Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World

Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World

by Andy Stanley
Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World

Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World

by Andy Stanley


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A fresh look at the earliest Christian movement reveals what made the new faith so compelling...and what we need to change today to make it so again.

Once upon a time there was a version of the Christian faith that was practically irresistible. After all, what could be more so than the gospel that Jesus ushered in? Why, then, isn't it the same with Christianity today?

Author and pastor Andy Stanley is deeply concerned with the present-day church and its future. He believes that many of the solutions to our issues can be found by investigating our roots. In Irresistible, Andy chronicles what made the early Jesus Movement so compelling, resilient, and irresistible by answering these questions:

  • What did first-century Christians know that we don't—about God's Word, about their lives, about love?
  • What did they do that we're not doing?
  • What makes Christianity so resistible in today's culture?
  • What needs to change in order to repeat the growth our faith had at its beginning?

Many people who leave or disparage the faith cite reasons that have less to do with Jesus than with the conduct of his followers. It's time to hit pause and consider the faith modeled by our first-century brothers and sisters who had no official Bible, no status, and little chance of survival. It's time to embrace the version of faith that initiated—against all human odds—a chain of events resulting in the most significant and extensive cultural transformation the world has ever seen.

This is a version of Christianity we must remember and re-embrace if we want to be salt and light in an increasingly savorless and dark world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310536970
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 09/18/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 682,153
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Communicator, author, and pastor Andy Stanley founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries (NPM) in 1995. Today, NPM consists of eight churches in the Atlanta area and a network of 180 churches around the globe that collectively serve over 200,000 people weekly. As host of Your Move with Andy Stanley, which delivers over 10.5 million messages each month through television, digital platforms, and podcasts, and author of more than 20 books, including Irresistible; Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets; and Deep & Wide, Andy is considered one of the most influential pastors in America.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is a Christian? Ask ten different people and you’ll probably get ten different answers: someone who goes to church every Sunday; someone who was born into a Christian family; someone who believes Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead three days later; someone who celebrates Christmas and Easter; someone who doesn’t drink, smoke, or use profanity. Others take a darker view. They’d say Christians are judgmental, homophobic moralists who think they’re the only ones going to heaven and secretly relish that everyone else is going to hell. If there’s so much disagreement about what a Christian is, how are we supposed to know who to trust on the matter? Chapter 1: Letting Go Jesus’ arrival signaled an end to one way of relating to God and the beginning of something entirely new. Jesus instructed us to love one another as well as those who won’t love us back. Over time and across cultures, different churches have tried to live that out in different ways. But when you reduce church to its irreducible minimum, it is a group of people doing their best to follow a teacher—Jesus— that we believe was sent from God to clear the way to God. Chapter 2: Apoplectic Jesus stepped into a world where religion was characterized by the temple model: sacred places that housed sacred texts that were interpreted by sacred men who used those texts to control superstitious people. Jesus initiated something entirely new, a complete departure from the temple model. But soon enough some of his followers began to try to assimilate Jesus into the temple model. Chapter 3: Recycled Religion is powerful—so powerful it can shape our consciences. Unfortunately, our consciences have been shaped by a version of Christianity that reflects a blend of the rules-focused temple model and the Jesus movement, which is demonstrated by love. As a result, we’re tempted to priortize lawkeeping over loving others. How do we reconcile God’s law with Jesus’ call to love our neighbors? Chapter 4: When Gracie Met Truthy Jesus calls his followers to love the way he loved. But as recorded in the Gospels, there’s a tension in the way he loved—it was messy, inconsistent, unfair, and confusing. At times, Jesus was harsh; at times, he was forgiving. At times, he pointed out sin; at times, he seemed to ignore it. Our temptation is to try to resolve the tension created around Jesus’ love. But if we try, we lose something important, something essential. The challenge for followers of Jesus is to love in the messy, inconsistent, unfair, and confusing way that he did—to hang onto the tension. Chapter 5: What Love Requires The arrival of Jesus signaled the end of the Temple Model and the beginning of something brand new—an approach to faith characterized by love of others. The Temple Model is you-focused, but Jesus’ new covenant calls for a focus on the you beside you. So, what is required if we want to follow Jesus’ example and radically love the people around us? Chapter 6: Redefining Terms Many of the things people resist about the church are things the church should have resisted. Jesus initiated the church to resist the Temple Model, which was focused on sacred places, sacred men, and sacred texts . . . superstition. He initiated a new covenant that is less complicated but far more demanding. It prompts us to ask, “What does love require of me?” Chapter 7: Insiders Outsiders If you’re a follower of Jesus, nonbelievers expect you to act like Jesus. They expect you to care about and value the things that Jesus cared about and valued. They judge your likeness to Jesus largely on the way you react and respond to people outside the faith. And you know what? They’re right to do so. Given that truth, what does the Bible say about how followers of Jesus should treat nonbelievers? Chapter 8: Working It Out In the first century, “Christian” was a derogatory term invented by people who disliked followers of Jesus. It doesn’t have a concrete definit
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