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4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing Inc. (Jan. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557480680
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557480682
  • Shipping Weight: 503 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,809,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

"Go to New York City and help those boys."

When David Wilkerson heard those words in his heart late one night as he glanced at a picture in Life magazine, he was dumbfounded. The boys in question were members of a violent gang and on trial for murder. He, on the other hand, was a country preacher settled comfortably in a little mountain church in Pennsylvania. What could God possibly expect him to accomplish--in New York City, of all places?

But the thought would not let him go--and his life and the lives of countless despairing teens were changed forever on account of it.

This is the riveting story of the founding of Teen Challenge, an inner-city ministry that today maintains residential and crisis counseling centers around the globe. But even more, it is a story of how the most unlikely people can hear--and follow--God's call to do the impossible.

This 45th anniversary edition includes a brand-new foreword by Charles Colson and two new epilogues celebrating Teen Challenge and reflecting on fifty years of following God's lead.

"David's story will touch your life in a way few books can."--from the foreword by Charles W. Colson

David Wilkerson (1931-2011) was the founder of Teen Challenge and World Challenge and longtime senior pastor of Times Square Church. He authored more than thirty books, including the bestselling The Cross and the Switchblade and Knowing God by Name. He ministered to people worldwide, and on the day of his death, he was still ministering. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

David Ray Wilkerson (May 19, 1931 - April 27, 2011) was an American Christian evangelist, best known for his book The Cross and the Switchblade. He was the founder of the addiction recovery program Teen Challenge, and founding pastor of the non-denominational Times Square Church in New York. He is survived by his wife and 4 children. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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THIS WHOLE strange adventure got its start late one night when I was sitting in my study reading Life magazine, and turned a page. Read the first page
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on Oct. 6 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the inspiring autobiographical story of an evangelical minister's crusade to open a home for street, gang and drug involved teenagers of the late fifties and early sixties. His ministry succeeded and became Teen Challenge which still exists today. Wilkerson's story is touching and interesting especially from an historical view as to how these societal problems were first dealt with during this time period. The language is dated with the overuse of the words "dope" and "addict" also "Negro", the n-word and women's place in society but of course this all reflects the time period. I also found Wilkerson's ability to pray to God at a moment's notice and receive immediate answers, within minutes, often in a room full of people to be quite, shall we say, over enthusiastic. However, upon looking the man up, he also claimed later in life to have received prophetic visions ... so who am I to judge. But I really did find laughable one chapter near the end where he spends the entire time explaining to a Jesuit priest what the Holy Spirit is. I'm Catholic, and know the Jesuits have had their naysayers in recent decades, but really! How anyone cannot know how important the Holy Spirit is to the Catholic faith, Confirmation anyone?, especially a priest is beyond ridiculous. While I did not agree with much of the theology in the book, I appreciated the heart felt spirit and love of Christ behind it and did very much enjoy hearing the success story of the organization and many youths who have been helped because of the unending commitment of the author. Interestingly my used copy contains a small slip of paper with a note hoping the recipient "enjoyed the Outreach Team that most recently visited your Church". Signed "The Teen Challenge Farm" which my research shows would have been located in London, Ontario. Also, as a side note, Wilkerson only died a couple of years ago tragically, in a car accident, at the age of 80.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Witnessing to people for many years, this book has sent a powerful message out to all who have taken the time to read it. Believe it not, this book used to be required reading in many High Schools across America.
I found this book on the Washington Monument (Mall) grounds July 4th in the very late 60's or very early 70's (I can't remember exactly) after the police broke up a very large demonstration against the war in Viet Nam. The place was littered with many items left after a "hippy vs police" riot broke out, and as the police deployed tear gas and battled the demonstrators up Pennsylvania Avenue. It was an exciting day, but it also proved to be a day which my eyes were truly opened to the power of Lord... after I started to read the worn copy I had found in the mud. I couldn't put it down. This book opened the eyes of my understanding in so many ways, and started my path towards the recovery from the battlefields of southeast asia, from the struggle to survive in the brutal climate of war. From the conflicts of doing my job as a warrior, and seeing the death and destruction of lives all around me, knowing that the bullets and bombs were not enough. I was a shell of what I should have been at 25, a survivor a fighter, enduring the ravages of the human race and coming out physically capable but mentally tormented. This book started my comeback, my recovery, my search, my seeking and showed me an open door which, once I entered in, I was given my life back. I can never forget that, I can only praise God for the revelation.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are looking for a profound theological treatise you may want to pass on this. If you want an inspiring real life story, dig in.
This is a simple true story of a country preacher who obeyed God and went way outside his comfort zone to rescue drug addicts and gang members in the streets of New York.
He dared to believe that the same power that launched the early Christian church could penetrate the shells of hardened substance abusers. As the story chronicles, God still is in the business of rescuing the flotsam and jetsam of modern society.
His faith in stepping out launched a movement that is still with us today, Teen Challenge. This movement has seen an unparalled recovery rate amongst addicts. It is still based on the premise that faith in a living God can transform anyone's life.
Relatively recently I spoke with a friend of mine from 1974 who was a male prostitute junkie and a mess when I first met him at Teen Challenge. He is still clean. Another friend from the same era who was an acid head (abuser of LSD) today pastors a church.
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Format: Paperback
This book brought tears to my eyes at God's love and mercy, and made me want to dance for joy at His provision and greatness. David Wilkerson started out as a preacher in a country church -- where he is a good Christian, and doing God's work. But one day, he feels as if God is leading him to New York to minister to a few thugs who have killed a boy. He follows the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and goes, and what follows is an amazing ride. God comes through again and again -- often at the 11th hour, when all seems lost. Isn't that just like God?
I highly recommend this book because it is a great testimony to what untold miracles can happen in the lives of Christians when we step out of our comfort zones and go out on a limb for God. And the way He comes through will take your breath away. If I wasn't a Christian, I would think the story was pure fiction because it sounds too amazing to be true. But because I am one, and I have caught glimpses of what God can do for His children, I can say of the miracle upon miracle in Cross and the Switchblade: "Yes, God is totally capable of that!''
To my mind, most of us don't enjoy this exhilerating journey with God because we don't trust Him enough to take risks for Him. David Wilkerson did, and God displayed all his wonders. Read this and be challenged. I certainly was.
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