If you have spent any time in Christian settings, you have probably heard about what God has done . . . in the past. He blessed Abraham with a son at 100 years old, freed Israel from slavery and parted the Red Sea, healed the sick by the hands of Jesus and the apostles. But is God still working today?
Taking the lead from the prophet Habakkuk, Whitehead & Tyson encourage us to ask God to renew His works in our day in Rumors of God: Experience the kind of faith you’ve only heard about. And for those of us who aren’t sure what to look for or where to begin looking, they share “rumors” with us; rumors of how God is at work around us today.
Then ten chapters in this book investigate ten rumors, among them are abundant living, grace, community, and hope. Sharing from their pastoral experiences while ministering in various churches, along with solid explanation of biblical truth and promise, “Rumors of God” both encourages and challenges the reader. Yes, God is alive and active today. But, God is looking for those who are willing to live a different kind of life in order to do His greatest works.
Who is it that extends Generosity, or Love, or Grace, or Forgiveness? Are they talking about God giving more of these to man? No; it is a challenge to follow the life that Jesus modeled, to be His hands and feet and extend these to our fellow man.
In the chapter on Generosity, we are encouraged to give secretly in order to break the cycle of obligated return. If someone gives a gift, we want to give back, equally to be “even” or with something greater to be “better.” Instead we should just give, secretly if we can, and free the receiver of our gifts from the cycle of return. Generosity also frees us from giving from a sense of guilt.
Several chapters can be looked at as a progression or combination sequence. We give up our rights to hold grudges or seek revenge. (There is also a great section on the myths of forgiveness here.) We stop being focused on ourselves as individuals, and then we become part of intimate community. These are all steps that work together, one building off the other, and are truly foundational to Christian living.
While I enjoyed the book, I did find the chapters long at some points. Also, some of the stories that are used here have been used in other books recently (for example, the response of the Amish community to their schoolhouse tragedy). But there is too much healthy challenge and perspective in this book to discount it or skip it. I recommend Rumors of God for those who need to reminded of God’s activity in the here and now.