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Irresistible

Reclaiming the New That Jesus Unleashed for the World
Narrated by: Andy Stanley
Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,453 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An audiobook for anyone who cares deeply about the future of the church.

Once upon a time, there was a version of our faith that was practically...irresistible. But that was then. Today, we preach, teach, write, and communicate as if nothing has changed. As if “The Bible says it” still settles it.

It’s time to hit pause on much of what we’re doing and consider the faith modeled by our first-century brothers and sisters who had no official Bible, no status, and humanly speaking, little chance of survival.

What did they know that we don’t?

What made their faith so compelling, so defensible, so irresistible?

Buckle up...you’re about to find out. More importantly, Andy will invite you to embrace the version of faith that, against all odds, initiated a chain of events resulting in the most significant and extensive cultural transformation the world has ever seen. A version we must embrace if we are to be salt and light in an increasingly savorless and dark world.

“This book challenged me to rethink my thoughts about the Old Testament, discuss with fellow believers what I was learning, do more connecting and less correcting of others, and be salt and light, making things better and brighter. I love how Andy loves people...all of them.” (John Maxwell, author of The 360 Degree Leader)

“It’s time for the church to rethink how it presents a timeless gospel to this generation. In Irresistible, Andy Stanley challenges us to make sure we handle the Scriptures with the kind of integrity that compels everyone to seriously consider following Jesus. Any Christian who reads this book will suddenly find themselves embracing the mission of Jesus with a new passion.” (Reggie Joiner, author, founder, and CEO of Orange)

“Andy Stanley takes you on a historic journey to rediscover the first-generation passion of what it means to faithfully follow Christ. This book will knock you off center, push you out of complacency, and reawaken an unshakable faith that cannot be ignored.” (Craig Groeschel, pastor of Life.Church and author of Hope in the Dark - Believing God Is Good When Life Is Not)

©2018 Andy Stanley (P)2018 Zondervan

Critic Reviews

“More than any other book I’ve read in years, Irresistible has stretched my view of Scripture. I can’t hear or read a passage from the Old or New Testaments without thinking about Andy’s provocative insights. If you and I take this book seriously, our lives and our churches will never be the same.” (Kara Powell, PhD, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute and coauthor of Growing Young) 

Irresistible is like a once-in-a-generation shot across the bow. Andy Stanley takes a lifetime of accumulated insight and wisdom about the Christian faith, history, and why the church isn’t connecting with our current culture, and combines them together in a masterpiece work.” (Carey Nieuwhof, author and founding pastor, Connexus Church) 

“Warning: This book will set you and your ministry back - back to the first century and the approach to advancing the gospel modeled by Jesus and the apostles. Andy reminds us that the resurrection was at the center of the first-century apologetic. Then he challenges 21st-century believers to reclaim it as the center of ours as well. I agree with Andy - this approach changed the world once. I’m convinced it could do so again. Read and apply now!” (Frank Turek, Christian author, public speaker, and radio host) 

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Unexpected

About 25 years ago, I was preaching at a church camp, and was asked to teach on apologetics of faith. In that moment I found myself overwhelmed by the arguments and evidence that I had been mounting for years. "How do I condense all this to a 20-30 minute talk?"

A friend of mine suggested, "Doesn't Paul say, 'If Jesus didn't raise from the dead,...our faith is worthless'?" Which I knew to be true.

That evening I taught an entire group of young people, that if the resurrection of Jesus Christ is true, our faith stands strong.

I have heard many quotes of quotes of Andy Stanley, and come to believe that while I agreed with him on most things, I could not agree with his stance on the usefulness of scripture nor it's inspiration.

Now that I have heard his entire discussion (or at least the broad heart), I do not disagree at all.

Stanley does not claim the Hebrew Texts are uninspired!
He does not claim all scripture is not equally useful.

He does claim, and I fully agree, that the Hebrew Texts are not useful as many use them, and that they are not authoritative to direct our lives, nor sustain our faith. On this point too, I unexpectedly agree.

While nothing Mr. Stanley says in Irresistible is new, for far too many inside and outside of the Faith in Jesus, it is a much needed reminder that we are no longer bound in any way by the old law.

