Books

Jesus: A Theography

"The Scriptures are the cradle in which Christ is laid." -- Martin Luther Virtually every "Jesus biography" begins with the nativity account in Bethlehem. In this groundbreaking new book, Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola begin before time, in the Triune God, and tell the complete interconnected story of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. Biographies of Jesus have generally been written by those trying to investigate the historical Jesus. On the flip side, those interested in tracing the biblical narrative are typically disinterested...


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The Greatest Story Never Told: Revive Us Again

God raises up Methodists for such a time as this. Here is a ditty Len Sweet’s Methodist grandfather used to sing: A Methodist, a Methodist will I be A Methodist will I die. I’ve been baptized in the Methodist way And I’ll live on the Methodist side. What “genius” of Methodism inspired this kind of love and loyalty in the earlier years of the faith? What did it mean to live in “the Methodist way” and to die on “the Methodist side?” Perhaps...


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The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture

The Voice™ is a faithful dynamic equivalent translation that reads like a story with all the truth and wisdom of God's Word. Through compelling narratives, poetry, and teaching, The Voice invites readers to enter into the whole story of God with their heart, soul, and mind, enabling them to hear God speaking and to experience His presence in their lives. Through a collaboration of more than 120 biblical scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and artists, The Voice recaptures the passion, grit, humor, and beauty that is often...


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What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person

Belief can exist in isolation, but faith requires a relationship Why wade in the shallows of belief when you can plunge into the depths of faith? Belief involves a different way of thinking, but faith brings about a new way of living. It grows through direct experience and a close relationship, both of which come as you follow Jesus. As Christians we often talk about developing a “personal relationship” with Christ, but instead of pursuing a relationship, we pursue knowledge. We are tempted to place confidence in our definite,...


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Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival

The gospel is nothing without relationship. And no one gets it like the Google Generation. God came to earth to invite us, personally, into a relationship. And while Christians at times downplay relationships, the social-media generation is completely sold on the idea. In Viral, Leonard Sweet says Christians need to learn about connecting with others from the experts—those who can’t seem to stop texting, IM-ing, tweeting, and updating their Facebook statuses. What would happen, he asks, if Christians devoted less attention to strategies...


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I Am A Follower The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus

It's time to leave the leadership obsession behind. It's never been about leading. "Leadership" has become a runaway obsession for those who are called to equip the body of Christ for service in the Kingdom of God. The concept of "followership" is all but lost in the wake of this leadership fetish, a near hypnotic obsession. Jesus' clear call, and the pattern of New Testament leadership, are actually found in a pattern of followership. We've been told otherwise but when it comes to a movement in our churches, our families, or...


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real church in a social network world

We need more than status updates—we need relationships. Learning about God’s Heart from the TGIF (Twitter, Google, iPhone, Facebook) Generation The explosion in social networking is perhaps the most visible expression of the human longing to know others and to be known. Is there a parallel in contemporary Christianity? The church posts a welcome sign outside, but has Christianity lost sight of reaching the current generation with the heart of the gospel? Drawing from years of Leonard Sweet’s paradigm-shifting analyses,...


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The Seraph Seal

An epic tale of good and evil based on the four horsemen of the Apocalypse found in Revelation. Using the four horsemen of the Apocalypse to symbolize the four Gospels, four transcendentals, and four forces of the universe (air, water, earth, and fire), Sweet and Wagner weave a fast-paced, end-times tale of good vs. evil and the promise of a new dawn for humanity. Set in 2048, when planet Earth is suffering from the damaging effects of years of misuse and abuse, cultural history professor Paul Binder receives a mysterious letter that...


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Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ

"So that in everything He might have the supremacy." -Colossians 1:18 Christians have made the gospel about so many things-things other than Christ. Religious concepts, ideas, doctrines, strategies, methods, techniques, formulas, "its" and "things" have all eclipsed the beauty, the glory, and the reality of the Lord Jesus Himself. On the whole, Christians today are starved for a real experience of the living Christ. We know a lot about our Lord, but we don't know Him very well. We know a lot about trying to be like Jesus, but...


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Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who's Already There

Evangelism is about reaching out to others. Really? You think? Brace yourself. In Nudge, author Leonard Sweet sets out to revolutionize our understanding of evangelism. He defines evangelism as “nudge” – awakening each other to the God who is already there. Sweet’s revolution promises to affect your encounters with others, as well as shaking the very roots of your own faith. So brace yourself.


