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Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World

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A book for anyone who cares deeply about the future of the church. Once upon a time there was a version of our faith that was practically . . . irresistible. But that was then. Today we preach, teach, write, and communicate as if nothing has changed.  As if “The Bible says it,” still settles it.It’s time to hit pause on much of what we’re doing and consider the faith mo A book for anyone who cares deeply about the future of the church. Once upon a time there was a version of our faith that was practically . . . irresistible. But that was then. Today we preach, teach, write, and communicate as if nothing has changed.  As if “The Bible says it,” still settles it.It’s time to hit pause on much of what we’re doing and consider the faith modeled by our first-century brothers and sisters who had no official Bible, no status, and humanly speaking, little chance of survival.What did they know that we don’t?What made their faith so compelling, so defensible, so irresistible?Buckle up . . . you’re about to find out. More importantly, Andy will invite you to embrace the version of faith that, against all odds, initiated a chain of events resulting in the most significant and extensive cultural transformation the world has ever seen. A version we must embrace if we are to be salt and light in an increasingly savorless and dark world.“More than any other book I’ve read in years, Irresistible has stretched my view of Scripture. I can’t hear or read a passage from the Old or New Testaments without thinking about Andy’s provocative insights. If you and I take this book seriously, our lives and our churches will never be the same.”—Kara Powell, PhD, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute and coauthor of Growing Young“Irresistible is like a once-in-a-generation shot across the bow. Andy Stanley takes a lifetime of accumulated insight and wisdom about the Christian faith, history, and why the church isn’t connecting with our current culture, and combines them together in a masterpiece work.” —Carey Nieuwhof, author and founding pastor, Connexus Church“Warning: This book will set you and your ministry back—back to the first century and the approach to advancing the gospel modeled by Jesus and the apostles. Andy reminds us that the resurrection was at the center of the first-century apologetic. Then he challenges twenty-first century believers to reclaim it as the center of ours as well. I agree with Andy—this approach changed the world once. I’m convinced it could do so again. Read and apply now!”—Frank Turek, Christian author, public speaker, and radio host“This book challenged me to rethink my thoughts about the Old Testament, discuss with fellow believers what I was learning, do more connecting and less correcting of others, and be salt and light, making things better and brighter. I love how Andy loves people . . . ALL of them.”—John Maxwell, author of The 360 Degree Leader“It’s time for the church to rethink how it presents a timeless gospel to this generation. In Irresistible, Andy Stanley challenges us to make sure we handle the Scriptures with the kind of integrity that compels everyone to seriously consider following Jesus. Any Christian who reads this book will suddenly find themselves embracing the mission of Jesus with a new passion.”—Reggie Joiner, author; founder and CEO of Orange“Andy Stanley takes you on a historic journey to rediscover the first-generation passion of what it means to faithfully follow Christ. This book will knock you off center, push you out of complacency, and reawaken an unshakable faith that cannot be ignored.


