If you're looking for formulas, suggestions, or quick fix answers for what to do about the civ that looks like a back door to the American church, thi...moreIf you're looking for formulas, suggestions, or quick fix answers for what to do about the civ that looks like a back door to the American church, this probably isn't your book. While I can't say that I agree with her assessments of what subsets of people are leaving the church and why, or her outlook on what would constitute a "quality" expression of church ministry (Duin's view of a local ministry as a solid expression of ministry expression is suspect based on my own first-hand knowledge of the same ministry), I did appreciate her willingness to name the elephant in the room. I'm coming to appreciate those who are unafraid of giving a name, and sometimes even a face, to the problems of the church... especially since they do actually exist!
Duin's book is not for the overly optimistic, those who see nothing wrong with the church, or those who would rather justify and defend the problem of a mass exodus from the American Church by mature, intellectual, disciplined, and gifted driven men and women of faith. Duin's strength of argument is particularly in the chapters dealing with singles and women in church, but her assertions regarding pastoral engagement, competence, teaching quality, the lack of spiritual power, and the inability of the church as it is to continue on the work of the mature Christian have plenty of weight and should be considered deeply.
In the end, I don't believe Duin ever intends to give permission for people to leave their churches (especially since it's written for and to pastors), but she does give a voice to the experience of so many. I know she gave voice to my frustrations and has helped me to articulate why my own personal exodus, which started long before this book was published, had to happen.(less)
I've read a lot of other reviewers say that the insights in this book, while good and well worth hearing, aren't exactly earth shattering. I would agr...moreI've read a lot of other reviewers say that the insights in this book, while good and well worth hearing, aren't exactly earth shattering. I would agree on both counts.
In order to ween ourselves from the trappings of political power, control, and technology in the context of ministry (things we do not NEED in order to do what ought to be done), and get back to being the community of saints supporting and spurring each other on to true worship and good works that bring cohesion to our life AND our message... the points in this book need to be taken seriously.
The assertions are not earth shattering. Even if you have been disturbed by the quality of the music produced for the Christian market (music can't be "Christian music" until it has a soul to be saved), you've known for some time that there was something wrong with that industry. For more and more people, the mega and super-mega churches seem more and more out of place. Having two or three jumbotrons showing the pastor's face and shots of the band in an 800 seat sanctuary seems like a bit of overkill.
Is all of it necessary? I can concede that you can make that case.
Is all of it hurting our witness, diluting the message of the gospel, and even hindering our capacity to be a loving community? Yes.(less)
This was a great little read. Since the book weighs in at a deceptive 121 pages (big print, short pithy sentences, and loads of pictures/illustrations...moreThis was a great little read. Since the book weighs in at a deceptive 121 pages (big print, short pithy sentences, and loads of pictures/illustrations to help communicate the point), I was able to polish this one of in just under over an hour.
Paul Arden is one of the advertising industries "mad scientists"... the kind of guy that comes up with ideas that are so far removed from convention that he might look like a fool as he presents them, but it takes a second for the genius to hit. Like a good tequila... first it tastes like alcohol, then it tastes like a good drink.
I like guys like Paul Arden... which is why I liked this book.
Written primarily for the advertising industry to help the young ad exec to be better at his/her job, some of the lessons in this book have farther reaching lessons for work outside advertising, and even life itself. Some examples....
- "Develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end" - "People who are conventionally clever get jobs based on their qualifications (past), not on their desire to succeed (future)" - "Do not covet your ideas... give away everything you have and more will come back to you" - "Successful solutions are often made by people who are rebelling against bad [situations:]" - "The person who doesn't make mistakes is unlikely make anything" - "People who are right are rooted in the past, rigid minded, dull, and smug" - "Risks are a measure of people. People who won't take them are trying to preserve what they have." - "Getting fired can often be a positive career move"
Wit, humor, and a dose of reality. I would recommend this book to anyone... ad man or not.(less)
Part of the charm of The Doctor (as he was called in his day) is that he can be long in the argument, but clearly communicate the point he's aiming fo...morePart of the charm of The Doctor (as he was called in his day) is that he can be long in the argument, but clearly communicate the point he's aiming for. This is a great piece for anyone looking to study true Christian unity and where you find it.(less)
This book caught my attention a couple weeks ago, despite the title. :) Since picking it up, I haven't been able to put it down. To be able to read th...moreThis book caught my attention a couple weeks ago, despite the title. :) Since picking it up, I haven't been able to put it down. To be able to read through some journal entries of one of the most prolific writers on the spiritual life, and to see that he also had serious sufferings that led to monumental doubts in his faith, in God, and in himself has turned out to be a huge blessing.(less)