I chose The Cause Within You for it’s title in the Tyndale Summer Reading Program, and was fascinated by the stories Matthew Barnett tells of his visionary downtown Dream Center in Los Angeles. Recounting stories of hope, healing and restoration, while reaching out to the ‘untouchables’ of our culture in south central L.A., Matthew weaves a hopeful slice of encouragement onto my plate today. I had expected a 10-step book, or at least some practical suggestions, given the title, but that was not to be. Rather than be discouraged, it was astounding to hear of the self-sacrifice he and many of his congregation had made to serve their community. I particularly liked the insistence he had that service to Jesus must come quickly, steadily, and solidly into the lives of others – waiting for long planning, or committee meetings is not how Jesus did it, nor should we. He quotes Nike’s favorite slogan as an impetus to their response to ideas, and given the book, stories and web-site I reviewed, it seems to be working. He appears to be a modern day St. Francis of Assisi – complete with Twitter feed and Facebook page. I wouldn’t knock it – when the church gets practical, God is preached. Many times, more effectively than any amount of theology could explain. This book was enjoyable, easy to read and encouraging. It inspires practical attempts to live out faith in your world, your city, your home.
This review was completed for the Tyndale Summer Reading Program – you can join also! I found the copy at the library (no free book today!)