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A book for anyone who cares deeply about the future of the church. Once upon a time there was a version of our faith that was practically . . . irresistible. But that was then. Today we preach, teach, write, and communicate as if nothing has changed.  As if “The Bible says it,” still settles it.It’s time to hit pause on much of what we’re doing and consider the faith mo A book for anyone who cares deeply about the future of the church. Once upon a time there was a version of our faith that was practically . . . irresistible. But that was then. Today we preach, teach, write, and communicate as if nothing has changed.  As if “The Bible says it,” still settles it.It’s time to hit pause on much of what we’re doing and consider the faith modeled by our first-century brothers and sisters who had no official Bible, no status, and humanly speaking, little chance of survival.What did they know that we don’t?What made their faith so compelling, so defensible, so irresistible?Buckle up . . . you’re about to find out. More importantly, Andy will invite you to embrace the version of faith that, against all odds, initiated a chain of events resulting in the most significant and extensive cultural transformation the world has ever seen. A version we must embrace if we are to be salt and light in an increasingly savorless and dark world.“More than any other book I’ve read in years, Irresistible has stretched my view of Scripture. I can’t hear or read a passage from the Old or New Testaments without thinking about Andy’s provocative insights. If you and I take this book seriously, our lives and our churches will never be the same.”—Kara Powell, PhD, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute and coauthor of Growing Young“Irresistible is like a once-in-a-generation shot across the bow. Andy Stanley takes a lifetime of accumulated insight and wisdom about the Christian faith, history, and why the church isn’t connecting with our current culture, and combines them together in a masterpiece work.” —Carey Nieuwhof, author and founding pastor, Connexus Church“Warning: This book will set you and your ministry back—back to the first century and the approach to advancing the gospel modeled by Jesus and the apostles. Andy reminds us that the resurrection was at the center of the first-century apologetic. Then he challenges twenty-first century believers to reclaim it as the center of ours as well. I agree with Andy—this approach changed the world once. I’m convinced it could do so again. Read and apply now!”—Frank Turek, Christian author, public speaker, and radio host“This book challenged me to rethink my thoughts about the Old Testament, discuss with fellow believers what I was learning, do more connecting and less correcting of others, and be salt and light, making things better and brighter. I love how Andy loves people . . . ALL of them.”—John Maxwell, author of The 360 Degree Leader“It’s time for the church to rethink how it presents a timeless gospel to this generation. In Irresistible, Andy Stanley challenges us to make sure we handle the Scriptures with the kind of integrity that compels everyone to seriously consider following Jesus. Any Christian who reads this book will suddenly find themselves embracing the mission of Jesus with a new passion.”—Reggie Joiner, author; founder and CEO of Orange“Andy Stanley takes you on a historic journey to rediscover the first-generation passion of what it means to faithfully follow Christ. This book will knock you off center, push you out of complacency, and reawaken an unshakable faith that cannot be ignored.

30 review for Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Corey Clarke

    Just mentioning you’re reading this book is a conversation starter to people who think they know what it is about. For me it was a challenging and I think quite accurate portrayal of a subtle flaw in our thinking about the Bible, how we discuss it, and how we learn from it. Andy Stanley’s heart for people who have walked away from faith-as he puts it-“unnecessarily” is clear and compelling.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joel Wukotich

    Interesting I like Andy Stanley. I didn’t used to, but... people change. Andy is a good dude to read AND listen to if you’re on the fence about religion. In this book, and in several videos I’ve seen, he doesn’t hide his old school upbringing, but he also makes a point to apologize when necessary. He owns his mistakes, and points to ways he learned from them. Rare in a person, let alone a preacher! His outline and argument for Christianity here is quite brilliant. I can’t say he’s got me convince Interesting I like Andy Stanley. I didn’t used to, but... people change. Andy is a good dude to read AND listen to if you’re on the fence about religion. In this book, and in several videos I’ve seen, he doesn’t hide his old school upbringing, but he also makes a point to apologize when necessary. He owns his mistakes, and points to ways he learned from them. Rare in a person, let alone a preacher! His outline and argument for Christianity here is quite brilliant. I can’t say he’s got me convinced entirely, but that’s not the point. The point is HE IS convinced, he explains why, and invites everyone to join him. His main argument is that the Old and New Testaments should be read as separate theologies. He believes the “Old Testament” is nothing more than “The Hebrew Scriptures” and they aren’t necessarily related to Jesus’s message. It’s a deep read, for sure. And not one I’d recommend for the merely curious. This book begs you to look deeper. If not into what Stanley says, at least into something of substance and purpose. I’m grateful to have spent time with this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Crystal H

    I used to like Andy Stanley, but this book reminds me of a whiny teenager who doesn't like having rules. He makes excuses, blames traditional parents, stretches the truth and states his opinions and concepts as fact.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ray Simmons

    In this book, Andy Stanley commits practically all formal and informal logical fallacies we learn in our logic classes. See my full review on under the electronic version of the book my link text. Whether or not you are a Christian, you may safely categorize the teachings in this book as heresy. Please do not consider me extreme for saying this; after all, he is pastor of a church in Atlanta, my home, with six campuses and average attendance of over 30,000 people each week. All who are aware of In this book, Andy Stanley commits practically all formal and informal logical fallacies we learn in our logic classes. See my full review on under the electronic version of the book my link text. Whether or not you are a Christian, you may safely categorize the teachings in this book as heresy. Please do not consider me extreme for saying this; after all, he is pastor of a church in Atlanta, my home, with six campuses and average attendance of over 30,000 people each week. All who are aware of 2,000 years of Christian doctrinal history who reads this book will agree with me on the doctrine in this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karrel Buck

