The other week I receive the book Revise Us Again by Frank Viola from Speak Easy (a blogging for books program). It took me a while to get through it do to all my recent travels (Orlando for church planters conference, Richmond, VA for another conference, and Orlando for Disney). The authors intent on writing this book is spelled out on the back jacket. It says, "Viola believes we need to revisit and revise what it means to live the Christian life." He then lays out 10 areas which are vital to our life in Christ. These ten are, Revising our Awareness of the Divine, Revising Christian Code language, Revising the Holy Spirit's Ministry, Revising Christenese, Revising the Lord's Voice, Revising our Spiritual Expectations, Revising our attitudes, Revising our Chief Pursuit, Revising our message, and Revising our semantics.
Whether it was the way that I read the book (throughout a month chopped up in little time pieces) or something else, I just couldn't seem to get into this book and was trying to figure out what Viola was hoping to accomplish with this book. It's not that I didn't like the book or get something out of it. It just seemed to me to be disjointed (though again it could be from the way that I read it...a bit disjointed myself).
I would say the best chapter in my opinion was Revising our Awareness of the Divine. The quote that resonated with me (especially since I had just got done being at Disney which took most of my time and energy) was, "The Lord is always with you. But you can go about your busy day and never once acknowledge or think about Him. You can set your mind on earthly things and never once be conscious of the Lord who indwells you. On the contrary, by setting your mind and heart upon Him, you become actively conscious of his presence." I realized that much of my vacation I was living like the former part of the quote and not the latter. This quote has helped me realize that I need to be actively conscious of His presence. (Maybe I need to reread Brother Lawerence's Practicing the Presence of God).
A few other quotes that stood out to me include:
"Our Lord reveals His will to and through a local community of believers when they are seeking to lay hold of His mind together."
"The goal of the gospel is not to get you out of hell and into heaven, but to get God out of heaven and into you so that He may be displayed visibly and glorified in His creation"- This is probably the best quote of the entire book and probably worth the price of the book itself.
"God is always present in the life of a believer- whether one actively feels His presence or not."
"Every church tradition, movement and denomination has a valid contribution to make to the body of Christ."
I might have to go back in the future and reread this book and see if I feel different about it. I probably need to read it in one setting or as close to one sitting as possible and maybe it will feel less disjointed to me. But whatever the case, I still enjoyed reading it, got some nuggets out of it, and thank Speak Easy for giving me the opportunity to review the book.