Book Review : The Lamb’s Agenda

lambIt is not difficult to see political agendas at play in our world today. Each party has their own platform, or set of values and priorities they choose to filter their decisions through. Each one also has a list of actions they would like to take and reforms and programs they would like to institute. Their agenda is their mission statement. Their agendas are shaped by their personal convictions and the advancement of that agenda supersedes all else. In his new book, “The Lamb’s Agenda; Why Jesus is Calling You to a Life of Righteousness and Justice”, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez introduces the reader to a new agenda. The Lamb’s Agenda is not represented by a donkey or an elephant, rather has the cross as its motivating symbol. Rodriguez believes we are on the brink of the Third Great Awakening and that the understanding and embracement of the Lamb’s Agenda will bring it to pass. Rodriguez gives an opening definition of this new agenda, He writes, “The Agenda of the Lamb reconciles both the vertical and horizontal elements of the cross, a platform of righteousness and justice. In other words, the Christian nexus of a kingdom-culture ethos and a transformational mission directive that is not either-or but both-and.”

Rodriguez speaks of righteousness and justice throughout his book. He does so in relation to the cross of Christ. He writes, “The cross is both vertical and horizontal. Vertically, we stand connected to God, his kingdom, eternal life, spiritual truths, divine principles, and glory.” This is the righteousness element. “Horizontally, to our left and to our right, we exist surrounded by and revealed through community, relationships, family, culture, and society.” This is the justice element. Rodriguez believes that the church of today needs to learn to live in this “nexus of the cross”, that place where vertical and horizontal meet each other. He writes, “This nexus is the place where conviction marries compassion, where the fish intersect with the bread, where truth joins hands with mercy.” After making his case for why the Lamb’s agenda is worth out time and attention, Rodriguez lists the four enemies of the Lamb’s Agenda. First, Moral Relativism which is characterized by the absence of absolute truth in our world today. Second, Cultural Decadence which is characterized by the increase and approval of open public sin. Third, Spiritual Apathy which is characterized by the lack of fire and passion and consumer mentality of God’s people. Lastly, Ecclesiastical Indifference characterized by the lukewarm, disconnected, and spiritually inept church of today. About the church, Rodriguez writes, “We need a church a church committed to saving the lost and transforming our communities, addressing sin while confronting injustice. We need a church that will be pro-life and antipoverty, that will strengthen marriage and end human trafficking. A church is not an either-or proposition; it is a both-and community. It is righteousness and justice.” 

Several chapters of the Lamb’s Agenda deal with the reconciliation of attitudes, actions, and leadership. Rodriguez speaks of reconciling Billy Graham and Martin Luther King, Jr. He speaks of reconciling John 3:16 and Matthew 25, melting God’s love for the world with the need to show that love to the “least of these”. He speaks of reconciling the Vertical Lamb and the Horizontal Lion. The most powerful chapter is Reconciling Imago Dei with Habitus Christus. Imago Dei speaks of the image of God that lives all human beings. Habitus Christus refers to the habits and actions of Jesus Christ. The marriage of these two perspectives will, as Rodriguez explains, will cause the church to refocus and refrain from choosing righteousness with justice and justice without righteousness. Rodriguez has written a great book. The Lamb’s Agenda is practical, convicting, challenging, and passionate. The message of this book, loving God vertically and caring for others horizontally is one that our churches need to hear today. Rodriguez has a winner here. Smart. Intuitive. Timely. In closing, Rodriguez writes, “I am convinced that God is not done with America and America is not done with God. For at the end of the day our nation will be saved not via the agenda of the Donkey or that of the Elephant. Our nation’s only hope is found in the Agenda of the Lamb.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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