Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Best Books About Church - Part 3

Church Book Reviews 3
This is my third post in a series on best books about church. The links for the others are below.

The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception by John MacArthur, well known pastor and author. MacArthur writes about the fact that Truth is under attack by our post modern culture and some of those attacking it are inside the church. False teaching, indifference and a lack of accountability infect many churches today. MacArthur says, “False teachers aren’t necessarily even that obvious. They don’t wear badges identifying themselves as apostates. They usually try hard not to stand out as enemies of truth. They pretend devotion to Christ and demand tolerance from Christ’s followers.” Christians concerned about the church may want to also read these other books by MacArthur: Anatomy of a Church, Ashamed of the Gospel and Reckless Faith.

They Like Jesus but not the Church: Insights From Emerging Generations, by Dan Kimball, Pastor of Vintage Faith Church. This is a must read for those who want to reach emerging generations while speaking the truth. The book is divided into three parts – Why Emerging Generations are Changing, What Emerging Generations Think About the Church, and How the Church Can Respond. I was especially helped by an illustration of syncretism (combining contradictory views) Kimball observed in a TV sitcom.

“A family was discussing which religion to dedicate a newborn baby in. The father wanted the baby baptized. But the mother wanted to have some sort of Hindu ceremony performed. And the grandparents wanted the baby to be circumcised by a Jewish rabbi. Before you knew it, the whole family was arguing. In the end, they compromised and said, “Each of us will bring our own religious leader and we will do all of them.”

Kimball emphasizes the need to form friendships first, listen to what others believe, understand what attracts them to their “faith,” and be respectful. We know this, but don’t always practice it. Only when we do these things should we attempt to explain the Christian faith. Kimball has interesting visuals in his book—a historical map of when each faith began, and pictures of three different mountains to God showing why all roads don’t lead to God. He says various faiths have similar teachings at the base of the mountain, but they each climb a different mountain leading to a different God. This is an excellent book!

 Religion Saves + Nine other Misconceptions is by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Driscoll answered questions from his congregation in an evening service (without children there). The top nine sermons are included in this book. In the introduction he states that “religion” never saved anyone, and religious answers to complex questions are simply misconceptions, hence the title. His answers are biblical and he notes that many of today’s issues are not addressed in the Bible. Questions covered deal with dating and sex, the long standing debates between Arminians and Calvinists, and between Catholics and Protestants, the emerging church and how Christians should relate to culture and the lost. The chapter on what worship is and isn’t describes differing views about this in a clear and balanced way. This is an excellent and well researched book written in an easy to read format.

On this Rock I will build my church.” Matt.16:18

Blessings, Dottie

Here’s the link to Best Books About Church 1

Here’s the link to Best Books About Church 2

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