The best thing about the book is that it helped to put several things into perspective that I have been thinking about lately. First it helped to soliThe best thing about the book is that it helped to put several things into perspective that I have been thinking about lately. First it helped to solidify the idea that counseling psychology is one of our modern Baals and has crept into the church in a horribly evil way.
Second, the world is doing a better job of taking care of the people in our churches who are suffering from brain damage. They are doing a terrible job, but they are doing better, badly, than we are not doing at all. While Mrs. Simpson is wrong about how to help, she is very correct about the need to help.
Third, the church needs to do a better job of figuring out which things people suffer from that are the result of brain damage, and which are the result of worldly, ungodly, and idolatrous thinking, feeling, and acting. The phrase "mental illness" is not really helpful. Not all behavioral problems are the result of brain damage; or even related to the brain at all.
I have a difficult time recommending this book because the presuppositions are not Christian. The author assumes that psychology has answers, which it doesn't. In addition, as she works her way through the book. the author contradicts herself so much that sometimes it is difficult to know what she actually thinks. For example, in the beginning of the book she says when her mother had trouble, the church didn't do anything to help her family. Then, later, she said that all of her family was greatly encouraged and helped by the attention of the church. Another example is that she wants us to use psychology in the church, but then has a whole chapter detailing the shortcomings of psychology....more
**spoiler alert** Pretty amazing observations about life, leadership, and relationships. If only the author had known God. It proves the old adage tha**spoiler alert** Pretty amazing observations about life, leadership, and relationships. If only the author had known God. It proves the old adage that even blind squirrels find nuts. I recommend this book, but only if you have the ability to translate "world" into "Biblical."...more
It is one of those books that makes it sound like you are in trouble if you aren't a world leader, out trying to change the world. It is true that allIt is one of those books that makes it sound like you are in trouble if you aren't a world leader, out trying to change the world. It is true that all Christians should be leaders in the sense that they live for God. But someone needs to say something for the faithful saint who is in the fifth row near the back, who is faithful in the battle, but not one of the up front leaders. The problem is that only one of them can write such a book and they aren't the kind of guys who write books. Hmmm....more
Chester and Timmis are "ministers" in home churches in Great Britain and though they say early in the book that that will not cause them to have any bChester and Timmis are "ministers" in home churches in Great Britain and though they say early in the book that that will not cause them to have any biases, that is clearly not the case (p. 124 for their view of Clergy). Much of what they say is good and pretty standard fare for churches who want to serve the Lord. However, they have several serious problems: First, Total Church is man centered and focused rather than God centered. This is seen in that everything in the book, called "doing church" is geared to how it affects men and what men are doing to affect men. There is only one short sentence that even mentions worship and even then it does not seek to find out what God thinks about what they are thinking and recommending (p. 86). Second, rather than being worship focused (God centered) they write that there are several other things that should be central to good church (Word, Ministry, community, Gospel, Mission, etc. p. 16, 17). On the surface, placing the Word at the center should be a good thing, but when it is used to keep us focused on what men are doing and how they are doing it, it loses its attractiveness. Third, by emphasizing community the way they effectively negate the Biblical emphasis on the family and on individuals. Finally, the philosophy of the book is very similar to the commune model taught and attempted in the 70's here in the US. Which, by the way looked a lot like a cleaned up version of leftist liberation theology.
This doesn't mean that there aren't things in Total Church that shouldn't provoke thought in the average Christian. There is much good here in terms of thinking about ministry in areas where it may not have been thought about before. There is also much good in practical ways that a church, having acknowledged that God is the center, can then move out to minister to the community. Once you get rid of that political thinking of course....more
Great book. It describes the culture (Postmodern) we live in very well and points out not only the problems, but solutions. He hammers the modern churGreat book. It describes the culture (Postmodern) we live in very well and points out not only the problems, but solutions. He hammers the modern church for letting postmodernism rule instead of Jesus. I recommend this to anyone who doesn't think he/she needs to read it. You others should read it too....more