Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Cross is Mightier Than the Sword: Book Review of The Cross and the Switchblade

It's been about a year since I've read this, but it's stuck with me and I'll probably be reading it again soon.

David Wilkerson, pastor of a small town church, one day decided to give up watching TV. He would use this extra time for prayer,Bible study and following the Lord's leading - wherever that might be. And one night, he received marching orders from the most high.

In a magazine, he saw the picture of several teenage boys on trial for murder in New York City. He felt a leading from the Lord who told him to go help those boys.

And he tried to.

He attended their trial, and attempted to contact the boys, but was pushed back by the police. In his eyes, he failed, but this moment had been caught in the papers. He now had street credibilty because of the police's "harassment."

He was able to use this street credibility to open doors with many kids on the New York City streets, and through this, God moved mountains with street-tough gangsters and brought many of them to Jesus Christ. Before long, this street ministry became what is now the worldwide organization, Teen Challenge.


Outside of the Bible, this is probably hands-down one of the must read books for new Christians. I wish I had read it in my early years. This book is an awesome example of how God works and does indeed lead us in modern, every day life. Without being inspired scripture, and without lifting up any human effort, this book is the closest thing I've seen to the Book of Acts in our day.

What i mean by that is it shows boldness in fatih, and people stepping out against sharp odds and seeing God's power triumph in lives in the face of those odds. In this book are many stories of a faithful witness proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and seeing the Holy Spirit work in the lives of all manner of "undesirables." Drug addicts, gangsters, thieves, thugs and many more repent and come to know Jesus Christ.

What an awesome book.

It's also an easy read. Wilkerson and the other authors made the language extremely accessible and didn't use an abundance of "Christianese". Not that i recall anyways. Furthermore, the story is rife with drama. Many times an impossible situation comes up, and yet God works in amazing ways to see His will done. It's not always what we or Wilkerson expect, but it's clear that God made it work out.

"The Cross and the Switchblade" is an amazing story about the good that can happen when we turn off the idiot box and heed God's call. It's the journey of a man ministering from his car, all the way up to a ministry touching lives around the world today. Most importantly, it's a story of how God still works miracles in our day and age, and continues to show His mercy through His Son Jesus Christ.

If you're in a gang and want a way out, Jesus Christ will help you!

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