Dec. 22 – Scot McKnight / Laura Barringer – A Church Called Tov [Advent Calendar]

The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2020
Advent Calendar
December 22

 

A Church Called TovA Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture
That Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing

Scot McKnight / Laura Barringer

 
Hardback: Tyndale Momentum, 2020
Buy Now: [  IndieBound ] [  Amazon ]  [ Kindle ] [ Audible ]
 
A Church Called Tov addresses the way in which church cultures of all kinds form members, warning signs of toxic church culture including narcissism and power through fear. Scot and Laura also name the ways toxic church cultures respond to healthy criticism. Their overview summarizes the core factors of toxic communities, but is not designed to be a full exploration of power dynamics, abuse, or cover-up. (There are a number of other books and blogs that have delved into these subjects in greater detail, many of which are referenced in Tov’s endnotes.)

The book’s emphasis isn’t on sketching out the rotten, but instead focuses on what it takes to create a goodness culture in a church – tov, in the book’s title, is the Hebrew word for good. Scot and Laura contend that good churches are not perfect churches, but they are committed to cultivating empathy, grace, people above institution, truth, justice, service, and Christlikeness in and into their unique culture.

“…creating a grace-based family of siblings requires trust, the invisible glue that binds people together. Power and fear can undermine trust, but grace creates it. Without trust, there can be no genuine siblingship. To trust someone is to believe in that person in ways that make the world safe. Sadly, in fear-based power cultures, trust breaks down and makes life as siblings nearly impossible. When a collection of siblings called a church has untrusting relationships, the family breaks down into cliques and tribes and interest groups.”

 

LISTEN to a podcast interview with Scot McKnight about this book…


 


 

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