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Trolls and Truth: 14 Realities about Today's Church That We Don't Want to See [Paperback]

By Jimmy Dorrell (Author)
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Item description for Trolls and Truth: 14 Realities about Today's Church That We Don't Want to See by Jimmy Dorrell...

Trolls & Truth is the story of a local church of homeless people, college students, middle-class Christians, some poor and some rich, black, white, and brown, drunks, materialists, mentally ill, and former inmates who meet beneath the noise of 18-wheelers and rushing traffic under an interstate bridge in Waco, Texas. As they live out biblical mandates across cultural barriers and institutional baggage, they remind us that the gospel cannot be shaped by socially accepted values and remain ?good news.? Through their testimonies they reveal the mystery that such a diverse group without buildings and traditional expectations are finding the power of the gospel in ways that brings cultural validity to the skeptics and unbelieving world. They have a wake-up call for the American church.

Publishers Description
Trolls & Truth is the story of a local church of homeless people; college students; middle-class Christians; some poor and some rich; black, white, and brown; drunks; materialists; mentally ill; and former inmates who meet beneath the noise of 18-wheelers and rushing traffic under an interstate bridge in Waco, Texas. As they live out biblical mandates across cultural barriers and institutional baggage, they remind us that the gospel cannot be shaped by socially accepted values and remain good news.

Community Description
The power of the gospel is revealed through a local church of homeless people, college students, and middle-class Christians who meet beneath the noise of 18-wheelers and rushing traffic under an interstate bridge in Waco, Texas, and brings a wake-up call for today's American church.

Jimmy Dorrell is co-founder and Executive Director of Mission Waco. He grew up in Conroe, Texas and came to Waco in 1968 to attend Baylor University where he majored in religion and received a BA in 1972. He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with an M.Div. in 1978 and received his M.A. in Environmental Studies from Baylor in 1993. In 2001 he received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Dorrell is pastor of Church Under the Bridge and also teaches classes at Baylor University and Truett Seminary in Waco.

After receiving his degree from seminary in 1978, he and his wife Janet moved into the North Waco neighborhood where they began their call to incarnational ministry, to live among the poor and help bring "good news" through relationships and empowerment opportunities. His passion for the poor and mobilizing the middle-class to become involved in the lives of the poor became the strategy for Mission Waco that continues today.

Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.

From Publishers Weekly
Dorrell, a Waco, Tex., pastor, calls the "corporate" Christian church to repentance for insulating itself against some of Christ's most profound and challenging teachings. Dorrell speaks from a position of considerable moral authority, as he's intimately involved in the lives of the urban poor and founded a flourishing church that meets under a Texas freeway overpass (the Church Under the Bridge) whose constituents range from mentally ill homeless substance abusers and tattooed bikers to college students and middle-class housewives. Dorrell's challenge to live more radically (i.e., biblically) is divided into 14 chapters on subjects like appearance, creativity, friendship and families, each illustrated with life examples from the "troll-like" people in his congregation. The Western church, he writes, "has lost its prophetic voice in the culture": church budgets don't always reflect Christ-like priorities, and members would rather merely give money to the poor than sit down and eat with them. Dorrell urges both individuals and Christian communities to break down the protective walls that shield them from dysfunction and to make the difficult choice to welcome all. Though the writing can be sermonic, Dorrell's temple-cleaning message is powerful and his stories compelling. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Trolls and Truth: 14 Realities about Today's Church That We Don't Want to See by Jimmy Dorrell has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 07/10/2006 page 72

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Item Specifications...

Studio: New Hope Publishers - Impact
Pages   215
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.48"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 17, 2006
Publisher   NEW HOPE PUBLISHING #351
Series  Impact  
ISBN  1596690100  
ISBN13  9781596690103  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jimmy Dorrell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jimmy Dorrell is the pastor of Church Under the Bridge, an interdenominational church that grew from a Bible study with five homeless men in Waco, Texas, in 1992 underneath an interstate bridge. Today, there are 300 diverse people of many races and economic backgrounds who meet outside under the same interstate bridge each weekDorrell is no stranger to ministry among the poor. While still in his 20s, Dorrell and his wife sold their home and traveled the world to witness world poverty firsthand. They returned to Waco and purchased a 4,000-square-foot house occupied by a woman with 40 cats, two mentally ill veterans, and a wild 19-year-old. They have lived there for 27 years, using the space as a harbor for ministry. Dorrell and his wife, Janet, founded Mission Waco in 1992, a Christian, holistic nonprofit to empower the poor. Dorrell remains Mission Waco?'s executive directorDorrell holds an MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, an MA in environmental studies from Baylor University, and a DMin from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is on the board of the Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition and has founded four nonprofits that benefit the poor. He has written for numerous newspapers and periodicals and is an adjunct professor teaching urban mission classes at George W. Truett Theological Seminary and civic education classes at Baylor University. He and his wife, Janet, have four children, Seth, Josh, Zach, and Christy

Jimmy Dorrell was born in 1950.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > Texas
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry

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Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Trolls & Truth?

