Welcome to LeonardSweet.com

Best-selling author, professor at Drew University, George Fox University and Tabor College, and owner of PreachTheStory.com

New Book: The Bad Habits of Jesus

In our culture, we have a tendency to describe Jesus in ways that soften his revolutionary edge. Len Sweet uncovers and presents to us the offensive and scandalous Jesus described in the Bible. Len examines the words and actions of Jesus and places them in context. We need to understand who Jesus really is if we are to follow him wholeheartedly.

2020 Water Advance with Shane J. Wood

Join us March 13 & 14, 2020 for the 25th Anniversary Advance!

Celebrating 25 years of hosting Advances on Orcas Island!

Shane J. Wood (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh) is Associate Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament Studies at Ozark Christian College (Joplin, MO), and also serves as a teaching minister at College Heights Christian Church (Joplin, MO). Shane’s new book Between Two Trees: Our Transformation from Death to Life has been warmly received with endorsements from: Leonard Sweet, Michael Gorman, Fr. Richard Rohr, Kyle Idleman, Caleb Kaltenbach, Scot McKnight, and others. Shane also offers free lectures, sermons, and unique Bible study opportunities at www.shanejwood.com.

Latest Books

Jesus Speaks

Countless Christians today are hungry to hear God’s voice. The trouble is, many don’t know how. In a warm and practical way, Jesus Speaks teaches readers how to listen for the voice of Jesus. The bookexplores the various ways in which Christ speaks today and how His sheep can grow in their ability to recognize and respond to His voice daily.

The Bad Habbits of Jesus

Jesus had a lot of habits that angered the authorities of his day. But those “bad” habits are actually the best habits we could adopt. Find out just how “bad” Jesus could be!

From Tablet to Table

What if the Bible were seen less as a tablet of ink than as a table of food? From Tablet to Table invites readers to explore the importance of The Table in biblical theology, and what it might mean for us to bring back the table to our homes, our churches, and our neighborhoods. The table pictures the grace of God’s provision for all aspects of our lives, a place of safe gathering, of finding identity in shared stories, of imparting food and faith, of playing host and finding satisfaction as a guest. Sweet explores how our failure to understand and appreciate “the most sacred item of furniture in every home” has created such a deficit in our fast-food, take-what-you-like-smorgasbord, together-but-separate society.

We Are the Church

We Are the Church bears witness to the mission and growth of the world church. Far from a dusty, theoretical treatise, We Are the Church is drenched in the sights and smells from the front lines and fox holes of mission. Filled with stories and testimonies from followers of Christ all over the world, each chapter is a living witness to how “the mission field has become a mission force” (J. Hudson Taylor IV). In the west, it seems the voice of revival is like the whistle of a train that stopped running years ago but which you think you sometimes hear faintly from the far side of the valley. In the east and south, the voice of revival is like a train coming out of a tunnel, hurtling down the tracks, coming at you with all its force and power, inviting you to climb aboard or get out of the way. You are invited now to get aboard this powerful, missional train and read firsthand the untold story of God’s global awakening.

Giving Blood

If the church wants to converse effectively with a culture, it must learn that culture’s language. Today, our culture thinks not in words but in images, stories, and metaphors. So what does this mean for preaching? In this ground-breaking resource, Sweet offers an alternative to the traditional models of preaching, one that is fitting to a new culture and new modes of thinking. This first book of its kind moves preaching beyond its pulpit-centric fixation and toward a more interactive, participatory mode of communication. Seeing the sermon as sacramental conversion experience, Sweet presents a challenge to a church struggling to maintain in an image based, media-saturated world.

Me and We

Me and We calls for a new social gospel in the world in which economies of division are replaced by economies of relationship. Using the examples of individualism, racism, and consumerism, Sweet calls Christians to rethink individual responsibility even as we live together in God’s “house and garden” communities, our churches, and the world. The book blesses the uniqueness of created persons, and yet shows how God’s plan for creation means that all unique individuals live together in harmony and symphony to the tune of the One God in all of our economies: money, politics, and church.

The Well Played Life

Do you secretly think that the harder you work, the more God is pleased with you? You can live like that—for a while. But imagine what it might mean instead to unclench your teeth, loosen your grip, and actually experience God’s pleasure in you—not just in everything you are doing for Him? The Well-Played Life is a journey of a life filled with richness, fruitfulness, and creativity of living in God’s pleasure. Renowned author Leonard Sweet explores what it means to please God in the nitty-gritty of life; how that changes from the time we are 5 to the time we are 50; and how in every age of our lives, in everything we do, we can experience God’s gift of play. The Well-Played Life offers a new spiritual direction of enjoying (and being enjoyed by) God. Discover how a Sabbath way of Christian joy is not only possible, but also how we were designed . . . and a core part of God’s plan for our lives.

Orcas Island, Washington

2019 Pacific Advance with Scott Cairns – March 8 & 9

Eastsound, WA

Pacific Advance 2019 Flyer

Advance Speaker: Scott Cairns

Scott Cairns was born in Tacoma, Washington November 19,1954. He received his B.A. in English from Western Washington University in 1977, his M.A. in English Writing from Hollins College in 1979, his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University in 1981, and his Ph.D. from University of Utah in 1990. He has taught literature and writing courses at Bowling Green State University, Kansas State University, University of Utah, Westminster College of Salt Lake City, University of North Texas, Old Dominion University, and University of Missouri. Librettist, essayist, translator, and author of multiple poetry collections, Scott Cairns was Curators’ Distinguished Professor of English at University of Missouri, until leaving that position to serve as Director of the Low-Residency MFA Program at Seattle Pacific University. His poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Image, Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and many other venues, and both have been anthologized in multiple editions of Best American Spiritual Writing. He has blogged for the Religion Section of The Huffington Post. His recent books include Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems (2015), Idiot Psalms (2014), Short Trip to the Edge (spiritual memoir, 2016), Endless Life (translations and adaptations of Christian mystics, 2014), and a book-length essay, The End of Suffering (2009). He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, and the Denise Levertov Award in 2014. His new poetry collection, Anaphora, will appear from Paraclete Press in spring, 2019, and his current projects include Descent to the Heart, verse adaptations of selections from the writings of Saint Isaak of Syria.

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Read more on PreachTheStory.com:


A Response to Recent Misunderstandings (2007)

Being a follower of Jesus requires two things of me: 1) a desire to love Jesus with all my being 2) a devoted humility to please God–no if, ands, buts, or a comma between the “please” and “God.” My dream is to render both faithfully every day. But Jesus-following and...

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Freely You Have Received, Freely Give

Toward a Post-Tithing, Post-Stewardship, Postmodern Theology of Receiving "What have you got that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?" Apostle Paul (1Cor.4:7) *** "It is not what we eat but what we digest that makes...

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