The Cross and the Switchblade Mass Market Paperback – Nov 15 1986
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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. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Timeless and powerful story of God's work through willing servants.Published 5 months ago by It has to be clever
I purchased this book for a gift for a young man so hopefully he read it thank you for askingPublished 12 months ago by doloris paquin
I just recently picked up 9 of these for my team. The story is encouraging and timelessPublished 15 months ago by Brandon Richardson
One of the greatest books of all time, one the most powerful stories of all time, by one of the greatest men of all time.Published 18 months ago by Jonathan Glenn
I LOVED this book. What an amazing testimony of a man following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It's a book that I believe will encourage you to walk closer to God and seek Him... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Rachael Gordon
Very encouraging book, good to read for everybody. Serving others is more fulfilling then to just live our comfortable life. It is not easy, but possible with God.Published 22 months ago by Helena Unruh
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