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3 Stars Out Of 5
March 24, 2010
Jimmy Dorrell has been a church pastor with a difference. He and his wife moved to Texas in the late seventies and began a church under a bridge, correct, under a bridge. He and his wife have ministered to numerous homeless and less-fortunate people over many years and so this book is mostly about his story and ministry with challenging thoughts regarding church.Each chapter of the book begins with a real life illustration of a person or persons who has been involved in his Dorrell's church. He then uses this story as a launching pad into talking about the way the church "does church", particularly to those who are homeless or disabled, struggling with mental illness or certain addictions.Dorrell gives an interesting insight into his church and ministry. It is interesting to read of the ways in which he and others within his church have reached out to those struggling with these issues. It is good to see that he goes back to the Bible in terms of making his points. However, I do find he seems to take some passages out of context or reads into them things that are not there. It is certainly a book that makes one think about how to reach people who are not normally involved in a church (particularly in the society where I live) but I think a little more balance regarding the Gospel and how that works alongside helping the needy.Overall I thought the book was OK, I wasn't particularly enamored about it because it seemed to lack the theological backing and Gospel focus. But, still thought provoking. Become part of the New Hope Publisher book blogging program.
Pastor Jimmy Dorrell leads The Church Under The Bridge located in Texas. In this book he is challenging each one of us to go outside the confines of our current cultural beliefs and allow the gospel to be the gospel. That means ministering to and accepting those that by cultural standards are the trolls of society. Dorrell introduces us to several members of his church who are, in societies measurement, unacceptable. Through personal stories, we are introduced to their lives; drug addicts, homeless with physical/mental disorders, prostitutes. We learn how they went from being unaccepted by society to being accepted by Pastor Dorrell, church members, but more importantly, by God. They found Christ by the church being the church and their lives found direction and meaning. Through their stories we learn how the church is failing in regards to real social justice not what we have labeled social justice to make our churches culturally acceptable.I read this book twice. I loved the bluntness of the voices, the theological and scriptural support by Pastor Dorrell. This book will get in your face and shake you up. With chapter titles like Put Up or Shut Up and Fight For The Least Ones you know that once you complete this book you will look at societies trolls through different glasses. We learn that the gospel cannot be held hostage to cultural values and remain good news. Become a New Hope Book Review Blogger. Visit www.newhopepublishers.com for more information.