The Poor helping us to see the condition of the local church  Nov 24, 2009
Jimmy Dorrell, pastor of Church under the Bridge (CUB) and director of Mission Waco in Waco, Texas has written a very passionate book concerning ministry to poor in the big state of Texas.

Over the course of 14 chapters which profile 14 different testimonies of individuals who attend (CUB), Mr. Dorrell uses their experiences to expose many of the inadequacies that have grown in the American local church. In affect he uses those we commonly don't see and their stories to help the church see itself and reform. The testimonies of individuals are emotionally moving and the critiques of many of the traditions existing in the local church today are pastorally exposed with love. The manner in which the book is written will be easy for anyone to read. The chapters while not long, provide enough substance to provoke thought and examination in many of our practices concerning the local church.

Trolls and Truth will be a valuable resource for those who are deeply involved in ministering to the poor. The text provides a much needed perspective on how it is important to not only serve those who exist in a low income status because of unemployment, homeless or incarceration but involve them in the life of the church. Mr. Dorrell is very intentional in demonstrating that Christians should move beyond just meeting a need but also involve those in need as well. Trolls and Truth is also a valuable resource for pastors who are struggling to convey to their congregations the importance of ministering to the poor and reminding them that service to the poor is a Gospel imperative.

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Trolls and Truth by Jimmy Dorrell  Sep 22, 2009
Trolls and Truth: 14 Realities About Today's Church That We Don't Want to See is written by Jimmy Dorrell. He is the lead pastor of Church Under the Bridge and also the Executive Director of Mission Waco in Waco, TX. This is a little book and quick read. It hits on 14 key issues that Dorrell has found to be truths that the first world American church needs to hear. He argues that most of the American church ignores the poor and broken in their communities. He is writing from his own experiences as a pastor to those very people. He tells the stories of 14 different people. Those stories each function as a parable for a particular truth that he believes the contemporary church can learn from those people who live on the fringe of society. He covers a wide range of issues including appearance, actions, societal barriers, giving, communication, and music.

I found that his most powerful chapters were regarding the issues of gifts (Dedrick's Truth) and the fact that the "rich need the poor" (Catfish and Pilgrim Bill's Truth). Regarding giftedness, Dorrell tells the story of Dedrick and his unique issues and life. While Dedrick has serious mental limitations he joyfully worshiped God. Dorrell's church embraced him and found a place for his infectious excitement and exuberance. He served the community with how he was made. This is particularly challenging. If you look around your congregation you know who "those" people are. Will you embrace them and find a place for them to serve their God or will you ignore them?

Catfish and Pilgrim Bill's tale flips the script on the American mindset. It argues for the fact that the rich need the poor. The rich need the poor because it is through their engagement with them that they find meaning and purpose. The poor teach them what it means to love and care for things beyond the almighty dollar. The rich need to get outside themselves and it is through relationships with the poor that they are able to break out of their self-centeredness. Truly powerful.

One area that I find weak in Dorrell's text is that I wish he would have written from a bit of a more universal application of his principles. The question that I kept coming to was, "What if you do not have access/proximity to these kinds of people?" For example, our church is located in Farmington Hills, MI. While there are those who struggle and there are certainly a handful of homeless people, it is not a hot-bed for the poor and indigent. For us to find the people represented in Dorrell's parables, we would need to relocate the church. I believe that our church is called to where we are and that God has a mission for us. Dorrell would have provided an even greater tool for the church had he broadened his application a bit to more of a principle level.

All in all this is a wonderful book, especially if you are willing to do the work to take the application to the principle level and apply it to your context. Well worth the read.

a wake-up call for the complacent church  Sep 17, 2009
It's a book written by a guy who pastors a church under an interstate bridge. It started with 5 homeless guys. What's not to like about that?

Dorrell lays it to us early on, citing offenses against the poor and homeless of the world. He decries our obsession with outward beauty, both of ourselves and our church buildings, and pleads for some real attention to the words of James "For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "You sit here in a good place," while you say to the poor man, "You stand over there," or, "Sit down at my feet," have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?"