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Postmodern and Wesleyan?: Exploring the Boundaries and Possibilities

Postmodern and Wesleyan? is both an exploration and an internal dialogue. Essays written by differing voices explore various dimensions of postmodernism as they relate to theology, church, practices, communities, and missions. Each section includes a critical response by a respected Wesleyan leader to the ideas expressed. Dr. Leonard Sweet concludes each section with comments to continue the conversation. This important conversation piece invites churches, pastors, and laity to explore together how the Christian faith might shape...


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So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church

What is commonly known as DNA today was exclaimed as " . . . So pretty!" when it was discovered years ago, and over the course of his ministry, author Leonard Sweet has discovered that this divine design also informs God's blueprint for the church. In this seminal work, he shares the woven strands that form the church: missional, relational, and incarnational. Sweet declares that this secret is So Beautiful! Using the poignant life of John Newton as a touchstone, Sweet calls for the re-union of these three essential, complementary strands...


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Aquachurch 2.0

AquaChurch 2.0 is a guide for developing responsive and relevant church leadership. Fusing Biblical wisdom and modern-day insights, acclaimed author Leonard Sweet explores the essentials of leadership arts, including vision, creativity, and teamwork. This updated and revised edition will enable your ministry to navigate today's cultural currents, provide a beacon to your community, and connect with a postmodern world.


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11: Indispensable Relationships You Can't Be Without

Dr. Leonard Sweet believes these essential people are found in the pages of God's Word. Using eleven classic figures from the Bible, Dr. Sweet details key personal attributes that make up God's Dream Team for your life. Readers of all ages will be encouraged to not only seek out such people, but to find their place with those around them.


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The Church of the Perfect Storm

An array of cultural forces is coming together to present the church with unprecedented challenge and unequaled opportunity. Such “category 5" realities as postmodernism, postChristendom attacks on belief in God, and the threat of global warming have coalesced to make a “perfect storm” that will leave people uncertain of their place in the world, and all they have previously believed in. Like the disciples when Jesus calmed the storm, the church can cower and cry out for relief. Or, when everything is spinning and whirling in the...


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The Voice from on High

"Into a troubled world and to a nation oppressed on all sides, God sent hope in this one solitary life. The Jews had looked for some twenty decades for a king to liberate them from their oppressors. Their prophecies spoke of a great warrior and also of a gentle lamb. The story of the Messiah, or the great Liberating King, is found throughout the Bible. This enthralling story starts with creation and then juxtaposes the prophecies of the Old Testament with the various stories from the Gospels. The Liberating King is the central concept of Scripture that unites it into one grand narrative."


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The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with a Grande Passion

You don’t stand in line at Starbucks® just to buy a cup of coffee. You stop for the experience surrounding the cup of coffee. Too many of us line up for God out of duty or guilt. We completely miss the warmth and richness of the experience of living with God. If we’d learn to see what God is doing on earth, we could participate fully in the irresistible life that he offers. You can learn to pay attention like never before, to identify where God is already in business right in your neighborhood. The doors are open and the coffee is brewing...


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The Three Hardest Words: In The World To Get Right

Three simple words- "I love you"- capture the heart of Jesus' life and ministry. These three words form the bottom line and top drawer of all his teachings. And they remain the three hardest words in the world to get right. Two pronouns and a verb have never been so difficult to grasp, much less to practice. Popular culture has ruined love's reputation by redefining it first as romance, and then as lust. But it's not just the meaning of the word love that causes so much confusion. To fully understand love, we also need to find...


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Out of the Question...Into the Mystery

How did we get the point, but miss the Person? Christianity wasn’t founded on a proposition. God sent Jesus to deliver a proposal: “Will you love me? Will you let me love you?” Propositions inform us, but God’s proposal of love in Jesus transforms us. God doesn’t answer every question, God invites us into a mystery. God’s proposal of love is truly Out of the Question…Into the Mystery. “Faith is not simply a decision that is made or a commitment that is promised… Rather, faith is a new life that we practice. And that life...


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Summoned to Lead

The working title for this book was “Forget the Vision Thing: It’s All About VOICE.” Beginning in the early 90s, Sweet began talking about the power of “voice,” the need to “hear a vision,” and “vibrational leaders.” Summoned to Lead is the culmination of thoughts that began surfacing in A Cup of Coffee at the Soul Cafe, AquaChurch, and are now circulating in Stephen Covey’s recent “discovery” of a forgotten “8th Habit” that marks the “key to greatness:” the “power of voice.”


