[The following bio was retrieved from Mark Sayers’ Amazon author page]
Mark Sayers is a writer, speaker and pastor who is highly sought out for his unique and perceptive insights into faith and contemporary culture. Mark is the author of The Trouble with Paris, The Vertical Self, The Road Trip That Changed The World and Facing Leviathan. Mark is also the Senior Leader of Red Church, and the co-founder of Uber Ministries. Mark lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife Trudi, daughter Grace, and twin boys Hudson and Billy.
We, indeed, live in a strange day, don’t we? From terrorism and polarized politics to the phenomenon that is social media to the challenges of globalization, the current state of our world is strange, dizzying, and at times frightening. It is these subjects, and more, that Mark Sayers addresses in his 2017 book, Strange Days.
I’m not sure there’s a more qualified person of faith to author a book describing the strange days in which we live. Sayers has a gift for cultural insight and commentary and it shows in this book. He takes the reader on a journey from chaos to re-imagined, re-ordered living in a world which will likely remain chaotic until our King returns. In other words, Sayers seeks to equip the church to live as a “contrast community” in the world, a community led by the Spirit, walking in step with the Spirit, and filled with the Spirit, a community which sets and honors the right boundaries while, at the same time, transgresses some of the boundaries built up by our culture, and finally which lives this life as a rehearsal for the one to come. And, he does just that – this book is a great resource to help make sense of our postmodern world and to help us live as faithful citizens of the world to come.
There are a couple of phrases, coming out of reading this book, that simply will not leave me. Speaking about the plight of our postmodern culture, Sayers states simply that “our cultural myths are failing us.” Ours is a culture more medicated than any in history, more depressed than any in history, more suicidal than any in history, and likely more addicted than any in history. Sayers is right – our cultural myths are failing us.
Secondly, Sayers talks about “the rebellion of joy,” which is such a compelling phrase. In light of such tragic depression, suicide, and addiction statistics, what could be more winsomely rebellious than joy?! Not half-hearted smiles and surface-level happiness, but guttural, deep-in-your-bones joy. Christian joy can and should be such a compelling witness to a culture grasping for any/everything in which to find value and satisfaction. Joy.
It’s these two thoughts that have stuck with me because they’re so intimately related to one another. The answer to our failing cultural myths is not another ankle-deep cultural myth, but the historic, orthodox Christian faith, the true story of the world, the joy thickening, joy producing, joy effusing story which tells us we are welcomed into the family of God, through the Son of God, by the Spirit of God. This is the story that Sayers is equipping us to live into. So, are you finding yourself disoriented by the myths of the world? Go grab this book – you’ll find some help here.
[I received this book free of charge from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]