Chuck Swindoll speaks with the voice of a prophet.
September 29, 2013
Age: Over 65
If this book is not widely accepted in "church" circles, I am not surprised. Chuck is not writing as a casual observer of church trends, or as a critic, commentator or cynic. He is speaking with the voice of a prophet who has heard from God and has a message for His people.
While it's become obvious to all students and ministers of the Gospel for decades that the church is in decline due to secularism and the fact that many if not most pastors and church leaders today do not know the Lord very well but rather see themselves as small business enterprises with their main purpose being to "please" those who attend rather than to obey Paul's admonition to Timothy of "Preach the word," Swindoll makes the mistake that people often do when they seek a solution--they take scripture out of context.
Yes, the Word of God is the solution! But it must be the pure Word. He quotes one of my favorite verses, Acts 2:42, as a solution but does not quote it correctly. Rather he speaks of "rebuilding the spiritual foundation of the biblical essentials for a church: teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer." However, Acts 2:42 does not use the word, teaching, rather it uses the Greek correctly translated "the apostles' teaching."
One of the great tragedies of the Church today--and why there is not power, signs, wonders and miracles like there was in the Church of the Book of Acts--is not because there is no teaching but because they are not preaching/teaching "the doctrine (didache/teaching) of the apostles."
If the churches of today would return to God's government as set forth in Ephesians 4 and begin once again preaching and teaching "the doctrine of the apostles" then our churches would resemble the ones in the Book of Acts.
Swindoll writes out of wide experience in the church and thorough understanding of the Word, yet admits his own vulnerability at times as he shares personal experiences. I passed on the book to someone else to read just two days after I finished reading it, and it will go to others also.
I strongly believed that this book has been one of the most powerful books pastor Swindoll had ever written. I strongly recommended this book to every pastor, lay leader, teachers and every believer that has a strong passion for the well being of the church.