Saturday, May 31, 2014

How to Start a Riot by Jonathan Storment

Storment says of his book, “It's a book trying to wake Jesus followers up to the implications of following Jesus.” (14)

He had been reading the book of Acts and realized how different the lives of the earliest Christians were from his own. They were arrested and beaten. They were filled with joy – even in the worst circumstances.

Storment shares his insights from the book of Acts and what made the early Christians behave as they did. He weaves his own personal stories into the narrative as he explores the events of the biblical book. He says of Acts, “It's a gripping account about men and women of faith who have taken risk after risk for the sake of something bigger than themselves.” (194)

My favorite lesson from this book is the one on “Churches and Cruise Ships.” (105) The role of big passenger ships in the 1800s was to transport passengers from one place to another. As passenger planes took over, the ships were docked. Then an enterprising person decided they could revamp
ships, add a theater and a swimming pool or two. The goal was no longer to get a person from A to B but to provide for their comfort and entertainment as they wandered around. So, is your church a passenger transport ship or a passenger cruise ship?

Storment wants each of us to recapture what the earliest Christians had, their animation and motivation. They turned the world upside down. Has your Christianity been reduced to giving an hour a week and ten percent of your income? Reading this book will challenge you to start a riot. I wish discussion questions had been provided as it would make a good choice for a discussion group.

Jonathan Storment served as the associate preaching minister at The Hills Church in the Dallas area until 2010, and has been preaching minister at the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas since then. He is a regular contributor to Scot McKnight's blog “Jesus Creed” and preaches at churches, university chapels, and conferences all over the world. He and his wife have three children. Find out more about him and his ministry at

Leafwood Publishers, 208 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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