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The Monday Morning Church: Out of the Sanctuary and Into the Streets - eBook
Howard Books / 2010 / ePub
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Unless there is a church on Monday, the church on Sunday makes no difference. Drawing from the book of Ephesians, Cook clearly lays out how Christians can be the church on Monday-not just in buildings on Sunday, but 24/7 in the clutter, confusion, and hard work of everyday living.
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Pastor Jerry Cook has a passion to see the church be more effective Monday through Saturday in the world in which she lives. Such is the stated theme of his book, The Monday Morning Church. Cook defines the church on Monday as the body of Christ at work in the world (p. 3). This work is a sequel to Cooks earlier book, Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness (p. 9). Here, in The Monday Morning Church (MMC), Cook wants to call Christians to make Jesus accessible to people, right where they live (p. 4), by being incarnational in our communities (p. 5).
MMC is a book centered on a devotional look at the book of Ephesians, where the author wants to use Ephesians as an illustration and dramatic guide to becoming the church on Monday (p. 10). If we understand who we are in Christ and what we possess as believers, we will be more effective in our witness of Christ to the world. I applaud this idea and passion presented by Pastor Cook. Thus, MMC is arranged into four different sections, Where Is God on Monday, Who You Are, What You Have, and How You Live. The opening section provides the authors argument for why we need to be more intentional and aware of our Christian witness to the watching world. The majority of the book is a devotional exposition of the book of Ephesians.
I would readily commend Pastor Cook for his passion and desire to see Christians and the church to be fervent, intentional, and aware of the way we live out our life in Christ before a watching and needy world. His desire that we not merely ignore the world during our week is a necessary call for any believer in any age.
However, I did not find MMC to be the kind of book to provide adequate answers or a consistent approach of how to accomplish the authors aim. While his aim is commendable, I felt that the opening section calling for the churchs involvement in the world was radically disconnected from the remainder of the book in its devotional exposition of Ephesians. Furthermore, Cook suggests that what is done on Sunday needs to be disconnected from what the church does on Monday. For example he states, Any effort to present Jesus as Savior must focus on the church on Monday rather than the church on Sunday (p. 5, emphasis his). Cook states that on Monday, [Jesus] ceases to be one of the characters in the program of the institution called church. Rather, he works beside people (p. 6). This is a false dichotomy between Christ and the churchs function as both a corporate gathering and as a scattered witness.
Other problematic issues in MMC include Cooks assertion that God doesnt punish sin, but sin punishes sin (p. 73). He denies Gods sovereign involvement in anything bad (tragic) that takes place in our world (p. 85). He states that prophecy in the New Testament is completely different than that of the Old Testament, though no biblical support is given (p. 147). He also suggests that God does not want to control your life, but instead, you should (p. 167). He promotes the idea that we need to love ourselves more (p. 171) and produce more self-esteem. He redefines biblical submission in the home, suggesting that submission has nothing to do with authority (pp. 183-185).
In summary, MMC is not the fruit of careful biblical study. It begins with a commendable call to the church to be more effective in its witness, but fails to deliver on its aim. Bret Capranica, Christian Book Previews.com
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