Authors: Lance Ford, Brad Brisco
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
Provided by: Tyndale
Subjects: hospitality, community
There was a time when neighbors knew each other’s names, when small children and the old and infirm alike had more than their families looking out for them. There was a time when our neighborhoods were our closest communities.
No more. Neighborhoods have become the place where nobody knows your name. Into this neighborhood crisis the words of Jesus still ring true: Second only to the command to love God is the command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
In Next Door as It Is in Heaven, Lance Ford and Brad Brisco offer first principles and best practices to make our neighborhoods into places where compassion and care are once again part of the culture, where good news is once again more than words, and where the love of God can be once again rooted and established.
This was a good book, guys.
There wasnt too much that differed with my beliefs. The book focused on the idea that technology has driven us apart and that this is a problem.
No longer do we have neighborhood shops, schools, and churches.
Now we have Tv's, phones, all sorts of different items to keep us occupied in our suburian homes.
I liked that they exposed some faults in our American churches:
- 25% of Americans say they have no one to talk to. This is up from 8% in 1985.
- Generally, people have few confidants and feel lonely :(
- Also, the immediate family of most people doesnt provide much support.
My favorite page of the book can be paraphrased:
Dont be against culture, dont be isolated from, dont be absorbed into, but shine within it.
The book opened by reflecting on old neighborhood communities and I think, to some extent, its wrong to expect we can go back to a culture that existed generations ago. I dont think that this is what the authors intended but it was still odd.
Also throughout there was an extrememe amount of facts and figures thrown in, like the authors wanted to prove that they did their research and beat you over the head with it. The message is solid but there are many references I dont understand at all. For example, I am to young for I love Lucy.
This confused me because I thought that the book was written for a younger audience. However, if the authors were writing to people in their own (older) generation, wouldnt they know of I Love Lucy?
They presented the book as if us younger people have never been taught how to have a community, as if we are limited by technology and cars and different modern things that we need to learn from the past. However, if the men are writing to their peers, the problem is not that they have never experienced small connected neighborhoods, but something else, like laziness or arrogance. These are not addressed in the book.
Also, they translation-hop. there is a time and a place to study verses in different translations but here they almost seem to twist them to their needs. One chapter uses ESV, the next The Message.
I understand that some people prefer different translations, however I dont like it when you search and search until you find one you can twist to agree with your perspective.
The authors quote many similar books and that was a bit annoying for me. It would have been much easier to share a list of references and be doen with it. Here is where the answers are
In some ways I really like this book, but I dont think I can give it 5 stars. Its not even that the bad parts severely outweighed the good but just that ther was more to say.
Again, to me, the target audience seems to be younger people, hovever as I write this I am questioning whether it might be older people instead....
If you are still trying to order some family or friends a book, this wouldnt be a bad one. I do want to make that clear.
About the authors
Lance Ford is the cofounder and director of Shapevine.com, and the former director of the Northwood Church Multiplication Center. With more than 20 years of experience as a pastor and church planter, Lance is a writer, coach, consultant, and an adjunct professor. Ford and his wife live in Kansas City, Missouri.
Brad Brisco is currently the Director of Bivocational Church Planting for the North American Mission Board. He holds a doctorate in the area of missional ecclesiology; his doctoral thesis was on assisting existing congregations in transitioning in a missional direction. He also serves on the National Leadership team for Forge America Mission Training Network. Brad is the co-author of Missional Essentials, a twelve-week small group study guide and The Missional Quest: Becoming a Church of the Long Run. He blogs regularly at missionalchurchnetwork.com