The gospel. The good news. Too often we boil it down to four steps, an easily memorized list of axioms, a diagram on the back of a napkin. But in the midst of all this, we seem to lose the wonder, poetry, and transformational nature of the gospel.
In ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs to the Burbs, fifty authors take on the task of sharing the good news for their city, together weaving a beautiful tapestry of the gospel in all its depth and complexity. These essays reveal how the gospel lives and breathes in neighborhoods around the world.
Praise for ViralHope
- “ViralHope is a refreshing book for a church that needs to be refreshed. I love its message and I love the people and I love the story of how the book grew up from a series of blog posts based on a question about the good news of Jesus Christ. JR Woodward, like a symphony conductor, brings together dozens of distinct voices that sing into harmony the sweet voice of hope in both the urban centers and suburban crawl, the global web and the local newspaper, some unconnected and unassum- ing blog posts and the full-fledged book that emerges from it. The focus of the book is the good news about a risen Christ and a rising commu- nity that lives out the message of this hope in different ways. It’s a hope that connects the dots into one picture but also allows the wonderful diversity of that hope to find new and vibrant expressions in each city. I have visited most of those cities and have enjoyed meeting many of this book’s authors. They are people who are sowing the seed of this good news in their localities and are coming to be defined by the hope that characterizes it. And that’s a good thing. A very good thing.”— Andrew Jones, The Boaz Project (tallskinnykiwi.com)
- “ViralHope is a unique and enticing collection of postcards from a veritable who’s who of the missional church from across the Western world. It provides us with articulate and varied perspectives on how missionaries to the West are conceiving the good news in and for their various contexts. A worthy read.”— Alan Hirsch, (theforgottenways.org )
- “What a delight to read these posts from people on the ground work- ing out the Gospel in their cities and ‘burbs’ in ordinary, everyday life. This is the kind of down-to-earth reporting we need right now. I will definitely be using this little gem in my work.”— Alan Roxburgh, Author of The Missional Leader and Introducing the Missional Church
- “The many-sided nature of the gospel is brilliantly displayed in Viral- Hope. Read it and think about how you would tell the story of hope where you live.”— John R. Franke, Clemens Professor of Missional Theology at Biblical Seminary and Author of Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth
- “All too often the Good News is presented in generic, propositional terms, which may be a fair summary of the message the church is called to proclaim. Yet it often fails to ‘ring true’ for people at the local level. A ‘three-point’ presentation can fail to make a three-point landing. The root of the problem is that we have taken the Good News out of its New Testament contexts, where it is specific and many-sided. Viral- Hope takes the Good News and places it within a wide variety of con- texts as it is lived out by those who are seeking to embody the hope of the Gospel. It is not a message that claims to have THE answer to life’s challenges and tragedies. Rather it is a message that draws strength from the vision and presence of Jesus in the midst of ongoing struggles and perplexities. The many blog entries represent stories in progress, pregnant with the Lord’s promise ‘to do a new thing’ as we live with the tension of the ‘now’ and the ‘not yet’ of the coming reign of Christ.”— Eddie Gibbs, Senior Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and Author of ChurchMorph and ChurchNext
- “Viral Hope inspires me to live more of the coming Kingdom, now. Liv- ing and working in the trenches of a broken world, these writers choose life by nurturing children, building in the ruins, planting churches and gardens and businesses. The Gospel remains the only ‘hopeful virus’ that spreads for the healing and life of the world.”— Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Author of Finding God Beyond Harvard and Finding God At Harvard (FindingGodAt.org)
- “ViralHope is a bold call to reject any and all reductions of the Gos- pel that minimize it to ‘cosmic fire insurance’ on the one hand or, on the other, reduce it to ‘social action.’ Rather, through a collection of provocative essays, these practitioners of the faith attempt to hold in a marvelous tension the biblical view of the gospel – that through the person and work of Jesus Christ, God accomplishes salvation for us, rescues us from sin, brings us back into fellowship with him, and then over time is restoring his good, but fallen, creation to its original luster. And God calls us to be part of this work of restoration. This is the full Gospel and a vision that our world desperately needs to hear.”— Jim Belcher, Author of Deep Church
- “There has been a lot of talk the last decade about ‘the kingdom of God’ and being ‘missional.’ Going beyond mere explanation, ViralHope shows you what these terms mean. In fifty wonderful snap- shots, ViralHope demonstrates that in many places and times the de- cade of talk has produced mature reflection and bountiful fruit.”— Todd Hunter, Author of Giving Church Another Chance / Anglican Bishop, Church Planter: Holy Trinity Church, Costa Mesa, CA
- “This book so deeply encourages me because it reminds me, you, us, and the rest of the world – for those who have ears to hear – that no one monopolizes or owns the Gospel, but rather the Gospel owns… and liberates us. The Good News cannot be contained by all the sim- plicities and complexities of our ‘boxes,’ but it certainly speaks to them and reminds us that Good News is meant to go ‘viral.’ I appreciate the diverse stories of all the voices in this book. In fact, it is so refreshing because it elucidates that the Good News is far, wide, and deep, and, while it speaks to each of us and our local context, it was always meant to go to the ends of the earth. ViralHope is that reminder.”— Eugene Cho, Pastor and Blogger (eugenecho.com) Founder of One Day’s Wages (onedayswages.org)