This is a well written, well communicated defense of the true Good News of Jesus. I expected it to be, I did not expect to completely agree with it, but I do.

5 people found this helpful

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A TRUE REVELATION

Must read. Remarkably written. Andy has a gift for simplifying the complicated. This book is the reason I joined Audible. Andy has been a long time advocate & I knew hearing his translation would bring the true message home. Mission accomplished. If you've been a "Christian' your entire life, considering it for the very first time, left the church for doubts or "church going" folks...this book is for EVERYBODY.

4 people found this helpful

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Grateful

This book helped me see. Parts of it gave me clarity for things that I intuitively thought were true, but couldn’t express. Parts of it challenged assumptions I have held since childhood. Parts of it reminded me why both what we believe and how we communicate it really matters. All of it makes me grateful that a thinker and communicator like Andy Stanley shared his journey and insight with us.

3 people found this helpful

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Easy to Listen to but unsure about the message...

This book was very easy to listen to and I understand where he is coming from but I feel somethings he says are dangerous. He wants Jesus to appeal to current culture and makes a lot of good points about the difficulty of defending some things in the Old Testament but he comes across as having little value for scripture which makes me sad. I feel he is taking on 100% ownership of planting and harvesting the seed and forgets the Holy Spirits role in this as well. The Holy Spirit will do his work in unbelievers heart and Gods word will never come back void - It will accomplish its purpose. I feel a lot of this he is forgetting and speaking in the capacity of the flesh. If you are strong in your faith there are a lot of good thoughts to ponder.

I had to come back and edit this... Because I was thinking how the author said old testament should be disconnected from the bible. But the more I think about this comment as I read and learn it makes me trust this teacher even less. The old testament is filled with prophecy and amazing revelation about the coming of Christ and even though we are in a new covenant the old testament has a lot to teach us that unfortunately a lot of people miss deciding its not relevant any longer. the old and new weave in and out of each other alot and we have it all for a reason. Dont fall into deception. Man cannot live on bread alone but from every word from the mouth of the father. Old testament included. Cherish EVERY word he has left us and grow from it!

2 people found this helpful

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Listen to the Whole Book

At the beginning, I really enjoyed all of Andy's historical and cultural perspectives. Then Andy begins making some very different and bold statements that were completely foreign to me and I even had to put the book down for a little while. At the end it all came together and I'm glad I listened to it. I'm a Christian, active in my church and I've grown up in a Christian home. This book really challenged my thinking and is making for some good conversation. For the sake of the gospel and future generations I think these points should be discussed. I didn't know where to rate this book. I encourage you to listen to the whole thing, allow yourself to be challenged and decide for yourself.

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From a pastor

Yes, yes and yes. In no way is Andy recommending we throw out the Hebrew Bible and God’s Law, he’s saying to understand that Jesus fulfilled its requirements for us.

He goes on to beautifully describe how our faith isn’t in a book, it’s in an event, the resurrection of Christ.

I appreciate his simple prescription for a seemingly ineffective, post-Christian church, love one another. If the body of Christ got busy loving one another, and approaching the world in love, people would believe God sent Christ to save us.

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Thought provoking

I was on the edge of my seat while listening, wondering wether there would come a moment that I would find it tooooo provoking. In the end: I agree 99,99% and have a tiny bit of investigation and thinking to do. Really appreciate the great teaching! Wise thoughts. It’s a great resource. I highly recommend listening to this book!!
Andy’s views are definitely western and for among postchristians. I wonder if he would change a few thoughts in non-western cultures. I guess that’s the homework I have for now.

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Somewhere and somehow, Andy Stanley changed...

TLDR: This book is not suitable for understanding the effect the Bible has had on the world or even continues to have on the *world* today. The book can only be good if you believe that American people are somehow unique in the history of the world. If American society makes another paradigm shift, Stanley's "prophetic" words about reaching the post-Christian "nones" will be looked at as another misguided attempt with likely unforeseen (and often terrible) outcomes as so many other misled approaches have. Stanley will help create thousands of disciples that love a God they know precious little about.

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Andy's voice isn't for me, but I always appreciate an author who reads his own works. You get so much out of the vocal inflections that help to clarify meaning. Unfortunately, this doesn't help Stanley.