    A can’t believe it ended so quickly Andy talking about Paul the Apostle: “His mission in life wasn’t to make a point. His mission was to make a difference. He was there to ‘win’ some and ‘save’ some.” After taking courses and reading books on how to witness to others I felt that the Holy Spirit was telling me I had “learned” enough. Stop. But still I was confused. I don’t feel the urgency that I felt 40+ years ago. I still felt like I just wasn’t the person who approached people and asked if they A can’t believe it ended so quickly Andy talking about Paul the Apostle: “His mission in life wasn’t to make a point. His mission was to make a difference. He was there to ‘win’ some and ‘save’ some.” After taking courses and reading books on how to witness to others I felt that the Holy Spirit was telling me I had “learned” enough. Stop. But still I was confused. I don’t feel the urgency that I felt 40+ years ago. I still felt like I just wasn’t the person who approached people and asked if they knew Jesus or not. As soon as I started this book I connected to what Andy was saying and I realized how little love is evident in my walk. I knew I had to reread the Bible with new eyes. The farther into the book the more excited I became. I realize it is about becoming all things to all people. About service to others. About laying down my American view point, my Church view point, and getting the view points of Jesus, his disciples, of Paul. It isn’t reading the scriptures because it is required of me, it is reading about these real people who lived and walked with Jesus, and were willing to die for Him. Everything has changed. I want to make a difference. Return to my first love, Jesus Christ. Thank you Andy Stanley for writing this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary Showalter

    I can see why this would be a controversial book that would raise many eyebrows among the true and faithful. Especially second generation and beyond believers. Yes, I’ve entertained many of these thoughts before concerning the Old Testament (Jewish Scriptures); but to see them written down and promoted almost seems like a foreign doctrine, if not blasphemous. But; Oh. So. Refreshing. So freeing. Mr. Stanley points out that the Old Testament was written for the Jews who were under an old covenant I can see why this would be a controversial book that would raise many eyebrows among the true and faithful. Especially second generation and beyond believers. Yes, I’ve entertained many of these thoughts before concerning the Old Testament (Jewish Scriptures); but to see them written down and promoted almost seems like a foreign doctrine, if not blasphemous. But; Oh. So. Refreshing. So freeing. Mr. Stanley points out that the Old Testament was written for the Jews who were under an old covenant. That was then and was only a background for the new. Jesus ushered in a new way and the old was done away with. God does not desire us to live under those old laws and rules. How close can we get to sin without sinning? The author explains that the real question for followers of Jesus is, “What does love require of me?” This seems so much more simple that a huge set of laws and rules, but the answer can entail heavy responsibilities. I very much enjoyed Mr. Stanley’s style of writing. At times it was humorous, never laborious, well documented, and always interesting. I highly recommend!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    I imagine that I am not in Andy Stanley's audience since I come from the Methodist denomination where we are less dogmatic about scripture to begin with, but I thought the book was excellent. I think he is trying to speak something new and different into a long-held tradition of how we are to read scripture, so a more nuanced approach would probably not register for his audience. On a first reading, it seems as though he is proposing getting rid of the Old Testament altogether - which I don't th I imagine that I am not in Andy Stanley's audience since I come from the Methodist denomination where we are less dogmatic about scripture to begin with, but I thought the book was excellent. I think he is trying to speak something new and different into a long-held tradition of how we are to read scripture, so a more nuanced approach would probably not register for his audience. On a first reading, it seems as though he is proposing getting rid of the Old Testament altogether - which I don't think is his intention - but I appreciate his main point that Jesus came to teach us a new way to live, to move into a more mature/ nuanced way of interpreting the Old Testament. That now we are to see all of life through the lens of loving our neighbor (which I would argue was always the intention, but humanity kept missing the point, which is why we needed Jesus). That is a premise I am fully on board with. I also think it is good and powerful to read things that challenge us to think about what we believe and this book has helped me deepen my own understanding about how I read the Bible. I would recommend it for small groups everywhere!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gil

