I found this book a difficult read, not because it was hard to understand, but difficult, because it spoke so much of how I and many others struggle with how we "do" church. It seems we make so little difference in our community, neighborhoods, etc. And yet while this book acknowledges some pretty serious concerns about the North American church, it doesn't do a slam dunk, but rather gently, but firmly, makes us aware that indeed all is not well. For those who are willing to consider the tough road of "doing" church the way it was modeled for us in the early church, this can give some solid encouragement and hope in the midst of the situation we face as church in the West.
I attend a church that is trying to put into practice many of the principles in this book and found it very challenging to realize how much I have withdrawn from our culture and hung out in our holy huddles letting the world go by. My wife and I are in our late seventies and we have committed ourselves to trying to truly show God's lovethrough our everyday lives to a world we know God loves. This book really helped us understand more of Jesus's life on this earth.
There is a call out there for some not everyone to move into the world in a more tangible way to reveal a Kingdom that is here today.(We are all called to reveal the Kingdom, some are just called more to the frontlines) I believe this call was out there in the O.T. times, the N.T. times and in the call is there still today. Halter and Smay do a very good and balanced job of once again calling the church to be and nothing something to go too. You will be, challenged, angered or edified to keep going forward. If this is one of the messages that just tickled our ears that we are warn will happen in the end times then it did a terrible job because it made me anything but comfortable.
I too would disagree with the earlier review. To be sure, there are some things in this book that I find disagreeable. However, the main thesis of the book is how we can legitimize the reception of the truth. Please consider the following quotes. In the chapter regarding posture, the author states, "posture represents the attitude of the body, the nonverbal forms of communication that accompany what we say." (p. 39) He then provides applicable illustration to drive home the point. Then he writes, "Posture is important because it can either obscure the message of truth or enhance and pave the way for a clear rendering of the truth." (p. 40) Finally, as the negative reviewer alluded, Halter writes, "The idea of posture helps us realize that truth IS important, but according to Scripture, truth [by itself] is not the only thing or the most important thing. The most important thing is whether or not people are attracted to the truth, drawn into the truth, and able to understand and RECEIVE the truth." (p. 41)Looking to be challenged? READ this book!Thanks Hugh & Matt!
I wholeheartedly disagree with the previous review. One should take it with a grain of salt as quotes are pulled out of context etc. I would go as far as to say that EVERY forward thinking, church planter needs to read this book! Although you may not agree with everything, it will challenge you to rethink traditional paradigms. What Hugh and Matt are doing in CO, looks a whole lot more like the early church than most of what we see in our country today. If you are satisfied with run of the mill American churchianity then don't bother reading this. If you are dissatisfied and long for something more authentic then this is a must read!