Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Review: "Why Bother with Church?"
Why in the world would someone give up their “lie-in” Sunday morning to go to church? (11). Church is a bother, strange, with weird people and weird goings on, and can be seriously boring, and if you get involved, it can put more on your shoulders, when you would prefer a “lie-in” on your day off.
Sam Allberry raised these excellent points in his new book, Why Bother with Church? And other questions about why you need it and why it needs you.
I certainly know people who don’t want to give up their time, who “only” have that day to enjoy themselves, and feel they can worship God perfectly well at home.
Allberry begins by looking at what the church is – a gathered people (11ff). And he considers whether the church has done more harm than good.
He continues by arguing that the church needs Christians because our lives and work in Christ are found in our being a people (27ff).
From there, he considers that a good church is a place of learning (39), partnership (41), worship (44), and growth (46). He ends with an overview of the sacraments (51-52).
The he gives an overview of the various types of church government (53ff), ending with a discussion of why a small group cannot be a church (65) and why churches have historically only ordained men (66).
In the fifth chapter, he addresses those who used to go to church but stopped for a variety of reasons (72ff).
Next, he explains that a church member is involved, in prayer (86), serves (87), gives (88), submits (89), and is devoted to the church (91).
In the end, the church is primarily about God – Who He is and what He has done, and He calls Christians to be a part of His people and His work. So, the church is about our being outward as Christians, rather than being inward.
This is a wonderful little book to give someone who claims to be a Christian, but does not want to be part of the church. Lord willing, God will bless this work and draw His wandering sheep in and lead His sheep in faithfulness and obedience.
[This review appears on my blog and Amazon.com. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.]