Item description for Beyond Radical by Gene Edwards...
Overview What if you found out that nothing we protestants practice originated in the first century? What if you found out that almost all of the things we evangelicals practice originated in the last 500 years? What if you discovered that those practices originated quite by accident? Then how would you feel if you discovered that we distort history when we try to teach that these practices are all New Testament, existed in the first century, and are "right out of the Word of God!" Would that discovery affect your life? If not, you need not read this book on the history of the origin of Christian practices. But if you happen to be bored with the present-day practices of Christianity, then you will find this to be one of the most exciting pieces of literature you have ever read. This book could make a radical out of you. For a few, it might even move you Beyond Radical.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2002
ISBN 0940232707 ISBN13 9780940232709
Availability 0 units.
More About Gene Edwards
Gene Edwards is one of America's most beloved Christian authors. He has published over 25 best-selling books, and his signature work, "The Divine Romance," has been called a masterpiece of Christian literature. He has written biblical fiction covering nearly the entire Bible, with titles that include the following: "The Beginning," "The Escape," "The Birth," "The Divine Romance," "The Triumph," "Revolution," "The Silas Diary," "The Titus Diary," "The Timothy Diary," "The Priscilla Diary," "The Gaius Diary," and "The Return."
Gene grew up in the East Texas oil fields and entered college at the age of 15. He graduated from East Texas State University at 18 with a bachelor's degree in English history and received his M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Gene is part of the house-church movement, and he travels extensively to aid Christians as they begin meeting in homes rather than in church buildings. He also conducts conferences on living the deeper Christian life.
Gene and his wife, Helen, reside in Jacksonville, Florida, and have two grown children.
Gene Edwards currently resides in Jacksonville, in the state of Florida. Gene Edwards was born in 1932.
Gene Edwards has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Beyond Radical?
Presumptuous Feb 17, 2006
While it is important for us to question our practices, it is also important not to make groundless assumptions about them, or to be historically or scripturally presumtuous or inaccurate.
I had never read any of Mr. Edwards' books (he has written scores of them), but the title of this book intrigued me so I bought a copy and read it. I know that what is practiced by the "churches" today may well be wrong or misguided. I was looking for a book that would lay out a historical foundation and give a biblical answer. This book does neither.
Mr. Edwards makes broad assumptions about historical facts. He tosses out statements that may or may not be true. He makes statements such as, "The inventor of [the normal order of a Sunday service] was John Calvin. About 1540." (page 39). But Mr. Edwards gives no references, no documentaion whatsoever. Are we simply to believe his assertions without any historical proof at all? I think not.
The same with Scriptural references. There are very few Scriptural references in this book. There are a couple of reasons for that, I believe. The first reason is that Mr. Edwards rails against the use of chapters and verses in the Bible. Since he opposes the use of chapters and verses it would be difficult for him to use those things to reference what he is trying to convey as Scriptural. The second reason for a lack of Scriptural references is that much of what Mr. Edwards teaches is Scripturally incorrect.
For instance, on page 73, Mr. Edwards states, "Paul left every church he ever raised up... without any leaders. No leaders of any sort." Then he says on pages 57-58, "If you have anyone local who is a leader; if you have leaders... there will be no revolution. No, we must move far beyond such worn out ways." Does Mr. Edwards give Scriptural references for such outlandish statements? Of course not. How could he? The Bible teaches just the opposite of what he pridefully tosses out. Consider Acts 14:21-23. "And when they [Paul and his companions] had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed." (verse 23 KJV). Mr. Edwards evidently considers the Book of Acts "worn out ways" that must be gone beyond. Perhaps we should reference 2 John 9 about how far we should go.
Having ranted, let me also say that Christianity does desparately need reformation. We need to become what the Bible calls us to become. However, haphazzard historical "facts" and unbiblical religious ideas are not the way. We need a radical return to Scripture - to Spirit and Truth, Word and Practice.
If you believe that I am being too critical, please consider just what it would take to convince you of historical facts or Scriptural teachings. Are you easily convinced of things without historical or biblical proof? There are those who claim that the holocaust never happened. But the historical facts prove otherwise. Mr. Edwards' historical claims MUST be backed up with documentation or they hold no power at all. As to Scriptural teachings, we MUST be Berean. "These [Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11 KJV).
I have nothing against house churches. They may well be the most biblical of all Christian gatherings. But you won't find any legitimate fodder for that idea in this book. I suggest that the seeker read the works of T. Austin-Sparks or even Watchman Nee.
Dr. Mike Kear
Same thesis, better alternative available May 28, 2005
While Edwards' premises are factual, he does not document them, thus the analysis underlying his positions comes across as 'prideful' (as one reviewer put it). The same thesis is presented with considerably better documentation in Frank Viola's "Pagan Christianity: The Origins of Our Modern Church Practices". I understand that Viola is a friend and compatriot of Gene Edwards; he has done a far better job of making the case, in my view.
