Friday, November 19, 2010

Thoughts on Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality

I joined a new book blogging site, Blogging For Books, and this was my top choice to read and review. I remember a few months ago when this book was released and the attention it got. Words used to describe it were: "Provocative. Incredibly Accurate. Controversial. Edgy." I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, so I held off buying it. However, once I chose it on the website, I went and borrowed a copy to give me a head start on reading it!

I'm so glad I chose this book to review. It is one I want on my bookshelf.

Mere Churchianity will make you think. Michael Spencer is so accurate in his observations of the problems of the church. We often don't resemble Jesus, sometimes we are sorely lacking in much knowledge about our faith, and even if we know about our faith, are we living it out?

It is true; there are a lot of problems in the church! But I love the church regardless and can't help but think that Scripture says that Christ also loves the Church, so when Mr. Spencer comments about how leaving the church might be the best, healthiest thing a person can do (page 57), it makes me cringe. I know there is a current trend to leave Churches in order to fully live in authentic community, but I still maintain the belief that we can have all that Michael Spencer advocates in his book but inside the church! It is true that we're broken people; so why is it that we demand a perfect church?

I recall a quote I read by Charles Spurgeon about the church and how we should give ourselves to the church, even in its' faults and weaknesses. The entire quote is good, but in order to be brief I'll just quote this one paragraph: "As I have already said, the Church is faulty, but that is no excuse for your not joining it, if you are the Lord’s. Nor need your own faults keep you back, for the Church is not an institution for perfect people, but a sanctuary for sinners saved by Grace, who, though they are saved, are still sinners and need all the help they can derive from the sympathy and guidance of their fellow Believers."

I was so challenged by Mere Churchianity, but I agree with a quote I heard of Bill Hybels that "the local church is the hope of the wold." There is so much thought-provoking, challenging and accurate assessments in this book, I completely recommend it, but I disagree with his view of the church.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I received this book free from Blogging For Books program through Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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