultural values. I am pleased that he mentions one of our CSI schools, Mustard Seed School in Hoboken, New Jersey in this light: “. . . we also need more of these private Christian schools that empower the urban young” (page 184.)

This is a book that should be read by students and their teachers. With helpful and thought-provoking starter questions at the end of each chapter, this would also be a great book for adult study groups to read and discuss. A more complete and very helpful review of this book can be found at Byron Borger’s wonderful Hearts and Minds Books site.

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Filed under Biblical worldview, book, distinctively Christian, kids/culture, resources, staff development, student outcomes

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