Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Best Books About Church - Part 5

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt invites Christians to examine their way of life compared to the lives of the disciples who left everything and followed Jesus. Platt challenges us to recognize our duplicity in twisting the gospel to fit our comfortable life styles. Defining what Jesus said and meant and illustrating the revolutionary results that come when we “believe and obey” Platt then describes “The Radical Experiment – a one year journey to authentic discipleship.”

I read this a year ago and need to read it again. This is a good book to read and reread It will help us persevere in a deeper walk with Christ.

Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God by David Platt takes Platt’s ideas from his book Radical and applies them to the church. Platt asks what happens when a church unites in exalting God above all else? “What happens when our primary aim is not to make the crowds feel comfortable but to exalt God in his glory?” This book can change our churches if enough Christian churches read it, study it and put it into action. Radical Together includes a group discussion guide. This is a challenging book. 

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God’s Spirit invades the Hearts of his People by Jim Cymbala is a powerful account of how God’s Spirit worked in the life of Jim Cymbala and his wife when they led a run down church with few members and no financial support. Through many struggles and thoughts of giving up they stayed the course and the Brooklyn Tabernacle is now an icon in the city of New York and the world. More importantly it has transformed the lives of many people from all walks of life.

Early on Cymbala decided that the Tuesday evening prayer meeting would be the most important gathering each week. He believes the prayer meeting is “the engine that drives the church.” Sound doctrine is essential, but we also need the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to seek him with passion. The book is full of biblical illustrations and contemporary stories of changed lives. This inspiring, timeless book encourages all Christians to depend on the Holy Spirit.

Here are some choice quotes:

  • Boldness can only be imparted by the Holy Spirit. There is no such thing as “taught boldness.”  Pg 123
  • We are consumed with the unbiblical concept of “church growth.” Pg 124                                             
  • The old saying is true. If you have only the word, you dry up. if you have only the Spirit, you blow up. But if you have both, you grow up.  Pg 152
  • The Bible teaches that we are always drawing nearer to God or falling down. There is no holding pattern. Pg 164
I first read this book years ago and yet I still remember Cymbala’s charge to new members to stop anyone who says an unkind word of criticism about anyone. Pg 160
This is a small book you will read and reread. It is full of wisdom.

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

Blessings, Dottie 

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