Forgotten Ways

The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church by Alan Hirsch, Brazos Press: 2006

The Forgotten Ways was birthed in the trenches of the author’s own experience as a church planter and denominational leader. In the throws of ministry he was confronted with questions concerning the early church in regard its overall growth and expansion. How did as few as 25,000 adherents in AD 100 go to as high as 20,000,000 by AD 300? This led him to ask the same questions regarding the Church in China from 1950 till the mid 1980s; from 2 million adherents to 60 – 80 million.


Delving into this dilemma the author discovered what he calls Apostolic Genius or mDNA (the built-in life force and guiding mechanism of God’s people) and the living components or elements that comprise it. The general assumption in this book is that just as the human body carries its genetic code within a DNA strand so God’s people carry within themselves the same potencies that energized the early church and are currently manifest in the underground Chinese church. The problem is that we have simply forgotten how access and trigger it.


As Howard Snyder has said, “Hirsch’s analysis is on target historically, biblically and theologically,” as he describes and clarifies in practitioner language the Apostolic Genius in contemporary context. For those who are serious about being a part of a church planting movement in the 21st Century this book should be considered a must read.


In the back of the book the reader will find an addendum and glossary extremely helpful in clarifying both current terminology and practice regarding the missional paradigm we find ourselves in. For some this volume will offend, but for most it should be a refreshing wind propelling us forward in these emergent times.


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