Book Review: Church Planting is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That do Extraordinary Things

Church Planting Is for Wimps (Redesign): How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things (9marks)Church Planting Is for Wimps (Redesign): How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things by Mike McKinley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every pastor or preacher needs to read this book. Of those, especially the young preacher/pastor should read it. The older, experienced preacher/pastor should read it. The middle aged pastor/preacher should read it. Church members should read it to.

McKinley gives a view through his own eyes of the work of church revitalization. I don’t know the stats, probably most churches in this country are in a state of decline. Some recognize it and are happy to change things, just as long as the church continues doing everything the way it’s always been done and adding nothing new. Some don’t recognize it and will committedly go down with the ship. Others recognize but don’t know what to do or how to do it. As a young preacher who will eventually become a pastor, you will get one of those churches. This book will be a help to you.

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Book Review: Understanding the Congregation’s Authority

Understanding the Congregation's Authority (Church Basics)Understanding the Congregation’s Authority by Jonathan Leeman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m a firm believer in congregationalism as the only biblical model, but any attempt to build the case for congregationalism from the Old Testament is going to be problematic. First, the church is not in the Old Testament, but is a mystery revealed by Christ in the New Testament. That is not the same thing as saying the Old Testament has no relevance for the church. Leeman’s approach suffered from a covenant theology that has been developed theologically and not exegetically. He places the church at the end of the line of historical redemptive development as though the church is ultimate—Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Christ, church. He actually made the church out to be another Adam, which confuses the churches’ purpose and mission. There is only the first Adam and the last Adam, which is Christ. There is the first Adam and the second Adam is Christ. Leeman puts the church in a universal, invisible kingdom where the church is another Adam taking dominion of the earth. This is an over-realized eschatology where the church supersedes Israel and serves as a second priesthood. More could be said.

Where Leeman actually addressed congregational authority from the New Testament, he did a good job. There’s definitely good in this book, but it’s a shame it’s in such a mixed bag.

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Book Review: Understanding the Lord’s Supper

Understanding The Lord's SupperUnderstanding The Lord’s Supper by Bobby Jamieson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a helpful book. Jamieson blends theological and practical considerations in a brief book. I differed in a few points and noticed it was where Jamieson’s points were farthest from any scriptural text. Overall good treatment.

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Book Review: What Should I Do Now That I’m a Christian?

What Should I Do Now That I'm a Christian? (Church Questions)What Should I Do Now That I’m a Christian? by Sam Emadi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This little book was a really good read. Emadi managed to say a lot in a little space. Some may be surprised to find so much emphasis on the local church in such a short book, but that is exactly what new Christians need to hear. The New Testament has no plan for Christian discipleship outside of the local church.

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Book Review: What If I Don’t Desire to Pray?

What If I Don't Desire to Pray? (Church Questions)What If I Don’t Desire to Pray? by John Onwuchekwa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This a practical booklet on prayer. John O doesn’t try to give a theology of prayer but a helpful encouragement to pray, both individually and corporately. He gets to the actual problem—we know how to pray but don’t really want to pray.

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