Nudge – A Review

Leonard Sweet’s latest book – Nudge – is about evangelism. But not the stand-on-the-street-corner-shouting-in-a-megaphone kind of evangelism. That is more like Pummel instead of Nudge! Nope. Sweet makes the case that “…nudgers meet people in their context and nourish their souls in some way.” (p. 23) “Evangelism is nudging people to pay attention to the mission of God in their lives and to the necessity of responding to that initiative in ways that birth new realities and the new birth.” (pp.28-29)

Sweet wants Christ-followers to pay attention to the signs of God’s presence and activity in their lives. “Evangelism is sensational: helping people hear, see, taste, smell, and touch the creativity of God in their lives and the necessity of their response to God’s initiatives. Nudge evangelism is the decipherment of the workings of the Spirit on people’s lives and nudging them in those directions. Evangelism is bringing people into contact with Jesus, who is already there.” (p. 60)

With great emphasis on developing our senses in order to be aware of God’s presence Sweet asks believer’s five questions:

1. Do you give Ear to God? (Hear)

2. Do you have a Stomach for the Kingdom? (Taste)

3. Do you Have a Vision for the Kingdom? (Sight)

4. Do you have a Touch for the Kingdom? (Touch)

5. Do You Have L’eau de Jesus? (Smell)

Throughout, Sweet uses creative metaphors and Sweetisms to make the book both interesting and challenging to read. If you don’t read carefully you may miss some great phrases or statements:

“Heard any good books lately?” With audio books becoming better sellers than print books, it’s an apt and app question.” (p. 148)

The Scriptures are one food fantasy after another, one giant nudge to “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters”…”Come, buy and eat!”…”Listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare” The very being of God nudges our palates to “Come, taste me!” (p. 173)

“Since you touch not so much with hands or fingers but with skin, your skin is your major touching organism…..For some reason we decorate our touching organism, which already comes in a range of colors…You might even call tattoos the new Ebenezers, altars that commemorate the touchstones of our lives” (p. 240)

I recommend Nudge because it will help to expand your thinking away from traditional Four-Spiritual-Laws evangelism to a conscious way of living that serves to nudge people ever closer to the Savior – which is what I believe Jesus had in mind when he said, “Go…”

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