Ed Underwood, pastor of the historic Church of the Open Door in Southern California, became a Christian in the late 1960s as a result of the Jesus Movement. Starting sometime in the late 60s and continuing into the 70s, young revolutionary minded Christians began spreading the Gospel outside of the institutionalized church, on the streets, at concerts, on the beach and wherever young people were hanging out. If you were around during the Jesus Movement you will remember it was difficult to go anywhere without encountering what became known as “Jesus Freaks.” This derogatory term later became a badge of honor for these committed, on fire for Christ, young evangelists, as their numbers increased and they began building their own churches.
In his book, “Reborn to be Wild,” Ed Underwood describes the Jesus Movement in engaging detail and concludes it was in fact a true revival, “a powerful movement of God sweeping through a culture, accompanied by spontaneous spiritual joy and deep awareness that your life counts for Christ,” which we have not seen the likes of since. But what happened to those revolutionary believers and why don’t we see any dramatic evidence of the Jesus Movement today? Of course, many of these new believers went on to work in ministry; but revival – that powerful movement of God sweeping through our culture – diminished long ago. In fact, the Christian church in America is on the decline today and Ed longs for those glorious days of revival.
“Reborn to be Wild” tracks the aftermath of the Jesus Movement by carefully considering how it dissolved into what we have today. What’s compelling about Ed Underwood’s assessment of the Jesus Movement and revival is his considerable knowledge of the Bible and the way he pulls the reader into a deeper understanding of Biblical truth. When Ed points out that to rekindle revival we need to bring Jesus back to the center of our lives and focus on His Grace by way of our faith in Him, it’s not only a logical point of view; it is well supported by the Word of God and developed in a manner that opens up a clear understanding of our mission as followers of Jesus Christ.
I highly recommend reading “Reborn to be Wild” to uncover cover a clear Biblical perspective of revival and how every follower of Jesus Christ is called into service. You will come away with a renewed focus on Jesus and His love for you and my prayer is that you will also come to realize how important you are in the Body of Christ. God is counting on each and every believer to participate. This book will help you understand exactly what your role is to be in God’s master plan.