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The Book That Transforms Nations: The Power Of The Bible To Change Any Country


Loren Cunningham with Janice Rogers, The Book That Transforms Nations: The Power Of The Bible To Change Any Country (Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 2007), 252 pages, ISBN 1576583813.

Loren Cunningham is a man with a passion and a man with a mission to reach the nations; he is the founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) which is a major missionary sending organization. He began YWAM as the result of a vision that God had given him of young people going into the nations of the world, and this is what YWAM workers have done now for about 40 years.

In this book Cunningham says that he is part of a small group of people who can say that they have visited every nation in the world. He has thus had ample opportunity to see first-hand the positive influence that the bible can have in different cultural settings. A word of clarification is perhaps in order here. The title of this book includes the words “transforms” and “change.” In using these words Cunningham is not talking only about spiritual salvation; he is speaking about the changes that the bible can bring about in all the various parts of a culture. The implementation of the bible’s teachings can transform a nation’s politics, economics, etc.

In chapter one Cunningham recounts the story of a biblical people who had “lost the book.” The nation of Israel had gone into great decline, and then during the time of King Josiah the book of God was found in the Temple of the Lord. When the king and the people heard the words of the book they responded to its teachings and it brought great transformation to the nation. The premise of The Book That Transforms Nations is that many nations that have never heard God’s Word would be changed if they are exposed to it.

The book includes some brief histories of people who have changed nations such as William Carey and John Calvin, Abraham Kuyper and Hans Nielsen Hauge. Calvin and Carey might immediately be recognized as ministers, but their influence on the wider culture is not as well known. In this book Cunningham makes us aware of the great impact that these Christians had on the countries that they ministered in. They were influential because they applied the teachings of the bible to all of life.

In addition to chronicling some of the historic accomplishments in the nations Cunningham also writes about some more modern transformations of nations, such as South Korea. He also shares some stories of his experiences in various YWAM ministries throughout the world. The bible is a trans-cultural book that will work anywhere in the world.

One topic in the book that may be of special interest is found in part 3 “Transforming Truths From God’s Book.” Cunningham makes the point that the kind of god that people worship makes a difference. He sees the doctrine of the trinity as significant, because it speaks to unity and diversity which all people groups need in order to function well.

Cunningham gives some insight into how churches can assist in the process of bible translation, even if they are unfamiliar with the languages involved. This has the potential of having a lasting global impact as there are currently 2,644 languages that do not have a bible translation of their own.

Cunningham is a statesman of the modern missionary movement and should therefore be listened to. This book encourages us with what has been accomplished and exhorts us to participate in transforming the world by bringing the bible to the nations.

Reviewed by John P. Lathrop

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Category: Biblical Studies, Fall 2008

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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