Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Church Awakening: Book Review and Giveaway
In THE CHURCH AWAKENING, Charles Swindoll discusses the challenges, struggles, and priorities of the church in the twenty-first century. He reveals the problems inherent in the entertainment-based postmodern church and shows how a return to biblical teaching will restore its strength and impact. Now being replaced by a feel-good message instead of what Christians need to know to stand strong in a world that's lost its way--Swindoll exposes the problems of--and solutions for--the postmodern evangelical church.
About The Author:
Charles Swindoll has devoted over four decades to two passions: an unwavering commitment to the practical communication and application of God's Word, and an untiring devotion to seeing lives transformed by God's grace. Chuck graduated magna cum laude from Dallas Theological Seminary and has since been honored with four doctorates. For his teaching on Insight for Living, he has received the Program of the Year award and the Hall of Fame award from the National Religious Broadcasters as well as multiple book awards.
The Church Awakening is a book that needs to be read by every church pastor and every church member. It is a journey to discover what the Church really should be. In today's modern world, it seems that many churches are more concerned about what the music sounds like, what programs are offered and how much money is coming in; Rather then being concerned about spreading the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ.
Swindoll discusses these issues in great length and really gets the reader to think about what church really should be. He points to the Acts 2 church and reminds us that the essentials of a solid church should be: Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking Bread and Prayer. He comments on each of these four areas extensively with wonderful illustrations and strong theology.
Each chapter covers a different topic related to the erosion of the modern day church and what we, as Christians, need to do to stop the erosion:
Chapter 1 gives an overview of what the Acts 2 church is and how the modern church needs to get back to that design
Chapter 2 covers the major challenges, struggles, solutions and priorities in today's Church
Chapter 3 details what a contagious church looks like
Chapter 4 examines what Worship is and is not (my favorite chapter in the entire book)
CHapter 5 explains what the Church today needs to realize: we are in the world, but should not be of it
Chapter 6 covers the struggles of Spiritual Warfare and how the Church should be reacting
Chapter 7 explores and shows how today's church as drifted (often unintentionally) away from strong Biblical Teachings
Chapter 8 gives today's Churches hope that all is not lost and gives tips on how to get back to being an Acts 2 church, as God originally wanted.
Here are just a few quotes from the book that really resonated with me:
"True worship begins by realizing that God sees those who worship Him with all of who are they are. It's not just a Sunday morning activity. When I awaken in the morning, God seeks my worship. As I am serving in my vocation throughout the day, God seeks my worship. On Saturday afternoon when I'm at work in my yard, God seeks my worship. The Father wants me to worship Him in all circumstances: as I drive my car...as I rear my family...as I live alongside my wife...when I am alone or when I'm with others...when I'm thinking quietly or laughing loudly. The same is true of your life, whatever the details may be. He wants you to view everything as an act of worship - Good or bad" (p. 141)
"It is high time that believers protest against those who have taken the church in the wrong direction. As Christians, we must demand a halt to superficial religion that substitutes for personal faithfulness. We should refuse to be entertained any longer. We must stop calling it "worship". It's time we openly state that we expect deep teaching from the Word of God from our Pastor, not a 12 minute sermonette. We must begin looking to our pastor to equip us to do the work of ministry and not expect him to do ministry for us" (p. 256)
"Amazingly, one of the greatest challenges the church has faced in recent years centers on the one element that makes the church unique in a secularized society: meaningful worship. It is how we worship that has become a lingering battle, what I mentioned earlier as worship wars. We must remember the difference between the essence of worship - what it represents - and the expression of worship - how we connect to God and one another. The first is essential, but the second is not...and hardly worth the war" (p. 267)
A wonderful resource to show us what we need to do to get back to being the Church Jesus intended and encouragement for the journey! A must have book for any church library!
With Christmas just around the corner this would a perfect gift for anyone in Church Leadership.
BUY IT: You can purchase The Church Awakening by Charles Swindoll online from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca - it is also available through your favorite, local Christian bookseller
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***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Hachette Book Group. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***