    A Transformational and Liberating Reintroduction to the Christian Faith Irresistible is perhaps the single most important book every church leader should read. It is critical because it re-arranges our Christian way of thinking from the traditional to the historical. Irresistible puts the focus of Christianity back on Jesus and His new covenant, and away from the ineffective and very resistible practices of the modern church. While maintaining their status as divinely inspired, Andy Stanley expla A Transformational and Liberating Reintroduction to the Christian Faith Irresistible is perhaps the single most important book every church leader should read. It is critical because it re-arranges our Christian way of thinking from the traditional to the historical. Irresistible puts the focus of Christianity back on Jesus and His new covenant, and away from the ineffective and very resistible practices of the modern church. While maintaining their status as divinely inspired, Andy Stanley explains how the old covenant in the Old Testament is both obsolete and - more importantly - not binding to Christ followers. This book not only provides a breath of fresh air, it creates an exciting foundation on which we can win back to Christ so many who left the faith for all the wrong reasons.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robert White

    Going Back to the Future The Christian faith is not just a confusing mix of old and new aspects of God's plan, it's also hopelessly compromised with the well reasoned theories put forth by those who would have us understand even those aspects of God's plan that God himself has not revealed. This refreshing book by Andy Stanley cuts through centuries of blind guiding that has almost reached that point where it's understandable that Jesus wondered if upon his return he might even find faith. I boug Going Back to the Future The Christian faith is not just a confusing mix of old and new aspects of God's plan, it's also hopelessly compromised with the well reasoned theories put forth by those who would have us understand even those aspects of God's plan that God himself has not revealed. This refreshing book by Andy Stanley cuts through centuries of blind guiding that has almost reached that point where it's understandable that Jesus wondered if upon his return he might even find faith. I bought this book because the Christian leadership heard most in mass media said I shouldn't listen to anything Andy Stanley had to say. For the love of Jesus, and our neighbors, this is a must read that must be read again and shared.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    I really enjoyed this book and Andy perspective. The Bible does have a new and old covenant. The old is called old because it has been finished. We live as a believer under the new covenant. Which started with Jesus death and resurrection. Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. Don’t get caught up in what is right or wrong what is or is not sin. Love God and love those around you(everyone) and let them see the love of Christ in you. That will help people understand who God is. Not by tel I really enjoyed this book and Andy perspective. The Bible does have a new and old covenant. The old is called old because it has been finished. We live as a believer under the new covenant. Which started with Jesus death and resurrection. Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. Don’t get caught up in what is right or wrong what is or is not sin. Love God and love those around you(everyone) and let them see the love of Christ in you. That will help people understand who God is. Not by telling them stuff that sounds crazy or hard to believe in the Bible. Use the Bible to help firm them up as they believe and want to know more about this Man and God Jesus you talk about.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cam

    The Spirit has been urging me toward the message Andy Stanley has for the 21st century , post-Christian church. This book has profoundly affected me and how I will share my faith in Jesus Christ and his resurrection in this post-Christian era. Simpler, but more challenging! I keep reminding myself of Christ's command that we love one another as HE has loved us. And questioning my actions and words with What does LOVE require of me? Thank you so much Stanley for putting to words what I knew the S The Spirit has been urging me toward the message Andy Stanley has for the 21st century , post-Christian church. This book has profoundly affected me and how I will share my faith in Jesus Christ and his resurrection in this post-Christian era. Simpler, but more challenging! I keep reminding myself of Christ's command that we love one another as HE has loved us. And questioning my actions and words with What does LOVE require of me? Thank you so much Stanley for putting to words what I knew the Spirit was teaching me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deone Davis

    I enjoy all of Andy’s books. He writes in a way that is humorous, real, and easy to understand. He goes into the history and still leaves you with something to think about but he never pushes you to except all that he is saying, yet he leaves the decision up to you. As He says, “Why not believe? and a man that predicts his own death, his resurrection and people witness it, that’s someone I am going to listen to and follow.” Read the book with an open heart and mind. Let the Spirit do the rest of I enjoy all of Andy’s books. He writes in a way that is humorous, real, and easy to understand. He goes into the history and still leaves you with something to think about but he never pushes you to except all that he is saying, yet he leaves the decision up to you. As He says, “Why not believe? and a man that predicts his own death, his resurrection and people witness it, that’s someone I am going to listen to and follow.” Read the book with an open heart and mind. Let the Spirit do the rest of the work.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Wong