After listening to the book and then reading others' reviews, I decided to write down my thoughts on what is going on surrounding this book's teaching and the controversy. On the one side, there are the biblical apologists and systematic theologians that are out to defend the Bible from intentionally dismissive statements from the author. On the other hand, there is the North Point model of church ministry that says that there is no cost too high when it comes to making disciples of Jesus Christ. So the two camps talk right past each other for a simple point: they have become two different religions, both claiming to follow Jesus. The reason I call them two different religions is simple: one is dedicated to the full scope of God's glory and examining that, and the other is dedicated to the interpretation of a mission given to the world, and if they cannot agree on the basis of perhaps the most significant mandate of the New Testament, then they aren't in communion anymore. Moreover, I say "interpretation" regarding Stanley intentionally, because I believe Stanley will very likely have a full church that knows very little about the God they love.

Andy Stanley takes the later point of disciple-making to its logical conclusion in his American social climate/audience size if making disciples is the only requirement: we need to stop putting any emphasis on the Old Testament because the legal statements of the Old Testament are hard to jive with progressive social norms of today. If you are going to make Jesus "Irresistible," you must avoid talking about the harder words of the Old Testament. No one has trouble with Isaiah and the virgin birth; most Americans flinch when reading the Law of Leviticus. To an extent, all American Christians understand this, even if they disagree. Ask yourself, if you're a church-goer: when was the last time you heard a preaching series on Numbers? Deuteronomy? Obadiah?

For biblical defenders (disclaimer: I include myself), Stanley's words are unthinkable. However, I could point to Scripture verses that should outright correct Stanley's views all day long, and they would not dent his resolve; a resolve based on a few verses of the New Testament about making disciples. I've personally heard Andy Stanley speak in person at a leadership event, quoting St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 9, to make a case that no cost is too high to reach others and make disciples because St. Paul becomes a Jew to the Jews, and weak to the weak, to justify his stance to "unhitch" ourselves from the Old Testament. Moreover, as a Christian theologian, I could only ask myself when I heard this, "You'd even ignore the glory of what God has done?" This also ignores historical reality (along with statements of the New Testament) and implies that Stanley believes God has wasted his time in allowing his full interaction with humanity to be recorded, only so it could be ignored later. "Unhitching the Old Testament" (Stanley's words at a conference I attended) is similar to asking people to ignore the significant elephant in the room: that Jesus regularly quotes from a book we don't ever talk about.

The two camps are dedicated to different things, and while making disciples is important, the battle between Stanley and others means that we have very different ideas of what constitutes a dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ. Orthodox Christianity will never be able to stand with Stanley on this, and frankly, Stanley should know better. His insisted separation of a Hebrew Bible and Christian Bible pushes right up against the systematic belief of God's immutability, immanence, and impeccability. Also, if Stanley follows this logic out to its conclusion, if the Old Testament has never been palatable to the world, then the New Testament will not be any more palatable.

Stanley's suggestion that we should stop calling the Bible anything other than the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures is smoke and mirrors, at best. It makes a genetic distinction without a difference. That would be like saying an omnibus of Andy Stanley's works called "The Collected Works of Andy Stanley," didn't accurately reflect Andy Stanley's history and beliefs.

Either I'm completely nuts or something about this North Point hype-train doesn't make sense. Are there any discerning eyes in over 900 reviews?! The views that Stanley is espousing aren't groundbreaking or new or revolutionary. They've been given in the past, many, many times, and each time, they've been found wanting by orthodox Christianity everywhere.

And as a final gripe, I want to point out something that we all SHOULD be able to agree on just on logical principle: the idea that Andy Stanley is a great communicator is rubbish. In so many articles and reviews, authors tow this bizarre line that says that Stanley is a great communicator. If orthodox Christians everywhere are always "misunderstanding" Stanley, as he and his defenders says in so many rebuttal articles, then he isn't a good communicator. At best, he is a reckless communicator, and this book is the perfect example. You could argue me and say that "Just because Christians disagree with Stanley doesn't mean he's a bad communicator." I would argue back that if your professional peers in ministry aren't just disagreeing but are "misunderstanding" you, you've either failed to communicate your intended message or you're intentionally deceptive - in either case, these are not the hallmarks of ANY great communicator.

