I love reading this book! I love finding out how the early Church walked after Jesus ascended. The authors are merely showing the origins of our services, and allowing each brother and sister to walk in obedience to Jesus as HE leads them. While it may be sad to learn the truth about today's definition of Christianity in comparison to the first one, it is also true that the TRUTH will set you free! HE is worthy! I love the footnotes that contain so much information and references that enable us to be "good bereans" and check things out for ourselves. It should be on every Christian's bookshelf as a reference at least, but I think it has greater uses to all of us in knowing the faith that we proclaim! Take the plunge, the authors have put so much inside this book! CAUTION: I'm not saying that it's quick reading. It's one that needs to be taken in bite-size portions so you can digest it fully. It will definitely enrich your walk with Jesus, and isn't that what it's all about? Our journey in HIM as we continue to mature and be all that HE has created us to be? Vaya con Dios!
I have read this book twice from beginning to end. It's an outstanding and friendly yet serious critique of church practices based on history and the Bible. I appreciated the generous and humble attitude that the authors had toward disagreeing viewpoint. The book is objective, and with all the footnotes, impossible to dismiss. Readers who understand church history will enjoy it. Readers who are historically uninformed and tradition-stuck will dislike the message. The sequel Reimagining the Church is excellent and I found a lot of added historical information on their question and answers page.
I'm a student of church history and this book is right on the mark. The reviewers who gave it poor reviews have done so for the following reasons: 1. they do not know their history and want to defend practices that are clearly non christian in origin. 2. they are stuck in tradition and have put that above the testimony of scripture 3. they are conventiently overlooking the fact that this book is not a complete work but only the first part of a discussion that "Reimagining Church" and "Finding Organic Church" complete.The book is well written, historically accurate, but challenging because it exposes sacred cows that have no basis in the teaching of Jesus or the new testament literature. if you are an open minded christian who wants to follow God's Word, read the book. if you are close minded and are unteachable, keep your traditions and don't bother being challenged.
I have read this book from cover to cover. The writers of this book have taken what would have been an outstanding historical view of pagan influences to organized religion and turned it into a personal venomous critque against it. This book is neither uplifting nor beneficial to anyone due to the extreem hostility the writers appear to have toward main stream religious practices. This book is a one sided view of the Church, both local and universal, and you are deemed unspiritual if you continue worshiping where you feel the Spirit has placed you. Save your money.