In 1985, when I was a grad student in Industrial Engineering at Stanford, I took a course on Organizational Death. Why do companies fail, and what lessons can we learn from them? We love success in business and in ministry, so we focus on companies and churches that succeed, trying to learn from their example. I don’t remember much from my courses from almost 30 years ago, but this one had a deep impact on me: profound lessons often come from unexpected places.
Derek Cooper and Ed Cyzewski know this to be true, and wrote a book that just came out (2014) entitled Unfollowers: Unlikely Lessons on Faith from Those Who Doubted Jesus, which looks at some of the ignored people from the gospels: Judas, the rich, young ruler, Herod, Pilate, Caiaphas and others. What can we learn from this lot? A lot, check out the book.
Here’s my endorsement:
Who wants to focus on the dropouts and doubters? Scripture does. And Cooper and Cyzewski follow the Bible’s example, apparently believing the radical notion that all Scripture is inspired and profitable for teaching. They take readers into unexplored areas of the Gospels that are typically ignored, in doing so they enlighten, encourage and exhort their followers into a deeper relationship with their lord and master. I have no doubt that readers will profit from their wisdom.
If you are intrigued, check out this excerpt from Christianity Today (March 2013), on Judas: “You’re Probably More Like Judas Than You Think“.
Derek Cooper is a colleague of mine here at Biblical Seminary. He teaches World Christian History, and Ed Cyzewski is a graduate of Biblical. They also co-wrote Hazardous: Committed to the Cost of Following Jesus.