    Thank you Andy This is an amazing book which tells me clearly the difference between Old and New Testaments. Andy gives me an overall view of the “book” called Bible. He tells me what is the core believes in Christianity. He tells me the new ethics brought by Jesus. He teaches me what “questions” to hold on to when making judgement. He gives me a new insight into my faith. Thank you Andy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    I read slightly more than half of this for a church Lenten study. I found the tone too flippant. The author also belabored his points and stretched the truth a bit to make his case. e.g. All the authorities on the Bible believe that the gospels were written a couple of hundred years after the fact, but I know that (at least) one was written before 70 C.E. Too bad. He had some good ideas but the presentation was faulty.

  15. 5 out of 5

    William N

    Amazing take on scriptures! I found pastor Stanley to have a resounding good understanding of Gods word and I believe the exact difference needed in the church! To many I speak with try to live under the Law and admittedly, at times separation of this know Christ fulfilled it is difficult myself! Jesus, it is all about Him and what He has done for me ( all )! Thank you Pastor Stanley!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gregg Taylor

    Well written explanation of why the message of Jesus was and is the foundation of the church Andy Stanley speaks of how Christianity was born how it has changed and the importance of returning to the time when the message of Jesus was irresistible and compelled believers to follow Him. The path forward for the Church will be found by looking to the past. I highly recommend Irresistible for your consideration.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Herman Bowser

    Brilliant I’m so glad that this book was made.I wasn’t sure if it was a good read for me cause I was burned by Baptist people.A very clear and careful handling of what I was looking for from a respected teacher.very important that it was a preacher’s kid that questioned past teachings .God answered my prayers with this book.loved it. Herman

  18. 5 out of 5

    Thomas G Moore

    Couldn't Put It Down! A friend mentioned this book by chance in a phone conversation and how she and the staff of my old church family are doing a weekly study of it. I ordered a sample from Amazon kindle and was hooked! I just finished it and am now recommending it to just about every one I know.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Mixed impressions The basic point is good, but may be overstated. I'll have to chew on it a while. The author sometimes seems angry, desperate, and in places almost irreverent. I imagine he feels that tone was the only way to get some of us to listen and realize we may be obscuring the gospel to the eternal detriment many. Serious consequences indeed! Worth reading.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rick Cramer

    I don't totally agree with Andy's view of the OT, but I love his primary focus of sharing the gospel in an effective and contextual manner. The criticisms and accusations of heresy against him are unfounded. I guarantee that 90٪ of the people complaining about Andy's theology haven't read this book for themselves.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adam Wiggins

    Invaluable This book has created quite a backlash from individuals whom I assume haven’t read it. Andy Stanley’s carefully reasoned approach is an invaluable tool that focuses on Jesus as the central and compelling (irresistible) evidence of the Christian Faith. An helpful resource to helping christians communicate the compelling uniqueness of Jesus in our cultural moment.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol Cambra Smith

    Irresistible is irresistible This book is long but worth reading every page!! Why has it taken so long to put such powerful words in the hands of people?! I don’t know but I am certainly grateful for this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Hixson

    MAN is this good. And challenging. Enough with the haters - it's good, and it's not what you're thinking. Follow his logic. If you're a dispensationalist, you're basically already in agreement. Embrace it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Hochstetler

    Excellent A great look at staying fresh and relevant in the church of today. I highly recommend this book to all church communicators!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chad J. Richards

    Amazing! Amazing book, definitely helpful for those who are struggling with faith or who are trying to reconcile faith with facts and science.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brent Reilly

    Very challenging material in this book, but I think there is more right than there is wrong in this method.

  27. 4 out of 5

    william herzog

    Challenging Interesting take on things. I want to be angry and reject the message but I cannot. Challenged by it and will read it again..

  28. 4 out of 5

    James Shelton

    An Important Read Andy Stanley gives preachers and teachers in the church a lot to chew on and pray about as we seek to reach the next generation of Christ-followers.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bobby Coverston

    Probably my favorite, most practical "church" book I've ever read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Kirkwood

    Truly amazing! The most critical statement of our time. This is the way forward.

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