What I hated was the manipulation tactics used by the author to try to get us to feel bad about how we "do cThe history in this book was really great!
What I hated was the manipulation tactics used by the author to try to get us to feel bad about how we "do church" currently. Some things are worse than others (especially across different denominations), but in the end the author wants us to all follow the model that works best for him - which I am not convinced is entirely biblical. The presented model of the "organic church" has no structure, order or submission to authority (other than God). A biblical assembly should have all the above. Reducing (what we call) church to cults and pagan worship of the Christian God is not a way to gain traction for this movement. Fail!
The author also assumes that the worst-case scenario is happening in ever church in America. Personally, I believe this book is the result of someone who has been hurt by someone (probably a clergymen) within a typical church and set out on a mission to find a way around it. Again, I loved the history and the research that went into how all the various elements of *church* came to be the norm. But the little description of the "organic church" given would not work for many participants - mostly because they would be extremely uncomfortable in a setting like that.
If it was a this-is-how-our-church-works book I would have had way more love for it. I just can't get on board with the following formula that was used throughout the book:
"X was never meant to be done like Y. It was changed because of Z. Now, knowing that, the reader must decide for himself if it is alright to continue doing X in the same way, but I'm sure you can see why it isn't."
The biggest thing this book was lacking was a description of what the original church gatherings looked like and how they functioned. It was more of a how-it-all-went-wrong book than a this-is-how-it-was-meant-to-be book, which I hate. And, as I mentioned earlier, the suggestions that were giving were partially biblical, but missing much of what made the church the church.
A better approach would have been to describe each *church* as a whole at each of the various stages mentioned (pre-Christian church, Christ's church, Apostolic church, Constantine's church, etc.) and then ending with the author's proposed concept/model.
All that being said, I did find a few elements that I would like to try to implement into my in-home gathering, which has turned into more of *just* a bible study than it was ever meant to....more
I had a hard time trying to rate this book, the review will be equally hard (if not more so). The author, in an attempt to challenge (convict?) the reI had a hard time trying to rate this book, the review will be equally hard (if not more so). The author, in an attempt to challenge (convict?) the reader, came off as very judgemental - I kept hearing myself think, "You don't know me." He makes many valid points about how American Christians live, their lack of obedience, discipleship, giving, loving their neighbor, etc. However, while trying to "throw down the gauntlet" he overgeneralizes and assumes all American Christians had the same focus and priorities he did before his "Radical" encounter with the Gospel. At times I wanted to give this book two stars, at other times I felt like giving it four - I compromised at three (2.5 wasn't an option, but would be more accurate). If you feel bad about how good you have it as an American Christian, read this book, otherwise leave it alone - it will cause you to get angry with the author and possibly lead to judging your neighbor instead of loving them....more
I do not have a problem with the message of this book. I agree with each and every point the author makes - in fact the topics discussed should be preI do not have a problem with the message of this book. I agree with each and every point the author makes - in fact the topics discussed should be presented to every new believer. However, this book is about seventy-five percent longer than it needed to be to say what it needed to say. The content would have been better served if it were cut down to the essentials and placed on the internet as a ten-part blog post....more
A fantastic book about how the most abusive, hateful Christians seem to have the microphones, what a few believers are doing to actually show Christ'sA fantastic book about how the most abusive, hateful Christians seem to have the microphones, what a few believers are doing to actually show Christ's love (the way they feel He would) and how we can change the world's perceptions of us by doing the same - not to mention actually living out our faith the way we should....more