The title of Jonathan Leeman’s new book, Reverberation, makes use of a vivid word-picture to aid the reader in conceptualizing the path of God’s Word in our world. The centrality of the Word of God in our churches is, “the one necessary thing.” It’s his hope that “Christians and church leaders from every polity will be strengthened in faith in the sufficiency of God’s Word.” Let’s follow this path of the reverberation of God’s word with Leeman as our guide.
Jonathan Leeman. Reverberation. (Moody Books, 2011), 197 pages.
The book is organized into three parts: 1. the word, 2. the sermon, and 3. the reverberation.
Leeman uses the first few chapters to show us the role of the Word in the world, that is, how it functions in the life of believers and unbelievers. Leeman pleads with us that words, though they are often abused and overused and distrusted in our society, still matter. Ultimately, God’s Word, because His Word is truth. And these are the only words that can give life. But how? I’ll let the author speak.
“Trusting God’s Word to build our churches is an act of faith. Faith in God. Faith in His Word. And such faith is not natural, even for the Christian. It’s supernatural. God must give it.”
Amazing. And this high view of Scripture is the foundation that Leeman builds on for the remainder of the book.
Next, we’re taken to where the Word is preached and the importance of the sermon. I thought it was interesting that the second part of the book is dedicated completely to the sermon, but it’s really a great section. Leeman emphasizes expository preaching all because of the central role of the Word of God.
Don’t be mistaken that this chapter is written specifically for pastors. It is that, pleading with them to lift up the Scriptures, but it’s also to the church as an example of how we can hold our pastors accountable. It’s to help us realize and understand what we should be hearing as a Christian, and that this is important stuff! Wake up!
Finally, Leeman traces the path of the Word in the congregation after it has been preached. It reverberates through singing, praying and discipleship, all things that occur within the church. Though, this reverberation is much more than what occur within the church. Leeman emphasizes that it’s a message that reverberates outward, beyond the walls of the church, to the world.
The last chapter is a picture of God’s ultimate plan and how the church exists in this world to fulfill it. We gather as his people, but we have to go out, “God’s word must reverberate out the church building door and into the world” to spread the good news of Christ and then return and join together once again, bringing those who heard and accepted the word.
And finally, a great line that speaks much truth, “serve your church and go read your Bible.”
Leeman shares a glimpse of many of his personal experiences in the church in this book, and he writes openly and transparently. I am grateful for his honestly. I pray it will encourage us to be bold and assume the roles that God has given us in the church. It will be a great help for pastors and church members.
I would commend this book to the church that we may once again reclaim a vision for God’s Word and the path that it should travel and reverberate through the life of the church. Let us return God’s Word to center of all we do as God’s people.
*This book was provided by Moody Publishers as a free review copy. I am under no obligation to write a favorable review.*