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Crisis, Opportunity, and The Christian Future

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  33 reviews
We are witnessing the end of Western Civilization. The present crisis in our culture is the greatest since the first century. Many commentators on the present scene believe that the entire world is moving into a period of neo-tribalism. In this striking book, theologian James B. Jordan argues that this cultural change is part of God's ongoing plan for humanity, the plan by ...more
63 pages
Published 2008 by Athanasius Press (first published 1994)
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John
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Jordan argues that there are three "fundamental eras" in human history, and that these eras help us understand our own times. There is the era of the Father, the era of the Son, and the age of the Spirit.

There are the three falls: Adam's fall in the garden (sin against the Father), Cain's fall in the land (sin against the Son/brother), and the fall of the Sethites in the world (sin against the Holy Spirit). The cycle repeats again in Genesis, with Abraham emphasizing God the Father, Jacob
...more
Jason Twombly
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: james-b-jordan
"Crisis, Opportunity, and the Christian future," challenges the Christian to a life of "total Bible saturation." James B. Jordan, building on the ideas of Eugene Rosenstock-Huessy, categorizes history into three main Biblical eras. Like the men of Issachar, "If we understand how God guides the development of human history, we can begin to understand the therapies needed to correct the problems of our own time."

Jordan explains how history spirals through specific phases and illustrates them from
...more
Chris Griffith
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A concise, informative, and intriguing evaluation of where the church is in world history, the direction we are moving, and a vision of biblical praxis for the future.
Hin-Tai
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. In terms of insight, new perspectives, and ambition, this is the best 46 pages I have ever read. In some chapters I could've highlighted pretty much every single paragraph. First written in 1994, there are spot-on prophecies of the explosion of identity politics and growing localism (though he writes about Welsh desires for autonomy as opposed to Brexit or Scotland) that have pretty much happened only in the last couple of years. Jordan's biblical-historical framework is striking, and as he ...more
Caleb Smith
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
James Jordan is always a worthwhile read, but I was not expecting this Crisis, Opportunity, and the Christian Future to be what it is. This book is perhaps one of the most important books for the 21st century Church that I've read, with probably only The Benedict Option (and the two are very different) being comparable in sheer usefulness for Christian reflection on the current time.

The book begins with an intriguing claim:
We are approaching a vast change in human history. Several large
...more
Jacob Aitken
EDIT:

I am very critical of Jordan, but this is actually a decent pamphlet. He divides Church History into Trinitarian cycles along the lines of Priest, King, Prophet. The Patristic age was "priestly" (fleshing out the doctrine of God), the medieval age was kingly (I guess that makes sense, what with Christendom and all), and the Reformation age is prophetic (I suppose I see it).

It's neat and not a bad outline of history.
Patrick
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: bible
As with most of James Jordan's writings, most of this book sounds so speculative that I have no idea how to even figure out if he is right or not. It sure sounds good, though.
Jonah
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Timely and appropriate. A good, quick read on how the Western Church is to move forward in history.
Douglas Gates
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent.
Mark
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great content, but too brief to be understood unless you have previously read other Jordan works, Peter Leithart works, and/or Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy works.
Chris Wermeskerch
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm not usually a fan of Jordan's cultural exegesis. This book was a lot of what I don't read Jordan for, but contained quite a few golden nuggets in the end.
Benjamin Alexander
Dec 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: culture-issues
This was probably not Jordan's best, many confusing multi-layered themes that weren't carefully established. It's a small book. But.. But, there is some really good and important stuff in there too. In essence, he argues that Christians today have an exciting opportunity to shape a new element in world and church history with the fall of modernism and the entrance to a new identity and force in culture. He speaks of post-modernism (without naming it) as an opportunity for the Church to display ...more
Michael Jones
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a very short, broad sweeping overview of the Bible and history.

In this one he is not carefully substantiating his conclusions, but rather building upon his years of work With Biblical Horizons to show huge mega patterns of history.

he has already done what he calls upon you to do: total Bible saturation. When you become saturated with the patterns Scripture, you will begin to see the patterns of history through God's eyes.

This in turn will help you to understand where we are today. At
...more
Scott
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Jordan's exploration of the patterns of redemptive history and what they mean for the future was quite thought-provoking, though they were quite general (in order to fit in a small work, I imagine).

His call for churches to recover the parish model, teach the Bible in depth, and offer community in a time of loneliness and isolation seemed just right.
Matt Carpenter
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing and thought-provoking book. It helps if you've already read his book "Through New Eyes," because it builds on themes established in that book. In this work Jordan explains his philosophy of history and where he believes the church is headed. Whether you agree with him or not, he will make you think about things that hadn't occurred to you before.
Jo
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
This is a wonderful little essay. I will definately be reading it again. It takes the long view of things - a commodity that is woefully short in the Christin world at large these day. Dr. Jordan explains the historical patterns concisely and gives a biblical mandate that wonderfully refocuses kingdom vision.
John Barbour
This is a must read for all Christian Leaders. Although it is now 20 years old it is still very relevant to the situation we find ourselves in. James Jordan is an unusual yet creative thinker. he will challenge you to look to God and the future with hope and optimism. This is my second time reading it. The last time was 15 years ago.
Bennett
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it


Most of the sentences in this essay need book-length exposition. As such, it is at various times frustrating and exhilarating. A good beginning for serious discussion about the nature of the Church's mission at this stage in Western history.
Ryan
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it


Very intriguing and thought provoking. I'm not sure that I'm fully convinced by His Biblical/Historical Framework, but His diagnosis of the current state of Western society seems to be right on and the prescription he puts forth is key.
Douglas Hayes
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent treatment of biblical history as a foundation for Christian hope and the historical progress of the gospel. Clearly, Jordan is using Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy as a basis of some of his thoughts.
Andrew Stout
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I can't say that I fully buy into Jordan's biblical framework of cultural cycles, but he does offer some excellent insights into the current state of Western culture and ways in which the Church should respond.
Derek Hale
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
A bit scattered and under-realized, but many thought-provoking moments nonetheless. His view of history along the lines of priest/king/prophet was interesting as was his call for "total Bible saturation."
Chris Comis
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good stuff up in here.
Brian
Nov 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended.
Daniel
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Good book. Provocative. The Christian has real need to work towards a better future. The world is not coming to an end any time soon.
Luke
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Quick read, thought-provoking conclusion. The future of the church is wrapped up in its eating, singing, and community.
Jake McAtee
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to read history, the present, and the future through new eyes. Fantastic. If you want a book to help give you an "x, you are here" than this short pamphlet is it.
Douglas Hayes
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a book that develops a biblical philosophy of history.
Harley
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read in 2015, and now again. Good stuff.
Jeff Irwin
Nov 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book expands upon concepts and themes set out in through new eyes, and presents a fully Trinitarian view of history.
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James B. Jordan is a Calvinist theologian and author. He is director of Biblical Horizons ministries, a think tank in Niceville, Florida that publishes books, essays and other media dealing with Bible commentary, Biblical Theology, and liturgy.

Jordan was born in Athens, Georgia, and he attended the University of Georgia, where he received a B.A. in comparative literature and participated in Campus
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