A few chapters later he talks about the disparity in ethnicity and socioeconomics, decrying our ambivalence towards these things and calling us to bring them out into the light. We have to be up-front about these issues if we are going to bring about real change.

The book is a challenge to love the "least of these" with the love of Christ. That means not making them a charity case but truly accepting them as part of the community and family of God. It means befriending them. It means serving alongside them.

Of his own heart, Dorrell says, "Years later, I recognized that charity involved sacrifice, not giving leftovers or things I did not want to the poor. It meant giving the food I like to eat or the clothes I like to wear or the time I wanted to keep for myself. In a culture of too much, it is easy to get rid of the leftovers, but to the Christian there is an expectation and privilege of giving that which I deeply value."

My one issue with the book is the consistent praising of his own church. I don't think he meant it to come off this way, but it seems like he is saying that his church has it all right. That they're being the real hands and feet...and hardly anyone else is. (Of course, he is largely correct in the instances he sights.)

But, if you can get past this slightly narcissistic tint, this book is for the privileged of the world. It's for Americans in the church who rarely look to serve. It'll open your eyes to people you've probably never given the time of day and by God's grace you'll act differently because of it.

This book will challenge a lot of Christians  Sep 16, 2009
Trolls and Truth is an excellent book written by the man who pastors The Church Under the Bridge. This church meets right where the name implies--underneath a bridge. While the church is comprised of a varity of different people from all different walks of life, there is a large number of people who are homeless or have been homeless in the past. It is through the stories of some of these people that Jimmy Dorrell conveys some areas that the church could presently use some improvement.

I absolutely loved this book. One of the features that I truly enjoyed about this book was the way Mr. Dorrell would tell the story of someone that related to the truth he wanted to communicate. Then, he would look at this truth through the lens of Scripture. Finally, he would close with some discussion on how the church is dysfunctional in this area and some ways to truly improve in biblically living the truth as the church. Any church or ministry interested in reaching out to the community around them in a way that will make a difference in people's lives should read this book. This book doesn't promote a "go out and volunteer" method of ministering in the community, but more of an "invest in people's lives" method that will truly bring hope and healing to people lacking one or both in their lives.

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"Trolls & Truth" by Jimmy Dorrell  Aug 25, 2009
"Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God." So says Jesus in Matthew 5:3. The meaning of those words are quit profound. Those who are citizens of the Kingdom are poor in Spirit. The poor are helpless and desperate. Those who spiritually come to God broken and hopeless will enter the Kingdom of God.

It is verses like this that has lead many to emphasis ministry among the poor. And rightly so. Jesus has come to redeem the marginalized, broken, and poor along with the rich, the selfish, and powerful. The Church has always understood this, but many have refused to reach people of every race and socio-economic status. Author Jimmy Dorrell has not. Dorrell has made the focus of his ministry on reaching the poor. In his book, "Trolls & Truth: 14 Realities About Today's Church That We Don't Want to See," Dorrell writes from his experience working with the poor and how the Evangelical Church needs to return to their mandate to serve the poor, the needy, the abandoned, the outcasts, and the homeless.

But there is a danger here. The social gospel. During the heyday of Protestant Liberalism, a movement arose lead by Walter Rauschenbusch who turned the gospel to a social movement that eliminates poverty, war, and environmental damage rooted in a here-and-now understanding of the Kingdom of God. In response, many conservative Evangelicals have completely abandoned the social aspect of the gospel and emphasized only the future hope of the kingdom.

Dorrell considers this a serious problem. In his book, Dorrell lays out 14 realities that the Church must face if she wants to be faithful to the gospel. Dorrell calls on Christians to serve the poor, use their gifts, be unified yet diverse, worship and dance, and stop getting distracted by useless debates over things like musical styles.

Dorrells words are challenging, yet needed for the Church to hear. We have gone too far in our reaction against the social gospel (which is only revamping now in postmodernism). Dorrell challenges us to have a more holistic gospel that confronts the injustices of the world and society, defend the defenseless, and love the loveless. For that is a major part of the gospel.

Overall, this is a good read full of exhortations that we all need to heed. But I do have one major problem with this book. It is good for the Church to be called to serve others and practice a more holistic gospel, but to say nothing about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is a major problem with me. Dorrell is right in raising these issues, but to say nothing about the cross only encourages people to go the other extreme and return to the social gospel.

From my impression of Dorrell and his book, the author affirms the gospel including the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But it would have been nice if he had mentioned it. Otherwise, read this book and let your heart be broken and spread the gospel; the whole gospel.


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