This is an insightful exploration of the so-called third wave or new paradigm churches from a scholar who presents the information in a readable fashion. The author is an outsider, yet he provides a favorable account of these rapidly-growing, Pentecostal-type congregations that all originated in California. It is a great book for anyone who is interested in the contemporary Christian scene. It is filled with stories, keen observations, balanced analyses, and surveys on the movement.
CalvaryChapels has been an "underground" church for over 25 years now - an alternative for the typical lifeless church down the street. Now someone has studied this phenomenon to see why it continues to grow and attract more people (often from non-religious backgrounds). The same for Vineyards & HopeChapels (which both have intersecting histories with CalvaryChapel). The personal stories are touching and fascinating, The research is exhaustive if not exhausting. The author belongs to a mainline church and periodically shows his amazement at these new church movements. They were all built on simplicity of faith, by those whose lives were radically changed by Jesus Christ (often people who would be the last ones you would expect). A little too much psychology & sociology throughout but the author is a professor and the book is published by a university press.