Brian Barcelona. The Jesus Club: Incredible True Stories of How God Is Moving in Our High Schools. Bloomington, Minnesota: Chosen Books, 2017. See here to buy the book.
According to the back cover of the book: “Brian Barcelona is the
founder of One Voice Student Missions. A leader on the forefront of
youth evangelism, Brian is calling the high school students of America
to surrender their lives to Jesus and calling the Church to our most
unreached mission field: public high schools.”
This description gives you an idea of what the book is about: revival
that is taking place at public high schools. Barcelona talks about how
he was called to this mission, the numerous high school students who
are interested in the Gospel, how some of those students were gang
members, and the healing of psychological and physical maladies that is
occurring in the revival. Barcelona also provides his personal
background as a lonely atheist who became a Christian.
I am not sure what to make of the healing stories, including the
healing of deafness that Barcelona says he personally observed. But I
do like how Barcelona comes across in this book: as someone who does not
see himself as particularly special, and yet God uses him because he
said “yes” to what God wanted him to do. Barcelona seems to see his
role as almost incidental: Barcelona is there, but God is really the one
doing the work.
Overall, the book does not have a lot of theological meat, and
perhaps that would have been improved had Barcelona talked more about
the content of his sermons or the spiritual transformation of people:
the concrete transformations in people’s character that occurred after
they accepted the Gospel. The latter occurs in Jonathan Edwards’ A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton.
But the occasions on which Barcelona discusses theological topics are
interesting. On pages 156 and 158, for example, Barcelona seems to
engage the topic of once-saved-always-saved and why there are people who
receive Christ, yet go back to living as they lived before.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Cross Focused Reviews. My review is honest!