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The Best Idea in the World by Mark Greene

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The Best Idea in the World by Mark Greene

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"...full of humor, insight, heartwarming stories and current research. The material is well presented in easy-to-swallow chapters with intriguing pull-quotes appearing throughout the pages."

The greatest commandments are to "Love God and Love your neighbor," or as Mark Greene, a former adman on Madison Avenue, New York says, “to think relationally.” He continues with this sad but truthful reflection on the state of relationships, “We have a myriad of ways to communicate with people (and their avatars) – mobiles, texts, emails, webcams, instant messaging, blogs, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Second Life – and yet we feel out of touch, disconnected from the kinds of relationships that thrill our souls and give our spirits wings. We are globally wired but relationally disconnected, touched a million times a day but rarely embraced.”

In this compelling book, Greene centers on the notion that one idea can change everything, that love is always the answer. Putting relationships first in the forefront of our daily thinking and then living it out is personally freeing, but more importantly it is also a dynamic foundation for our society and global community.

His fourth chapter, “Getting Relational Thinking to Work,” or “The Power of Chocolate,” is where he offers the bottom line of five practical, relational guidelines for loving well. They are:

1) directness of contact-maximize it
2) continuity of contact-treasure it
3) commonality of purpose-clarify it
4) multiplexity-foster it
5) parity of power-protect it.

The Best Idea in the World is full of humor, insight, heartwarming stories and current research. The material is well presented in easy-to-swallow chapters with intriguing pull-quotes appearing throughout the pages. At times, his thoughts are hard to follow as he goes off on a tangent or two.

One of the goals of writing this book for Mark was to create something people could give to a non-believing friend. "The style and the way that the Biblical material is handled makes it possible for someone to pass it on," says Mark. I believe he succeeds in that goal when the book transitions to the “Loving God” section. His tone is not that of preaching but sharing from his heart. His writing is conversational.

The chapter entitled “The Relational Community,” or “The Challenge to the Church,” is a clarion call to the body of Christ worldwide to be, “a community where wisdom for fruitful living is passed on through relationships.”

Greene has written widely on culture and work and is the author of several books including Thank God It's Monday.

He concludes The Best Idea in the World with, “Loving God and loving your neighbor is not just a recommendation from a consultant but a command from the maker of the universe. It is, after all, His world!”

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.