Book Review: How to Start a Riot

How to Start a Riot

Jonathan Storment

Disclosure:  I was given an Advanced Review Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


A story about shipwrecks, snakebites, beatings, meetings, and other church events. The way of Jesus has always been wilder than we think and more dangerous than we’d like. This is a book about what it means to belong to the community of God a book about how to Support Your Local Jesus Revolution.


I was excited to receive a copy of this book as I already read and enjoy the author’s blog.  The premise of the book is that being a part of the first century church was not a mild thing.  It was a time of radical change, and the first century Christians were starting something huge.  I marked this passage:

“You know what I find most interesting about this whole story?  It’s these bottom-line requirements: no bloody meat and no meat offered to idols.  You’d think if you were going to cut hundreds of laws, these wouldn’t be the ones you would retain.

But they kept them because this is about table fellowship!  That’s why this is such a big deal.  They want to be able to break bread with all their brothers and sisters!  Even the ones they disagree with!”

I had never considered this before, but it really makes sense.  The whole message of Acts is about unity among Christians of both Jewish and Gentile heritage.  Fellowship – especially breaking of bread – is so important to unity!

I did wish the book would have gone into a little more detail on practical ways to apply the first century church mindset to today.  After all, it subtitle is “Support Your Local Jesus Revolution”.  But he doesn’t talk much about that.  Instead, I felt like there was an over-use of pop-culture references to try to engage the reader and make the book applicable to modern Christians.  However, I think the point he’s trying to make could have stood alone without Mary Poppins and Starbucks references.  The focus on Acts was great — just not necessarily what I was expecting from the title.


Would I recommend this to my BFF?  Absolutely.  I think she’d like it.
Would I recommend it to my teen daughter?  It would be fine for her to read, but not sure she would enjoy it quite yet.


Overall, I liked the book.  I felt it was solid, but not “wowing”.  4 of 5 stars.

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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, former educator, photographer, amateur chef, pretend gardener, alto 🎶, book nerd, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.
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