Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review of FUTUREVILLE by Skye Jethani

Title: Futureville

Author: Skye Jethani

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

What It's About: Futureville is a groundbreaking book that challenges the way Christians view the future and the world in which they habit. The premise of the book is that what we believe about the future largely determines how we live in the world and what we perceive to be valuable.

Why I Read It: I discovered Skye Jethani a couple years ago when I picked up a copy of his book With, and I was floored by it. Jethani's insight into culture and the vision of life presented in the Bible make him an important voice to listen to when it comes to Christian living.

What I Like About It: Everything. Seriously. Ask my wife. For weeks I talked on and on about this book. Jethani uncovers many misconceptions that Christians often carry and many of them that I didn't even realize that I carried myself until I read this book. It's not that Futureville itself is life-changing; it's the message of Jesus that Jethani presents from the Bible is truly life-giving and life-changing.

Jethani invites the reader on a journey to the future that God has imagined for us and outlined for us in the Bible. He calls this destination Futureville, and the origin of the term is an interesting story. He outlines how many Christians have viewed the journey to Futureville and what it looks like. Some people take an evolutionary approach to Futureville, which makes callings of social justice the most nobel for anyone to follow. Futureville arrives as we relentlessly pursue making this world a better place. Others take an evacuation approach to Futureville, which makes callings in which people spread the gospel the most nobel to pursue. This view sees the world as a sinking ship and we have to rescue as many people off of it as possible before it finally sinks. Forget social justice because evangelism is what's most important.

After presenting these two views, showing their implications, and ultimately where they fail, Jethani presents a truly beautiful vision of the future as God has envisioned it. This is Futureville, and it is based entirely in God's redemptive work. The book was really good up to this point, and it only gets better as Jethani presents a biblical theology of vocation. God is redeeming creation and he wants us to pursue callings that make the future kingdom a present reality wherever we can in the world now. That means evangelism is vitally important, but it's not the only nobel calling. Certainly, we can't neglect it. But there are also artists, those who create order in our world, and those who produce abundance.

In Futureville, there's a place for everyone, and God desires to use us to paint a picture of a redemptive future in the here and now. I was blown away by the poingancy of this book. Jethani reminded me how truly beautiful Christianity and the message of Jesus really is. I can't recommend this book enough to anyone who will read it. Like me, I think if it does what it's designed to do, you'll be going back to the Bible and seeing God's hope for the world in a fresh way, and that vision will change everything.

Review copy provided by Thomas Nelson through Book Look Bloggers

Where You Can Buy It: Amazon.com

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