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This Little Church Had None: A Church in Search of the Truth
Evangelical Press / 2009 / Paperback
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"Gary Gilley has a special gift of analysing the culture's negative influences on the church and offering biblical correction. I appreciate that his books are both descriptive and prescriptive. This is particularly the case with This Little Church Had None. Gary points pastors to timeless, biblical truth that should guide all aspects of their ministries. I heartily recommend this book," Bob DeWaay, Senior Pastor of Twin City Fellowship, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Paul informs us in Romans 1:19-23 man's problem is that he has suppressed the truth about God that has been revealed in the creation around him. This suppression has led to darkened hearts and imaginations that are empty of spiritual reality. Man tries to fill in the blanks with whatever might be in vogue at the moment -- in biblical times it was idols and the direct conscious worship of creation. Today it might be New Age philosophy, Eastern religions, human achievement, humanistic theory, modernistic certainty, postmodern uncertainty, or any number of other theories. Bottom line: mankind has rejected God and His truth and suffers the consequences of that choice as God hands him over to enslavement by his own worldview with its resulting sins (1:24-32). It is no wonder people are disillusioned with life; sin and false beliefs ultimately have that affect.
His third book chronicling the state of churches in society today, Gilley outlines the lack of substantive truth in modern churches in This Little Church Had None. Whether they have adopted the emergent, seeker-sensitive, or some other post-modern mindset, Gilley sees the problem as primarily an abandonment of Truth in favor of some other weakened substitute.
The book is broken into three sections. The first deals with the obstacles Truth faces today. With careful precision, Gilley shows from Scripture how these new ideas are simply repackaged old ideas that have no lasting substance to them. He hurdles the obstacles of paganism, pragmatism, atheism, the seeker-sensitive, and prosperity gospel movements, as well as the emerging church. Most of these movements seek a return to ancient practices in hopes of finding authentic Christianity. However, they do not seek to return to biblical Christianity, instead settling for repackaged heresies refuted by early Church councils based on biblical teaching.
The second section details a way back to Truth. Aimed primarily at those in church leadership, this section suggests that a renewed emphasis on the sufficiency of Scripture is most needed. When believers have confidence that the Bible they read has the substantive answers to the pressing questions of the day, their energies will be renewed. Pastoral leadership is also exhorted to lead with both eyes open one eye on the Lord and the work, the other on the advances being made by the enemy.
The third section presents a practical application of the first two sections. Gilley allows Professor Jay Wegter to outline a method described as worldview evangelism, demonstrating that speaking to others about Christian faith is not scary; in fact, it is vital and necessary and they have the ability to do so successfully.
Masterfully written and expertly presented, the material found in this book is indispensable for those tired of hearing about the next new thing and provides guidance for those weary of following the latest fad in hopes of finding substance in reaching the lost with the Gospel of Christ. Pastor Charles L. Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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