I loved this book and have been recommending it to people in church ministry. it is kind in how it criticizes what we do and what we expect that a worship service should be and look like. for anyone who wants to break out of the "this is how we do things" box, this is the book for you! The authors challenge the how we do "worship"one piece at a time, and then near the end of the book offer a Holy Spirit driven alternative that is both scary (can we really trust what we do to the Holy Spirit?) and theologically grounded. If you think that people need to be in control of what God does on a Sunday morning, then this book will be a great challenge for you.
The Best 101 Book explaining why Christianity is failing the Western Civilization -- Why most of Europe are Darwinist/Secularist, low church attendance, few revivals, low foreign missionaries, and Why USA the greatest Christian Civilization (birthed from Pilgrim and Puritans) is now gone Pagan even on Christian TV, Magazines, and Churches. It also provides the Remedy -- Return to Historical Christianity of Christ and His Apostles and Cast away all "Christianized" Paganism.
The book really merits 5 stars if based solely on the historical data. But, I disagree with many of their conclusions and believe they skewed their research to promote their ideas. First, it appears that while they critique the Church fathers for introducing "pagan" concepts, they fully accept traditional Church doctrine and Bible canon that these same Church fathers were responsible for. What is pagan anyways? If I learn a business technique and apply it to a church model, is that pagan? If I have a background in secular science and connect scientific knowledge and the Bible in sermons, is that pagan?
While I'll concede that the Church has adopted secular mechanism, pagan to me signifies satan-driven worship and I'm not sure if all the traditions we have adopted are true pagan.
The authors failed to input in their writing that many of the Church fathers and great Christians were godly men and laid the foundation for our movement. Also, those institutional Churches have also discipled millions of godly men and women.
Ok, I'll concede that I have limited experienced in a home church, but I know of one first hand and that home church is limited in capabilities and resources to advance discipleship within its ranks or to spread the Gospel. On the other hand, I've attended a mega-church whose budget is in the millions and they support so many ministries to help the poor and disciple its members. Also, all churches I have attended have small groups that provide fellowship under the umbrella of church leadership.
Lastly, they deride Christian education for the purpose of ordination. Wow! I'm a reform minded guy attending a arminian minded church with no complaints because the clergy is solid theologically and under the leadership of a denomination. Ordination was a huge criteria I required when looking for a church. This book derides Christian education then in one section chastises a person for mis-interpreting the Bible to suit his needs. Strange.
All in all, this book spiked my interest in the subject and I will pray about it.
This book I would recommend EVERY Christian to read! We are to be glorifying God in everything we do and I think we have gotten off track on how God had and has planned for us to do that as His church! This is a great book to help explain where alot of our traditions of church come from and also brings in scripture to help clarify that is not how it was originally supposed to be set up as in the New Testament church! Have an open heart and mind when you read this! This is an excellent find! It will challenge your socks off!