It is about time... May 18, 2004
As I walk through life seeking the truth, I find that the "churches" I have attended are not ever interested in that truth. They are only interested in building their own little kingdoms and supporting their little baal god that they have put in the pulpit to 'teach' them.
This book shows us that we don't NEED the pastors and other self proclaimed "learders" of the Christian faith.
As the Israelites of old voted to have a King over them as the other nations, we Israelites of today have done so all the way down to the "church" we attend. I have met more tyrants that preach from the pulpit with their watered down understanding of the scripture than I could ever count.
However, I have found that if you do follow the original design of having Yahshua, (Jesus) over you, instead of a preacher or pastor, that the bonding that takes place and the understanding of the word that has been imparted to EACH PRIEST is able to be tapped into for a higher understanding of the truth as well as Yahshua (Jesus) himself. I believe that Gene Edwards has hit upon ONE of the reasons that the modern church is going to hell in a handbasket. Why, in my county, which is a small one near Harrison Arkansas, there are over 189 "churches" with their own little men "teaching" their watered down understanding of the word every week.
Maybe the bride still is not ready to hear what sons have to say...
An evaluation of Beyond Radical Feb 4, 2004
The history of where we get all of our familiar items in the religious institution is quite interesting. However, there are two areas where he shows verse numbers and the ordering of the books of the New Testament are apparently not of God, in that we have them this way by man and of man's traditions. Gene seems to leave out the crucial part about God being sovereign over and over again. Did not God promise to keep His Word pure and preserve His Word? In my studies I have found the verse numbers to be inspired of God. As far as the arrangement in chronological order of the books, Gene apparently was able to understand this and I believe that God had purposely placed them in this order. Gene has a tendency in these areas to deny the sovereignty and power of God to do what He has promised. It is not only apparent that Gene denies the sovereignty of God, but that of Jesus as well in being the head of the Church as in this, the brethren displace Jesus to do what they see fit in every situation. There is never shown a waiting on the Lord, but the decisions of the brethren to do what they will. Gene shows the seminaries to not be of God and then turns right around later in proving his reasons for supporting the order of the books of the Bible, by these seminary trained religious scholars. This seems like some type of circle logic, in that a thing is supported by things that have been denied as being false. Shouldn't we stand on the truth and measure all things by the truth, the very Word of God?
It would seem that Gene is able to understand all things, even though God did not do His job right in preserving the Word of God through man, as God had promised. Gene has been able to compensate for the failings of God, by showing how God should have, not numbered His verses and that He should have placed them in the chronological order that Gene wants.
Where does Gene praise the Lord or lift up Jesus? Where does Gene give glory to God? Is this praise and glory to continue to go to the "brethren" instead of the head of the brethren, Jesus Christ? Why is it that God and Jesus are denied thought the whole book?
The experiencing of "church" life is in experiencing Jesus, lead and direct His Church through the obedient brethren in any proper group under Jesus Christ as the Head of the body of Christ. Remember He is the author and finisher of our faith.
Gene is right in studying the things of God and placing them in a chronological order in the mind of the believer, but remember that Jesus spoke in parables, so are these things in our Bibles, not in chronological order. Thinks of the books of the prophets in the Old Testament. Some of their prophecies are not yet come to pass and would have to be split up in order to put all that is written in a chronological order. Many of these things have more than one meaning as well as for different time periods.
The general concepts are correct in that the church does not need leaders as in pastors or priests, however Gene is wrong in not showing the that the head of the Church is Jesus Christ and the brethren are to obediently follow and operate in the leading of Christ in all they do.
As Gene has written here, the praise and the glory are to be given to the brethren instead of Jesus as the head of the "Church".
asks the right questions, gives the wrong answers Oct 20, 2003
This book starts out with a great premise, which is that the fundamental ways we practice church today don't have any theological basis. Edwards' shows that such practices as meeting in a church building, having a pastor, sermons, liturgy, pulpits, pews, etc., all have origins outside the original early church. Where the book goes wrong is when he offers a solution. His solution is to look back at the New Testament and try to see how they practiced church, and tell us to do it. The problem is that living the way the early church did means believing what they did about God. Unfortunately, Edwards' offers nothing in the way of the theology behind the early church's practices. He just asks us to do what the early church did, just because. If he had explained WHY the early church lived the way they did, I would have listened. Also, if he hadn't misrepresented the early church's practices by saying they had NO LEADERS, when they obviously did, I would have listened. And if he hadn't written his book as if nobody else in 2,000 years ever thought of this, I might have listened to him. As it is, this book is poorly written, poorly researched, and arrogantly written. 'Paul's Idea of Community,' by Robert Banks is a much better book if you're interested in the subject, because Banks is actually intelligent, begins with the theology of the early church, and has actually started house churches that are based on something, not just against something else.