Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Church Awakening

I'm only part way through reading The Church Awakening but I have to say it is full of gems and encouragements and challenges. Often reading a book like this can leave you feeling somewhat inadequate-wondering if you fall into the category of leader who would be judged as falling short of pressing biblically or failing to pursue grace. But you have to cut through those insecurities and let the book both refresh your sense of call and commitment to seeking to lead according to God's heart and to challenge you to invest more fully in building those things into your ministry.

Throughout the book there are sets of principles and patterns that set out the core of being a biblical community. There's nothing controversial, just a plain and simple call to profound realignment of the church with biblical models. A call to face up to the reality that we need to pay attention to those things that work to erode the fundamentals of being the church that Jesus wants to build.

The danger with such a book is that it makes a straw man of the emerging church or the ideas behind missional communities. I think Swindoll avoids this. His concern is not with a return to some bygone age where all in the church garden was rosy. No, his concern is to address the slow, subtle and silent erosion of core values that happens over time as we drift gently on the tide of popular thought and away from our biblical moorings.

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1 comment:

Chuck Mullis said...

I have been reading this book as well and I am really enjoying it. I have been doing a chapter by chapter review at my blog, chuckmullis.wordpress.com

I am a baptist minister as well and this book is really punching some holes in the theology of a lot of churches in this area.