How to Start a Riot By Jonathan Storment – Review and Giveaway

How2StartRiot-StormentI got Jonathan Storment’s new book “How to Start a Riot” in the mail today and just finished it. Jonathan’s book really struck a chord with me because I remembering hearing in my formative years how we, in Churches of Christ, are the church we find in Acts. After spending quite a bit of time studying the book of Acts over the last 10 years it has been my conclusion that statements like that are more aspirations than they are reality. I have found that same sentiment reflected in comments I have heard from young adults in recent years…they say they hear we are that church, read Acts and dream of the day we could really embody what they embodied and embrace what they embraced.

Jonathan’s book is helpful on several levels. First, Jonathan is a very gifted story teller. He has a knack for seamlessly blending together dozens of stories to rapid fire home his point. I have no idea how he does it but he does it well and it is captivating. I once asked Jonathan for a copy of his sermon notes and what he gave me read like a grocery list of illustrations in rapid succession.

Take the knack for storytelling and the passion for a church that so desperately wants to be the church we find in Acts and blend all of that together with a masterful weaving of scripture from creation to Revelation and you have this book. Jonathan really shows how much of a handle he has on the broader themes of scripture and does a great job of showing how those themes weave their way through the early church as seen particularly in the Gospels and Acts.

If you are studying Acts or want to study Acts or just need a good book that demonstrates how the broader narratives of the Old Testament are interwoven through the Gospels and Acts then this the book for you. That is why I would recommend this book from a theological and biblical perspective. There is another level on which I think this book should be recommended and read and that is on the practical level. How to Start a Riot is an inspiring book and it takes the story we claim to follow and encourages us to do exactly that…not to nail down God or the early church and bind them up in formulas and ritual but to live in step not just with the doctrine of the early church but of the ethos and spirit and mission they embraced as well.

I am going to give away a copy to a random person who comments on this post. So comment away!

15 Responses to How to Start a Riot By Jonathan Storment – Review and Giveaway

  1. Tim Gunnells says:

    I appreciate the review. It sounds like a book that can inspire us to look to a genuine restoration of the movement of the church as told in Acts.

  2. Philip III says:

    On top of all that, Jonathan is good people. Hard to imagine anyone else who would be higher on my list of folks who I’d trust to have a broader voice and influence in our tribe of Christians.

  3. With the increasing popularity of doing church at home in smaller groups, whether that be just Sunday evening or completely, I’m curious to see how Jonathan relates the pew sitting all facing forward type of church we practice now with the early church in acts.

  4. Rob Sparks says:

    Thanks for the review. I am getting ready to start a series on Acts and was looking for some good material. This is on the list.

  5. Kevin Baird says:

    Sounds like an interesting and beneficial read!

  6. brianbergman says:

    Would appreciate a new book on my shelf. It’s interesting to see our generation starting to have a platform to speak into the CoC conversation from such a broad platform.

  7. We don’t think of “church” and “riot” in the same book, but maybe that’s been the problem.

  8. Mark says:

    In any given church, it is not difficult to start a riot. In fact, it is too easy.

  9. Trace says:

    Looks like a read that will stretch the reader. It’s good to turn down the “restore” and turn up the “be”.

  10. Matt, thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I am looking forward to reading this book too.

  11. Rob Eby says:

    Matt, if you have read it, I wonder how this book meshes with “World Upside Down, Reading Acts in the Graeco-Roman Age” by C. Kavin Rowe. Thanks.

  12. Matt Dabbs says:

    Time for the giveaway! If you didn’t win one this time, we will be giving away a few copies via Wineskins and the Wineskins Facebook group – spit out the number 7. The 7th comment here is Jennifer Sawyer! Jennifer, email me your address and I will mail you the book. Thanks all for reading and commenting. I will be reviewing Randy Harris’ book in a couple of days and give that away too 🙂

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