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The Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives

What should the church look like today? What should be the focus of its message? How should I present that message? We live in as pivotal and defining an age as the Great Depression or the Sixties–a period whose definition, say some cultural observers, includes a warning of the church’s influence. The result? A society measurably less religious but decidedly more spiritual. Less influenced by authority than by experience. More attuned to images than to words. How does the church adapt to such a culture? Or should it, in fact, eschew adapting for maintaining a course...


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Jesus Drives Me Crazy

There is the World According to Normal where most Christians currently live, and then there is the World According to NUTS, an acronym for Never Underestimate The Spirit. Creative author and speaker Leonard Sweet believes that Christians should never be considered normal members of society.


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A is for Abductive

A Is for Abductive B is for Body C is for Carpe Manana D is for Double-Ring E is for EPICtivities F is for Fractals G is for Grace H is for Holarchy I is for Icon J is for the J-Factor K is for Kaleidoscopic Change L is for Loopy M is for Metanarrative N is for Neurological Pre-Rewirings O is for Open-Endedness P is for Prayer Q is for Quest-ions R is for Radical Orthodoxy S is for Systems Theology T is for Tribal U is for Unknown V is for Voice W is for Wonder X is for Xenophilia Y is for Yes! Z is for Zending


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The Dawn Mistaken for Dusk

In his first book conceived and acquired specifically to be delivered electronically, Leonard Sweet contends that the church is blind to the changes that are dragging us into the future. Therefore, it is losing its influence as an agent of change and grace in the world. "There are now some companies who absolutely want to change the world more than the church," writes Sweet. He sees the church at a crossroads. It will either see the future as a new dawn and therefore embrace it as opportunity. Or, it will see the future as dusk and therefore hide from the darkness...


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Carpe Manana

"I am a better pastor and a better Christian because of Len's brilliant and stimulating work. Carpe Manana is a...valuable continuation of the conversation he has been having with the church in America for many years." -- Brian McLaren "Len Sweet is incapable of a dull sentence. Better than that, he is passionately devoted to the flourishing of the church." -- John Ortberg "I think of Len Sweet as the icebreaker for the 21st-century-church - breaking a path through frozen ideas and methods to the new realities that are shaping...


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Post-Modern Pilgrims

The image of the church as a boat and tradition as an anchor is prevalent in Christian art. If we examine the biblical view of an anchor we are to cast our anchor into the future and pull the church forward. Postmodern pilgrims must strive to keep the past and the future in perpetual conversation so every generation will find a fresh expression of the Gospel that is anchored solidly to "the faith that was once for all delivered."


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Communication and Change

Communication and Change is a Lilly-funded collection of essays that Len put together and wrote to explore the role of technology in the cultural and religious interplay between continuity and change. Anyone interested in the history of the book, religious publishing, and the impact of technology on the church from colonial times to the present will find themselves immersed in this book some time or another. Contact Leonard Sweet for purchasing info.


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Soul Salsa

SoulSalsa unpacks biblical faith in ways that can change how you live in the real world. You can be a man or woman who walks the ancient path of a disciple in the world of the future. Because the NEW future is NOW--and now is the time to practice the "17 Lifestyle Requirements for Membership in the Postmodern Body of Christ." It’s no longer enough to say "Say Amen, Somebody." It’s time to "Dance the Salsa, Everybody!"--in a culture that desperately needs to see your moves.


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Aqua Church

In this latest and most accessible work from church historian, futurist and best-selling author Leonard Sweet, church leaders will discover the leadership arts that are essential in today's ever-changing culture. The author provides thought provoking yet practical skills that will elevate the scope of ministry from mere survival of daily challenges to thriving in today's culture! Rather than provide new maps that will soon be obsolete, this book illustrates the need to become an "AquaChurch" in order to effectively minister in a fluid, postmodern culture.


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SoulTsunami

Leonard Sweet--cultural historian, futurist, preacher, and preeminent thinker--firmly believes we live in a postmodern, pre-Christian society fraught with challenges, dangers, critical choices, and above all, tremendous potential for the church. The outcome will depend on our response to todays flood of change that threatens to sweep us away. SoulTsunami outlines ten cultural changes that are already happening around us and suggests practical ways to communicate Gods unchanging truth to our changing world.


