Monday, May 17, 2010

Mere Churchianity is almost here!

It's been a long time since I've been as excited about a new book as I am about the late Michael Spencer's Mere Churchianity. You can download the introduction here.

Looking over the chapter headings, you'll get a good sense of the trajectory of this book. I note especially the title of chapter 12, "Leaving behind the Church-shaped Life." Dang, somebody had to say that, and of course Michael was the one to do it.

Here's a snippet from the introduction, just to whet your appetite (and if you've been reading my recent posts, you'll understand why this is resonating with me big time):
But I’m not writing to church members who are happy where they’re at or to Christians who are heavily invested in the success and propagation of the church as an organization. I’m writing instead to those who may still be associated with the church but no longer buy into much of what the church says. Not because they doubt the reality of God, but because they doubt that the church is really representing Jesus.

I’m writing to people on the inside who are about to leave or have already left. I’m writing to those who are standing in the foyer of the church, ready to walk out, yet taking one last look around. They haven’t seen the reality of Jesus in a long time, but they can’t stop believing he is here. Somewhere. And they’re unsure what it will mean to strike out on their own.

Mere Churchianity is written for people who have come to the end of the road with the church but who can’t entirely walk away from Jesus. In the wreckage of a church-shaped religious faith, the reality of Jesus of Nazareth persists and calls out to them. I’m talking to those who have left, those who will leave, those who might as well leave, and those who don’t know why they are still hanging around.

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