Archives For Church

 

Spreading like Wildfire
 
A Review of

From Jerusalem to Timbuktu:
A World Tour of the Spread of Christianity
Brian Stiller

Paperback: IVP Books, 2018.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [  Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Leroy Seat

 

Timbuktu, now one of the eight administrative regions of the Republic of Mali in West Africa, has long been used, as author Brian Stiller points out, “as a metaphor for a far-away and unreachable place.” But Timbuktu has literally become the geographical center for worldwide Christianity, which is a major emphasis of Stiller’s book. Especially in the last six or seven decades, Christianity has grown and spread in such a manner that now its “center” is farther south than it has ever been.

Stiller, a Canadian born in 1942, is well qualified to write a book on the growth of Christianity outside the North Atlantic countries over the past century. Since 2011 he has served as Global Ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance. In that position he has traveled extensively and has had contact with numerous Christian leaders, churches, and movements outside of North America.

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The Future of Church Planting?
 
A Review of

Church Planting
in Post-Christian Soil:
Theology and Practice

Christopher James

 
Hardcover: Oxford UP, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Justin Cober-Lake
 
 
The dominant storyline says the church is decline in the global West. The “nones” are ascendant as the church loses its relevance. Then the story splits. The younger generation has no use for tradition; no, the younger generation seeks authenticity and needs a historically oriented liturgy. The church has become too inward-looking; the church has become too seeker sensitive. The church has become or not become a lot of things. It’s a bit of a mess, really.

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Here are a some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

Missional Economics: Biblical Justice and Christian Formation (The Gospel and Our Culture Series) 

Michael Barram

Eerdmans

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

   

Birthing Hope: Giving Fear to the Light 

Rachel Marie Stone

*** LISTEN to the author read an excerpt from the book

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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A Life of Hope
in a Society of Fear.

A Feature Review of 

Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times
Adam Hamilton

Hardback: Convergent Books, 2018
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Ryan Johnson

 

We live in a society where fear has become ubiquitous.  It looms behind every corner, and for many it is impossible to go through a day without feeling its effects.  Those of us tasked with the responsibility of leading others are left wondering how to guide people to hope and courage through a labyrinth of fears.  Adam Hamilton, in his typical pastoral way, offers a resource for just such a purpose in his new book Unafraid:  Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times.

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A Holistic Vision
for Single Christians

 
A Feature Review of 
 

Party of One: Truth, Longing, and the Subtle Art of Singleness
Joy Beth Smith

Paperback: Thomas Nelson, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Gina Dalfonzo
 
 

Looking through the table of contents of Joy Beth Smith’s Party of One: Truth, Longing, and the Subtle Art of Singleness, one is hit by truth after mythbusting truth. It’s all right there in the chapter titles: “God Doesn’t Owe You a Husband.” “Singleness Isn’t Seasonal.” “Jesus Might Not Meet All Your Needs.”

And that’s before we even get to the section on sex.

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The Other Side of  Uncomfortable
 
A Feature Review of

Uncomfortable:
The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community
Brett McCracken

Paperback: Crossway, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon [ [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Erin F. Wasinger
 
 

Last spring, my church was in the middle of a sermon series that did nothing for me. I forget what it was about. In fact, I only remember we had a lackluster sermon series because I remember a postcard that arrived in my mailbox at the same time.  A new church, opening in a hip neighborhood downtown, promised friendship and free-trade coffee on its invitation. Free-trade coffee! I read that as code for “hipster church,” a place where everyone would care about the things I do, would listen to the same music, linger in the same coffee shops.

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Stirring Our Imaginations

A Brief Review of

Divergent Church:
The Bright Promise of Alternative Faith Communities

Tim Shapiro and Kara Faris

Paperback: Abingdon, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 
 

It is easy for churches to rest in the comfortable clutches of tradition, and many churches that do so for years, or even decades, may eventually find themselves teetering on the brink of death. Throughout the history of the Christian tradition, the Holy Spirit has rejuvenated the people of God through communities that embodied their faith in imaginative ways outside the prevailing tradition and convention of their day (e.g., the monasteries that took shape in the desert, the Benedictines, the Anabaptists, the Quakers, the Catholic Workers, etc.) The witness of these communities has echoed through the intervening centuries, well beyond the particular traditions that formed in their wake, reminding us of God’s continuing desire to renew and refine the people of God.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Marilyn McEntyre, Walter Brueggemann, Nadia Bolz-Weber, MORE )

 
Each week, we carefully curate a handful of books for church leaders that orient us toward the health and the flourishing of our congregations.

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

 

#1:
Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

*** $1.99 ***

 
Not only is this a timely book, it is essential for any Christian who writes or preaches. 

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Claiming Too Much.
 
A Review of 
 

5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ.
Alan Hirsch

Paperback: 100M, 2017.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Chris Schoon
 
 
Relying on Ephesians 4, one of my early mentors taught: “Ministers are not hired to do the work for the church; they are called to equip God’s people to do works of service.” In light of that teaching, I have followed missional discussions of the five-fold gifts of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor/Shepherd, and Teacher (APEST) with great interest. From Frost and Hirsch’s The Shaping of the Things to Come to Hirsch’s other work in The Forgotten Ways and The Permanent Revolution to works from a few other missional theologians, this conversation has kept my attention. As such, I eagerly engaged Hirsch’s latest exploration of APEST through 5Q.
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