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A Cup of Coffee at the SoulCafe

Savor a satisfying cup of wisdom at the Soul Cafe. The world is becoming increasingly complicated; technology, terrorism, and disease are just some of the dangers threatening the physical and spiritual health of our modern society. For years, Leonard Sweet has been confronting these common fears in his profound and insightful series of publications, Sweet's Soul Cafe. Now, in his newest book, Sweet carries the readers on a journey into the heart of spirituality, teaching Christians how to be more susceptible to God's shaping hand....


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11 Genetic Gateways to Spiritual Awakening

11 Genetic Gateways to Spiritual Awakening explores the genetic endowments of the 18th century evangelical awakening, and how churches today can live "out of their genes" when they engage in postmodern ministry and mission. Sweet actually makes the case that God may have raised up John Wesley more for the 21st century than for the 18th.


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The Evangelical Tradition in America

The essays collected in The Evangelical Tradition in America range over a vast plain of historical inquiry. Yet they are linked by a common purpose and vision of the exploration through ever-widening avenues of research into one of the most important movements in American culture, and the uncovering of forgotten, ill-conceived, or half-perceived features of the Evangelical tradition. This volume opens up new territory, recharts the old, and challenges and corrects several gaps in the historical topography of American Evangelicalism.


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The Jesus Prescription for a Healthy Life

Leonard Sweet, with his profound insight and humor examines how Jesus laughed, hung out with friends, played with children, walked, enjoyed the good times at social gatherings, moodled, and poked fun at pious pretensions. By examining the life of Jesus, this prescription for health and well-being details the ways and habits through which Jesus lived a disciplined life and healthy existence during his ministry among us. The self-help advice is linked directly to stories about or by Jesus in the Gospels. You are sure to sharpen spiritually...


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Strong in the Broken Places

Who was George Everett Ross, and why is his story worth telling? Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron, Ohio, the largest congregation in the state’s diocese, Ross was at once a brilliant preacher who could move his listeners with the gospel of transfiguring grace and a deeply flawed human being who stirred controversy among his parishioners. Not only a crusader for the addicted and the homeless, but also an alcoholic who presided over the church where Alcoholics Anonymous was founded, Ross was both revered for his good works...


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FaithQuakes

FaithQuakes is for people who have the shakes and are looking to God's future. With up-to-the-minute monitoring of changes and trends that affect our lives, Leonard Sweet provides refreshingly unconventional glimpses into the future that must be grasped by church leaders. We learn how to pursue a more effective, "go and tell" evangelism that reaches the "cocooning" culture; how to rekindle Christian imagination through sensuality, virtual reality, and energized prayer, music, or spiritual experience; how to offer costly grace to a...


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Health and Medicine in the Evangelical Tradition

This is the first extensive study of evangelicalism in the context of health and modern medicine. The book, like the others in the series, has two purposes. One purpose is to help health care professionals, who themselves come from various religious traditions or perhaps none, to understand how the evangelical tradition is related to issues of health and medicine so that they can serve their evangelical patients with greater sensitivity. The book is also written to help evangelicals understand more fully the relation of their tradition...


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Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic

Already called "a spirituality classic," Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic is the book that launched what today is called "postmodern publishing" as well as Len's ministry to postmodern culture. A book written in a circle, the reader is invited to begin anywhere, stop anytime, and end wherever. This was Len's "coming out" book as a postmodern disciple after his 1987 knockdown, drag-out Damascus Road encounter with God, who (as he describes it) "knocked me off my high academic horse and said, 'Sweet, are you going...


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The Lion's Pride

In The Lion's Pride, Leonard I. Sweet focuses on the sometimes all-too-cozy relationship in America between religion and war. Sweet takes a close look at America's "with God on our side" militarism, examining its historical origins and consequences.


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The Minister's Wife: Her Role in Nineteenth Century American Evangelicalism

Probably the hardest to find of all Len's early books. A study of women's leadership patterns in American religious history, using as a template of analysis the three wives of Charles G. Finney, the father of mass urban evangelism. In some way, Finney and Graham are bookends. (Temple University Press, 1983)


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New Life in the Spirit

New Life in the Spirit is published in both English and Chinese editions. This was Len's first attempt at writing a book for a non-scholarly audience. Len kids his Princeton-educated brother John that the Presbyterians had to find a Methodist to write a book on the Holy Spirit.


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Black Images of America 1784-1870

Throughout the nineteenth century most black leaders were convinced that they had a particular role to play in American history, especially in testing America's commitment to freedom and equality. This book examines what black leaders felt about themselves, about their identity, about their relationship to America, and about their involvement in American history.


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