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Re-reading! Because it’s just that good!

Read & Share!!! This information needs to be share with the entire body of Christ! I’m sharing with my congregation first!

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  • GB
  • 09-29-18

Amazing!

I’ve listened to Pastor Stanley’s message podcasts for a year or two now. This book chronicles some of those priceless lessons I’ve learned from listening to him. “Irresistible is an awesome book that will stretch the faith you grew up with. People have been criticizing Andy for the views expressed in this book, but very unfairly and blindly. He uses quotes from Jesus and the Apostles to confirm his concepts.

I was thrilled that Andy narrated this. You can here the earnestness and conviction pour out of his voice, his persuasive speaking ability really shines here. This is truly one of the most wonderful and most important books of our time. Highly recommended!

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  • Noah Mitchell
  • 10-02-18

A story the church needs to hear

As the Bible goes, so goes our faith. Or at least, that's what so many of us have been taught (including the skeptics seeking to dismiss Christianity altogether).

Andy writes with wisdom, knowkedge and relentless empathy for an audience of churched people--and shows them that there was an attractive, world-changing faith before pen was put to paper and our Christian Scripture began to take shape. He invites us to put the Hebrew Bible in the right context (inspired, but not equally applicable), and instead live a life marked by our sacrificial love for God and neighbour.

It's a great conversation starter for the topic of biblical infallibility, mission, and love. I'll be listening to this one again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-04-19

Absolutely enlightening

This book makes our belief so clear and relevant. The Bible can be difficult to explain to non-believers and even to ourselves- especially the Jewish history. Although the stories there offer great encouragement about how God loves and can save, there are also baffling, cringe-worthy parts. Pastor Andy has unwrapped it for us and I have deeper knowledge of a universal Christ who brought us Good News - he came not for a select few but for all. Andy read it too, which it makes the message even more poignant. Brilliant book relevant for individuals both Christians and non Christians and for Church leaders. Time to rethink our religion. Thank you Andy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-29-19

Refreshing and passionate

This book has refreshed my thinking on the book we call the Bible. A wonderful tour through the history of the old covenant, before a passionate and truthful exposition of how we can be new covenant thinkers and communicators. This will definitely change how I think and speak about God's word. Also Andy's communication style is great - he clearly really feels the things he has written about, and is hugely entertaining to listen to. Highly recommend.

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  • Iona
  • 05-19-19

`struggled with his disconnection of old and new

some good but mixed with a flawed I my opinion theology and a disconnect and rejection of the old testament

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-19-19

This book is paradigm shifting

Andy Stanley should ALWAYS narrate his own books. So brilliant. This is definitely one of the few books I will read several times I my life time. Being a preacher and youth leader myself who would love to study theology but not by the means to, this book has given me incredible insight and hnderstanding that I never thought possible. A must read for any Christian, leader, teacher or parent.

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  • Louise Ellerby
  • 04-16-19

Irresistible indeed!

This is a book for such a time as this!
I have listened to it three times now and will do so again. Andy is so listenable interjecting much humour especially using a play on words which reinforce his message. I believe every Christian should listen to this for the sake of the wellbeing of the church and her outreach to the lost especially this lost generation of our own adult children.

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  • Colin Davies
  • 01-05-19

Insightful & Challenging

This book challenges many of the assumptions we make about our Christian faith. The books basic premise is the role that the Old Covenant plays in the life of Christians in the light of a new covenant. Where we once under the law we are now under grace. The author then argues the need to unhinge the old testament from the new in terms of theology but also in terms of apologetics and the role that the Bible plays and ought to play in the way we think about, present and understand the birth and message of the Christian faith. The book is insightful and educational and is radical in the sense that it attempts to take us back to the origins of the faith, before the Bible was compiled, to explore real Christianity and what it meant in the first century after Christ, and challenge many of the ways we now think about the faith which are a departure from its origins and meaning. In many ways it is a wake up call to the church in the west and particularly in the USA in what he refers to as a post-Christian society.

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  • Steve Bosman
  • 07-25-19

Andy Stanley is Passionate about Jesus

A great book well worth listening to. Definitely had a lot of content. I get it.