"Worship is man's full reason for existence. Worship is why we are born and why we are born again." A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nudge by Leonard Sweet

Nudge by Leonard Sweet turned out to be a very different book than I thought it was going to be. "Nudge will remind you that for God to do something through us, God must be doing something in us." My premise of the book was that it was going to be techniques on how to do evangelism, but as I kept on reading, that was only part of it. The subtitle of the book is "Awakening Each Other to the God Who's Already There", but the each other can only come once we are aware of what God is doing around us. Sweet talks about how the approach to evangelism is changing. He says it's not so much about speaking anymore as it is experiencing; an experience of the five senses we all have, sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. To be honest, I'm not completely sure I agree with him. If we as believers are keenly aware of what God is doing around us, and allow that to show through us to others, I believe it can make an impact in non-believers lives. However, I don't believe that that approach by itself will make people followers of Christ. I still feel that we are going to have to talk and ask questions. He bases the book on semiotics, which he defines as reading the signs of God around us and through that evangelism happens. I believe that that is just one part of evangelism. Towards the end of the book, Sweet says this,
"Where hermeneutics is pre-occupied with meaning, semiotics (or the art and science of sign reading) is preoccupied with dancing. Semiotics is the art and science of paying attention. A spiritual semiotics is paying attention to what the Holy Spirit is up to in our world today."
I think being able to sense what the Holy Spirit is up to is important, but I think to sometimes sense what He's up to, we have to know who He is. I think the meaning (hermeneutics) side is just as important as the semiotics side. If we're evangelizing, or thinking we're evangelizing, to others based completely on senses, we may be just leaving people with a "I think I sensed something, but I'm not sure, must have been a cold chill." moment instead of really taking the time to share with them what that means. I don't think we can just focus on senses.

Now at the same time, I think Sweet's chapters on the senses have good things in them for believers. We do need to be aware of what God is doing around us and recognize those "nudges" and be able to respond to them. This is definitely a book that will challenge your thinking and hopefully make each one of use more aware of the God that is around us.

Special thanks to The B & B Media Group, Inc. and David C. Cook for providing this complimentary book to read and review. You can purchase the book here on

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review, Ryan! I typically like Sweet's stuff, and I'm sure this one provided some challenges along the way. I think like with anything else, balance is key. It sounds like both semiotics and hermeneutics are both important parts of discerning what God is up to. Great job!