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Publisher: Moody Publishers
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Title: Disappearing Church
ABOUT THE BOOK
When church and culture look the same…
For the many Christians eager to prove we can be both holy and cool, cultural pressures are too much. We either compartmentalize our faith or drift from it altogether—into a world that’s so alluring.
Have you wondered lately:
- Why does the Western church look so much like the world?
- Why are so many of my friends leaving the faith?
- How can we get back to our roots?
Disappearing Church will help you sort through concerns like these, guiding you in a thoughtful, faithful, and hopeful response. Weaving together art, history, and theology, pastor and cultural observer Mark Sayers reminds us that real growth happens when the church embraces its countercultural witness, not when it blends in.
It’s like Jesus said long ago, “If the salt loses its saltiness, it is no longer good for anything…”
WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK
When I moved from Ohio to Kentucky last year, besides leaving my family, the hardest part was leaving my church. It was a church that pulled together, worked together, and that I felt was making a difference in our little country community.
The next seven months were spent trying to figure out exactly what function church played in my life. I knew it was important. I knew I needed to go to church consistently. I knew the church I would end up staying at would be one the stood firmly on the authority of God’s Word. Other than that though, I had a lot of variables to consider and categorize in order of importance.
So, for the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about churches, having conversations (both with God and humans) about what place they should have in my life, and reading books and listening to sermons discussing the church.
Hence the reason I read this book.
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK
The page number might be small, but the words pack a punch. I can generally read through a book fairly fast, but this volume doesn’t allow for skimming. There’s a lot of information in this book that I agree with and found myself nodding along with as I read.
Post-Christianity is not pre-Christianity; rather post-Christianity attempts to move beyond Christianity, whilst simultaneously feasting upon its fruit.
Post-Christian culture attempts to retain the solace of faith, whilst gutting it of the costs, commitments, and restraints that the gospel places upon the individual will. Post-Christianity intuitively yearns for the justice and shalom of the kingdom, whilst defending the reign of the individual will. Post-Christianity is Christianity emptied of its content. (Pages 15 & 16)
The author points out how churches need to be careful to make sure that in their fight for relevance they aren’t trading the truth of God’s Word for the draw of being like the culture. And I wholly agree. I don’t think the church should refuse to change, but it’s scary what direction a lot of the churches in America are heading in. We aren’t called to fit in. We’re called to be salt and light. When we trade our salt and light for numbers, then we have a problem.
There are also various claims made by the author that I’ve not studied, and therefore can’t adequately give my opinion on. The book did give me a lot to ponder, and I spent many mornings reading through it and challenging myself to re-think how I currently view the church compared to what God’s Word says.
The author asks a lot of questions, quotes a lot of people, and doesn’t shy away challenging the reader to re-think their stance on the church. It helped me better define what role church plays in my life, and I’m thankful for that.
I’m giving Disappearing Church 3 out of 5 stars. I’m so grateful for the generosity of the publisher for sending me a copy of this book so I could review it and share it with y’all.