The Map, by David Murrow

Several years ago, I had a hitch put on the back of my Tahoe.  As I left the place of business where the work was done, I noticed on the seat next to me a book, with a note from the business owner.  It was a previous publication by David Murrow: ‘Why men hate church”.  I read it and was blessed.  The author nailed the issue in my life.   Thus, upon seeing this new publication from Murrow, I didn’t hesistate to pick up it up!  

In his new book, David makes the case that Matthew has cleverly embedded in his gospel a code for discipleship – a three-fold path that, when followed, leads to a dynamic spiritual experience.  This pathway – when followed -transforms the way of ‘church’.   

The first part of the book is an intriguing Da Vinci Code type story that well illustrates the journey we must all enter.  The second half of his book details the three paths, cautions the reader to avoid chasing rabbits to our own spiritual destruction, and ends with several chapter outlining practical applications.

As I sit in a cafe listening to a background song by Cyndi Lauper, ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun‘, I am reminded that this book was primarily written for ‘men’ who are bored with church-as-usual.   Much of our 21st century Christian teaching either implies or outright condemns as ‘sin’ everything even vaguely linked to testosterone.  Murrows strongly disagrees.  Without men, the church is impotent.  Matthew’s gospel presents the truth – how men must be masculine – and why this is essential if the church is going to function healthfully. 

Every believer – male or female – must begin the Christian journey with a full-hearted submission to Christ.  When we speak about submission it feels like weakness, feminine, to men – yet without it the strengths of men get misdirected. This is a narrow gate. Without a full surrender of heart, mind, soul, and strength to God – there isn’t any Christianity.

Built upon the foundation of submission, though, is the next leg of our journey in faith.  Christ ascended to the right hand of God to give us the promised gift of power – the Spirit.  Through the indwelling of the Spirit we are enabled to engage the world around us in God’s strength.  Most of Matthew’s gospel, according to Murrow, unveils this second path.  Jesus is presented confronting obstacles – demons, church leadership, storms, sin, and sickness – with power.  We often miss the point that Jesus strength is seldom exercised ‘nicely’.  He is a man’s man.  Guys, don’t miss this point.  Christ calls us to be men, not girly men, not whimps – yet in his strength, not our natural, carnal strength. 

Out of this strength arises the last path – the way of sacrifice.  Without complete submission to Christ and a willingness to receive and to live out the power of the Spirit, there really cannot be a healthy sacrifice.  The apostle Paul reminds us that martyrdom – apart from the submission to and the reception of the Spirit – is vain.  It takes Godly strength to truly sacrifice all for Jesus. 

Don’t miss this book!

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