Book Review – “Our Last Great Hope” By Ronnie Floyd
These words from the introduction should ring out to all as a clarion call to all Christians concerning their part on the evangelization of the world! As the church we’ve had about all the theory we can stomach, now it’s time to take the theory we all know so well and put feet under it…. To engage the world!
The Great Commission… in my ministry no three words together get me excited more than these do. The fulfilling of Christ’s Commission, through the planting of new churches is the central focus of my ministry, so when I had the opportunity to review Ronnie Floyd’s latest book; “Our Last Great Hope,” which focuses on the fulfillment of the Great Commission I jumped at the chance to read and review it.
Now I’ll be honest from the onset, I’m one who has a more “academically,” focused mindset; I love the deep theological and exegetical nuances that can be found when digging into various biblical themes. This book carries very little of that type of coverage, is not so much an academic work that dissects the Great Commission texts but more over is one that is focused on the practical; encouraging us to make the Great commission the driving force in our daily lives, and this is a move that is much needed in our world today, for though I love the “theory” the truth remains that “theory” will never and must never be a substitute for “direct action.”
While we live in a society that openly decries and despises the idea of personal responsibility Floyd builds a convincing case that the Great Commission must first be personal before it can be public (corporate). He shows how a commitment to the Great Commission will affect our families, businesses, local communities, and then the nations. It’s the call of Acts 1:8 placed into perspective. It’s a proven fact that when the message of Christ changes and individual’s life, then that individual helps positively transform their own community, and that in turn impacts the entire world, and ultimately brings much glory to God!
To hone in on the need to be “Great Commission Focused” Floyd presented his message by focusing on the following imperatives… those things needed for one to be truly “commission minded”
(1) Get honest with yourself (2) Wake up your church (3) Understand the urgency (4) Talk Jesus daily (5) Reach the next generation now (6) Minimize structure.
Floyd also openly and without apology shares the trends concerning Christianity in America and the state of the American Church, rightly pointing out that we are indeed “a church in crisis.” I was also pleasantly surprised that he tackled the issue of “tithing” especially considering the current state of our nation’s financial situation, yet he does it and does so fearlessly! So much so that his statements on giving are drawing fire from some quarters (ex. http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/)
Floyd rightfully reminds us that giving is not a policy of convenience, or simply an option to consider, or an exercise for the super-spiritual, it’s required of every Christian, and that everyone should purpose in their hearts what they will give (2nd Corinthians 9:7) and that through giving blessings do indeed flow. This biblical precept shouldn’t be confused with the false teachings of the “prosperity gospel.”
If I were to voice any criticism concerning the book it would simply be two minor issues (1) at times I found it difficult to read, as the text didn’t always flow smoothly, (2) at times it appeared that Floyd was “name dropping,” in what seemed to be an effort at self-promotion. As a church planter and student/teacher of world missions I have read many books on the topic of the Great Commission and though this book isn’t the best I’ve ever read on the topic I can say that without any reservation I recommend “Our Last Great Hope” to anyone searching to understand the great commission or looking expand their churches outreach efforts. It will go onto my list of resources that I use for teaching and preaching on the subject, and will be a book that recommend to others.
It was the great Missiologist Oswald J. Smith who made the observation that a church that didn’t take seriously its role in the fulfilling of the Great commission forfeited it’s biblical right to exist. No truer statement about the purpose of the church has ever been made in recent history, the question becomes are we listening?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishersas part of their “booksneeze program.” I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions and views expressed here are my own.