It isn't very often that I read a book and walk away from it a changed person. True Religion by Palmer Chinchen, PhD did just that. All of my life I've said I've been happy not leaving my country, my comforts. Now I'm ready to go on a missions trip.
True Religion -taking pieces of heaven to places of hell on earth- will challenge readers to change their way of thinking and living.
Want to get back to the basics of Christianity? Want to live a simpler life? Read this book.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A rising voice in the missional movement, Palmer Chinchen is passionate about creating a fresh desire among Christ-followers to reach out to a hurting world. His latest book, True Religion: Taking Pieces of Heaven to Places of Hell on Earth, examines the idea of living a life sacrificially poured out for Christ. Chinchen believes that those who are willing to give their lives away to change the world will find their own lives changed forever through that process. He challenges believers to love the Lord with all their mind and soul, with all their strength and heart, and as this love is poured into the work of Christ, believers will experience God moving them in a unique direction that will carry them into new and exciting areas of service.
We live in a self-indulgent culture. Much of life is arranged for the good of our selves. So we accumulate, we chase leisure and pleasure, we self promote, and we do all we can to point the world at me. But God lays out a different way of living that is better for His world and better for you. Give your life away to change this world for good. Christ made a profound request of you and me and everyone else who determines to walk in His footsteps: “Take up your cross and follow me.”
The appeal is an interesting one, because on His cross He gave His life away to change this world—to change your life and my life—forever. But He knows this planet we live on contains ruined places and rubbish-filled lives. But it doesn’t have to be that way. He asks that you continue to carry His cross and do good, share hope, show love, and bring healing.
Quoting the ancient prophet Isaiah, the Christ stated His movement manifesto like this: “Preach good news to the poor.… proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, [and] release the oppressed.”
Jesus never made this life about what He could gain for Himself. He was never interested in power or control or recognition or fame or possessions. He was oddly focused on rescuing other people from oppressive regimes, social stigmas, broken marriages, crippled bodies, physical blindness, and spiritual death.
But upon His departure He asked that you and I pick up the cross He once bore, and carry it for Him.
And God Will Change You
Here’s the kicker: Give your life away to change this world, and God will change you. Something transformational happens in our lives when we go and give our life away.
Every time I lead people on global ministry experiences, I see lives radically changed practically before my eyes. I watch the challenging situations and disturbing moments transform people forever. The Havana team’s experience was not unique. A clear pattern exists, giving strong grounding to the idea that global experiences have a unique, powerful, life-altering effect on the spiritual condition of participants.
The Wheaton College School of Business sent a questionnaire out to graduates from the past five years. It included the question, “What aspect of your college experience had the greatest spiritual influence on your life?” An overwhelming majority of graduates indicated a global cross-cultural experience. Not the chapel services, not the Bible classes, not the dorm small-groups, not even the college pastor down the street (ouch, that hurt)—but the experience of giving their lives away to a hurting world.
Over the course of my fifteen years in college ministry, I have led hundreds of students on cross-cultural service experiences: orphanage teams to Mexico, soccer teams to Costa Rica, evangelistic teams to Guatemala, basketball teams to Cuba, construction teams to Liberia, music teams to Malawi, relief teams to Mississippi (yes, taking college students from Los Angeles to rural Mississippi was definitely cross-cultural), and the list goes on. And in each experience the lives of students were radically transformed.
About the Author: Palmer Chinchen has served as pastor of The Grove in Chandler, Arizona, for the past seven years. He grew up in Liberia, West Africa, and as an adult has led many people on numerous mission trips around the world. He has served in college ministries in Wheaton, IL, and southern California and has taught Spiritual Formation at African Bible College. Chinchen is passionate about Christians responding to affliction and injustice in the world. He holds a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois and a BA and MA from Biola University in California. He lives with his wife and four children in Chandler, Arizona.
True Religion: Taking Pieces of Heaven to Places of Hell on Earth by Palmer Chinchen
David C Cook/June 1, 2010/ISBN 978-0-7814-0343-6/208 pages/softcover/$14.99
David C Cook is sponsoring the “True Religion Missions Trip Scholarship” through October 31. The winner will receive $1,000 to apply towards a short term mission trip. For more information, visit www.TrueReligionBook.com.