Want to grow in courage?
It's getting harder to be a Christian in our post-Christian culture. As a pastor of 35 years, Andy is seeing the church wake from a “Christian Pax Americana” to an era of intensified hostility.
Based on David's courage before Goliath, The Way to Brave helps readers face the giants looming over us today, such as secularism and relativism. Bent on banishing Christian influence from public life, their power is shocking, their reach expansive, and their deployment quick. But still they are no match for our God.
The Way to Brave guides readers through the five ways God prepared David to be intrepid in facing the giant who opposed him. The qualities and experiences David possessed are the ones Christians need today. Pastor Andy McQuitty will walk you through what those are and how they can mark your life, bolstering you for the storms ahead.
When I was first introduced to The Way to Brave: Shaping a David Faith for Today’s Goliath World by Andy McQuitty (Moody Publishers, 2018), my first reaction to the title was one of, “Here we go again, another book about David and Goliath and the need for us to have courage to face the giants of our lives.” I had literally judged the book by its cover. As part of the book’s launch team, I quickly started reading it and immediately discovered that I was wrong. Though there is great personal and individualized application to be gleaned is this book, it was clearly written with the American church of the 21st century in mind. Using the backdrop of our current post-Christian state where it is becoming more evident that we who are Christ-followers are being pushed to the fringes of society and culture as the waters of hostility toward us are slowly being warmed, McQuitty provides here a helpful and simple guide to survival as he urges us to courageously stand firm in these days by sharing from David’s story and his encounter with the foreboding Goliath. Out of David’s life (and other saints of old), we are given five principles to ponder – five components of what is involved with standing strong and being brave.
What caught my attention right away were two things that pushed me to want to read this book further. The first thing was the introduction itself, which painted a picture of our current reality in a simple way. None of this was new to me. However, I found the following reminder to be especially insightful and something that I needed to hear: “But history proves that consistently pleasant experiences for the church over time have a debilitating effect on faith. Spiritual muscles atrophy, conviction softens, and courage wanes in an amicable environment where devotion to Christ is rarely (if ever) challenged. On the other hand, an increasingly hostile environment that challenges our devotion to Christ on a regular basis tones our spiritual muscles, drives conviction deep, and creates a great thirst for courage by reminding us of the fundamental reality of our life’s journey.” I was intrigued, I was hooked – McQuitty had my attention.
The second thing that got my attention, and really set the stage for the rest of the book for me, was the first chapter (which begins to develop the first step in the way to being brave). Again, McQuitty shares: “Christ’s call to His church…is the same as God’s historical call to His people throughout history. It is not to build defensive walls to keep people far from God out, but rather to plant beautiful gardens, places of shalom, to beckon people far from God in.” As a pastor seeking to lead people to live in a way that impacts our communities for God’s kingdom, I really resonated with what is developed so well in this chapter. Consider also this insight: “So it should not surprise us that a main goal of the prayer [Jesus] taught us to pray was to lead the church to be not only the world’s primary beneficiaries of shalom but also the world’s primary place-makers of it… If that prayer were answered, if the kingdom of God…showed up in the day-to-day realities of our life and world, it would look like a community of people pursuing shalom by seeing, feeling, and responding with the heart of God to brokenness and injustice in the world.” To that I say a hearty “Amen!”
As I read the rest of the book, I continued to glean insights into how to effectively live and minister in this world that we live in as the pastor from Texas makes a strong case for the need to live with courage while providing some steps to take to make it so. Along the way, I did find much of what was written as the book went on to be not as attention-grabbing or deeply impactful as the first part of the book. Nevertheless, through the use of biblical and historical examples, pastoral insight and wisdom, and many stories (of others and his own), McQuitty has given the church a resource worth checking out. This book will serve as a good source for personal enrichment as well as a timely discussion piece for small groups, book clubs, and even church leadership teams.
I highly recommend this book. It shows great examples of how we can be more Christ like in these troubling times we live in. Pastor Andy McQuitty has laid out some great "food for thought" to all of us.
Book quote: We can’t control when or where tragedy will strike in a broken world, but we can set tables of healing amid the wreckage and watch God work.
We are to love God and love people - then we will see change in our world.