The Greatest Story Never Told

By | Categories: WL Reader

The Greatest Story Never Told
Leonard Sweet
Abingdon Press 

I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.
– John Wesley 

Leonard Sweet is on a mission, with the indomitable spirit and unrelenting purpose of a Methodist circuit rider and the persuasive storytelling of a tent revivalist, he’s lighting a fire and calling his tribe to consider where they’ve come from, where they are, and where they are headed, but in the process even those who aren’t Methodist may be warmed by the flames of renewal and revival. With a book loaded with Sweet’s dichotomizing and aphorizing—Cervantes and Mark Twain have nothing on Sweet—we catch more than a glimpse of history and remember from where we have fallen. Of course, futurist and philosopher Sweet draws a picture of the present realities as well (hierarchies vs. sharing, Google vs. Gutenberg), but his message is more to join in God’s song than tune into technology (although tuning may be required). This book—filled with word pictures, cultural stats, LOL humorous anecdotes, serious preaching, theological musing, and lots of history—uses song as a central metaphor for our faith and interaction both with God and his world. Sweet also looks at music and song literally and how they form and express our relationships, perceptions, and actions. While Sweet levels tough analysis and confrontational criticism, he extends a hopeful invitation, quite like an Old Testament Prophet. And whatever your faith tradition or theological perspective, there’s plenty to pause and consider, and stir you to sing a new song, even if the song happens to be very, very old.

–Andrea Hunter

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