George Verwer. Messiology. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2016. 127 pp. $9.99
George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization writes with a wealth of ministry experience in his new book, Messiology. The author sets forth basic idea at the outset: “Messiology is the idea that God in His patience, mercy, and passion to bring men and women to Himself often does great things in the midst of a mess.” The book argues that God works in spite of people and will bring good out of church splits, division, and sinful behavior. “As always, “writes Verwer, “the concept of God working in the midst of the mess stares us in the face.” The subtitle summarizes the essence of the book: “The mystery of how God works even when it doesn’t make sense to us.”
Messiology is difficult to categorize in a specific genre. It is part personal/spiritual growth, mixed with missions, with an emphasis on discipleship and evangelism.
The biggest strength of Messiology is the experience that Verwer brings to the table. The life experiences of the author help readers gain a better understanding of his heart and convictions. Here is a man with a heart for God and a heart for the nations.
The author is exceedingly gracious and is willing to make certain allowances for the sake of the gospel. Verwer works hard to maintain the balance between truth and grace, yet it appears that grace edges truth out in a few places.
The biggest weakness I could detect in Messiology is a lack of structure and flow. While the author shares from the heart, many of the thoughts and ideas dangle without any sense of connectedness with the overall theme of the book.
At times, theology is sacrificed at the “altar of unity” in Messiology. This may merely be a reflection of the heart of the author which many people would naturally gravitate toward. For me, however, truth must inform our thinking, worldview, ministry philosophy, and our lives. Anything less may be undermined by pragmatism and can easily result in a ministry that becomes compromised and watered down.
Messiology is inspiring and well-intentioned. Randy Acorn sums up the book with typical graciousness: “God calls His people to high standards and honors their obedience, yet in His sovereignty can accomplish things despite their failures. By focusing on God’s greatness despite human failure, Messiology delivers an important message.” The final message of the book is that God can turn any situation for the good. Indeed, God’s Word reminds us of this great reality: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28, ESV).
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.