Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing

Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing

by Andy Crouch


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Flourishing people are strong and weak.
Two common temptations lure us away from abundant living—withdrawing into safety or grasping for power. True flourishing, says Andy Crouch, travels down an unexpected path—being both strong and weak.
We see this unlikely mixture in the best leaders—people who use their authority for the benefit of others, while also showing extraordinary willingness to face and embrace suffering. We see it in Jesus, who wielded tremendous power yet also exposed himself to hunger, ridicule, torture and death. Rather than being opposites, strength and weakness are actually meant to be combined in every human life and community. Only when they come together do we find the flourishing for which we were made.
With the characteristic insight, memorable stories and hopeful realism he is known for, Andy Crouch shows us how to walk this path so that the image of God can shine through us. Not just for our own good, but for the sake of others.
If you want to become the kind of person whose influence leads to healthy communities, someone with the strength to be compassionate and generous, this is the book for you. Regardless of your stage or role in life, whether or not you have a position of leadership, here is a way to love and risk so that we all, even the most vulnerable, can flourish.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830844432
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 02/11/2016
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 376,748
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Andy Crouch (MDiv, Boston University School of Theology) is executive editor of Christianity Today. He has written for Time and The Wall Street Journal, and is author of the highly acclaimed Culture Making and Playing God. Crouch serves on the governing boards of Fuller Theological Seminary and Equitas Group, a philanthropic organization focused on ending child exploitation in Haiti and Southeast Asia. He is also a senior fellow of International Justice Mission's Institute for Biblical Justice. Crouch served as executive producer for the documentary films Where Faith and Culture Meet and Round Trip, as well as the multi-year project This Is Our City, which featured documentary video, reporting and essays about Christians seeking the flourishing of their cities. He sits on the editorial board for Books Culture and spent ten years as a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Harvard University. A classically trained musician who draws on pop, folk, rock, jazz and gospel, Crouch has led musical worship for congregations of five to twenty thousand. He lives with his family in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

1. Beyond the False Choice

2. Flourishing

3. Suffering

4. Withdrawing

5. Exploiting

Interlude: The Path to Flourishing

6. Hidden Vulnerability

7. Descending to the Dead

8. Up and to the Right



Discussion Guide

What People are Saying About This

Jena Lee Nardella

"This book challenged me to think authentically as a leader and to bring my real self into the work of leadership. Andy Crouch offers a simple yet profound framework that examines the important relationship between authority and vulnerability—and how various combinations can either help or hinder human flourishing. This roadmap exposes the all-too-easy pitfalls of withdrawal and exploitation while reminding us that it is in vulnerability and suffering that strength dwells. Strong and Weak is an empowering guide for anyone who seeks to live against a culture of safety and into a life of meaningful risk and flourishing."

Brenda Salter McNeil

"Andy Crouch has done it again! Strong and Weak is an intellectually insightful, socially relevant and prophetically passionate book that shows us how to multiply our power to create a world where people from every tribe and nation can flourish and reach their full God-given potential. I love it!"

John Ortberg

"This book is going to have a profound impact on our world. It's built on a clear, deep, life-changing insight that opens up vast possibilities for human flourishing. Classic, elegant and utterly illuminating."

Ravi I. Jayakaran

"God's Word focuses so much on the interplay between weakness and strength—as well as other opposites that drive us toward the greatest opportunities to flourish. All of discipleship seems to center around these opposites. When we experience poverty, we comprehend the riches that God generously bestows on us. When we experience helplessness, we recognize the might of his strength! Andy Crouch's excellent book gives insight into understanding all this more clearly."

Lisa Slayton

"Strong and Weak gives biblical substance to the call to stewardship in the broadest sense—stewardship of self, vocation, gifts, resources and suffering. The stewardship of suffering is perhaps the most critical work of a leader, and often the most overlooked. This will become required reading for our leadership and development work."

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