"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
The church is heading into a “perfect storm” of cultural forces. Will you sink beneath the waves, or ride the winds of the Spirit?
An array of cultural forces is coming together to present the church with unprecedented challenge and unequaled opportunity. Such “category 5" realities as postmodernism, postChristendom attacks on belief in God, and the threat of global warming have coalesced to make a “perfect storm” that will leave people uncertain of their place in the world, and all they have previously believed in. Like the disciples when Jesus calmed the storm, the church can cower and cry out for relief. Or, when everything is spinning and whirling in the wind, the church can go out to meet the storm, embrace the gale, . . . and pass out kites.
From the Circuit Rider review: "Like other books Sweet has written and compiled, The Church of the Perfect Storm is thought-provoking and compelling. The material flows in such a way that allows readers to grasp the gravity of the situation. However, as with most futuristic material, there is also a sense in which readers may want to know: 'Okay, now what? Where do we need to steer this ship? Are mainline and evangelical churches so off-course as to fail to weather the rising tides that are here and soon coming?' Readers of this volume may enjoy the description of a post-Christendom world, but they may also want to know more about the prescription for the days ahead. (Click here to read the entire review.)