A Brief Review of
Embodying Our Faith:
Becoming a Living, Sharing, Practicing Church.
Paperback: IVP Books, 2010.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]
Reviewed by Laretta Benjamin.
“My prayer is that God will use my words, humbly and fearfully offered, to help us live more authentically as apprentices of Jesus, deeply loved by the Father, and sent by and with him into the world. To God be the glory”.(17) .
I have a feeling that this prayer, which the author lifts up in the preface, will be answered as this book is read, discussed and digested among the people of God in the days to come.
I, for one, am very thankful for those in our day and time who have a gift of discernment in looking critically at our culture and the church’s life within that culture. Tim Morey appears be one of those voices, calling the church to be the church – to engage and challenge our culture with all the wisdom and power God has made available to us. Even though this book grew out of a dissertation, it is not stuck in the highways and byways of academia. It is written out of experience and observation, and it is easy to be caught up in the writer’s passion and longing to see the church become all she was called to be.
Critical thinking does not come naturally to many of us. If you are included in that group, I would say that you will find Mr. Morey’s introduction very helpful in taking a hard look at our culture and assessing where it was and where it is now, and even more importantly, taking a hard and honest look at the life of God’s people, the church, as she thinks and acts within this culture. After reading the author’s explanations and insights, words like modernism, post-modernism, pluralism, deconstruction and other such descriptions of our time and culture don’t seem so scary and beyond our realm of understanding. They actually begin to make sense. He reminds us that just as missionaries sent beyond our borders need to have an understanding of the culture they are entering into in order to be effective, we need to have an understanding of our culture in order to engage and challenge. In what ways has the church allowed herself to be formed and shaped over the past years by the culture rather than Scripture? For those of us who have been thinking about these issues over the past few years (and many within the Christian community have) there isn’t too much new here in the author’s opening pages; but for those among us who haven’t really taken the time to consider the importance of thinking about these things, this book is a good place to begin. Whereas many look at our culture and feel hopeless, despairing, and unhappy at what seems to be the church’s new place in our post-modern times, the author looks around and sees opportunity. “I believe this is a great moment for the church. The church, now relegated to a marginalized role in society, has the opportunity to recover its vocation as God’s missionary people.” ( 38)