May 2012

Ronnie Floyd’s book offers wake-up call, needs follow-up

May 22 2012 by Neale Davis, Book Review

Our Last Great Hope: Awakening the Great Commission by Ronnie Floyd (Thomas Nelson, September 2011)
Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Ark., intended his book – Our Last Great Hope: Awakening the Great Commission – to awaken and incite the Christian masses to embrace the absolute need of the Great Commission. Being the pastor of an effective and community-penetrating congregation brings certain credibility to this pastor for such a task.
Floyd was appointed by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to head an important task force on how the churches of the SBC might work together to accelerate the Great Commission. Floyd has compiled his team’s research into Our Last Great Hope.
This is a book that could energize and awaken the church toward a more serious embracing of the command to make disciples of all the earth, starting with an honest assessment of where we are.
The bulk of the book is inspiring words as Floyd encourages the body toward a greater vigilance in sharing the gospel. He does so by offering the need to be honest about the state of affairs, as they exist now. He encourages the reader to embrace the future God has for us. This simple acquiescence is the foundation of moving forward.  
Progressing into the message the reader is given more broad encouragement and reminders than practical specifics and details on how to accomplish the challenge. In the book, Floyd describes the need for waking up the church, understanding the urgency, talking to Jesus daily, and reaching the next generation. As Floyd makes his final approach, the words become more pragmatic with more specific suggestions for the church. 
Nevertheless, what seems to be missing in this important book are tactics that move from inspiration to the rolling up of the sleeves in evangelism. To his credit, he does remind the reader that it’s not about “finding new ways to argue for the gospel or debate with atheists.” He says instead, “what we need is beautiful, harmonious music, out where the people are.” Yet, in the 21st century there is no mention of how the church might use such methods as the Internet to reach the lost, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogging and YouTube. Virtual evangelism will likely play a key role in reaching the next generation, but sadly this is noticeably left out of Floyd’s call to arms.
In spite of that, this book should be seen as an inspirational wake up call for the church in light of the spiritual condition of the world. Our Last Great Hope is a first step. The hope for the SBC, who commissioned this study, is for the churches to reassess, reengage and to reconsider our Lord’s last imperative. 
Perhaps Floyd will write a follow-up, addressing practical ways to engage a sleepy church that has become out of shape in handling the most important mission of the world. Regardless, Our Last Great Hope is an important read for every SBC member and, indeed, every serious follower of Christ.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Neale Davis, a graduate of Southeastern Seminary, has served with Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, for 27 years. He is a volunteer counselor at The Summit Church, Durham, where he is a member.)
5/22/2012 1:12:05 PM by Neale Davis, Book Review | with 0 comments