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Spencer discovered the truth that church officials often miss, which is that many who leave the church do so in an attempt to find Jesus. For years on his blog Spencer showed de-churched readers how to practice their faith without the distractions of religious institutions. Sadly, he died in 2010. But now that his last message is available in Mere Churchianity, you can benefit from the biblical wisdom and compassionate teaching that always have been hallmarks of his ministry.
With Mere Churchianity, Spencer's writing will continue to point the disenchanted and dispossessed to a Jesus-shaped spirituality. And along the way, his teachings show how you can find others who will go with you on the journey.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2010
Professor at Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando), author, and teacher on the Key Life radio program
There is an anxious question in the air: does church contribute anything positive to following Jesus? If you are asking this question, the late Michael Spencer is someone who felt your pain. If you have left the church to follow Jesus, and if you find him, Jesus will lead you to a community of fellow followerscall it what you will. Mere Churchianity will guide you along this path.
Bishop Todd Hunter
Holy Trinity Anglican Church, author of Giving Church Another Chance
Michael Spencer was a self-described post-evangelical Christian. He pointed out what already was obvious to many: that too often, churches practice moralistic, culture-war religion. And sadly, their members are church-shaped rather than Jesus-shaped. Almost prophetic in his railing against the prosperity gospel and efforts to turn God into a convenient vending machine, Spencers book offers a timely and difficult reimagining of what living as a person of faith really means.
journalist, columnist for the Chicago Tribune
Mere Churchianity expresses a brilliant empathy for those who are disillusioned withand distant fromwhat evangelicalism has become. At the same time, Michaels writing is a clarion call to evangelicals to stop obscuring Jesus and his gospel. This book asks the most challenging question of all: does the body of Christ resemble Jesus?
Jared C. Wilson
Pastor, Author of Your Jesus Is Too Safe
If you are satisfied with the way the church does Christianity in America, then you should back slowly away. However, if you are willing to be challenged, and maybe even infuriated, by Michael Spencers analysis of evangelicalism, then read this book. You may or may not agree with him, but you will be forced to think and hopefully pray about how we engage those who have left our churches.
Author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People
Every Christian, regardless if theyre engaged in church or not, needs to read, discuss, and reread Mere Churchianity. Reading this book is like the best of Brennan Manning, Anne Lamott, and Philip Yancey all rolled into one literary experience. This is the best, most easily relatable book about following Jesus that Ive read in at least ten years. What Michael left behind in words is nothing short of a gift.
Matthew Paul Turner
Author of Churched and Hear No Evil
In this highly anticipated manifesto, Michael Spencer wrote for a generation that is struggling to figure out what it means to live out Jesus-shaped spirituality. Michael was familiar with the burdens of the dominating religious, political, and cultural norms that suffocate our everyday existence. Mere Churchianity delivers, and its message will live on through people who cant help but be changed by it.
Author of Love Is an Orientation, President of The Marin Foundation
As someone who has been writing for years on the supremacy of Jesus Christ and its relationship to his church, I found the Christ-centeredness of this book to be profoundly refreshing. We have lost a choice servant of God in Michael, but heaven is the richer. Im thankful that he left us this excellent contribution.
Author of A Jesus Manifesto, Reimagining Church, and Finding Organic Church
You will look far and wide before you find another Christian who speaks with as much honesty, insight, and foresight as Michael Spencer. I am very careful about the Christian books I recommend, but this one definitely makes the list. I am excited to have a book I can give my non-Christian friends that accurately portrays Jesus.
Author of Evangelism without Additives, Jim and Casper Go to Church, and The Outsider Interviews
In a series of essays covering various topics of the Christian life, Spencer outlines what he believes Scripture teaches and then makes applications based on those conclusions. His style is masterful, his knowledge is far-reaching, and his conclusions are pointed and challenging. The disconnect between the business-oriented church and the biblically-oriented church is very quickly and clearly seen.
But Spencer does not throw out the baby (church) with the bathwater (churchianity). He merely points out where disconnects occur, shows how they occur, suggests ways to reconnect and allows the reader to make their own conclusions. Some of his statements seem to be harsh or hyperbolic, such as "developing a Christianity Jesus would recognize" (Chapter 4's title) but he develops those thoughts very precisely so that what once draw you with thoughts of disagreeing leaves you nodding your head in approval saying "he's right on topic there.'
Far from being a diatribe against the church or organized religion, Mere Churchianity seeks to invite believers and non-believers into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ that allows Him to define the parameters, rather than looking to traditions or men's teachings to do so.
Granted, not everything espoused in the book rings as clearly as Spencer would have you believe. There are some places where the suggestion is made that perhaps leaving an organized church is the most spiritual decision one can make. The casual reader might see this as permission to abandon church and worship in a style of his own choosing; but that is not Spencer's point. This is a book that calls for a careful reading!
A sequel to this book would be great seeing how these ideas are continuing to transform and develop in the lives of those introduced in this book. However, that sequel will not occur. Michael Spencer graduated to glory prior to the release of this book. It is my opinion that his gain of glory in heaven left us with the loss of a great communicator and thinker. I would recommend this book to those seeking to discover what it means to follow Christ in a 21st century mindset. Pastor Charles Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com