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Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Churchcomment (0)

August 15, 2013

By Martine Bates Sharp

Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson and Eric Geiger. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2012. 242 pp. (Paperback).

Churches should be centered around Jesus. Well, duh. We all know that. The Church, after all, is the bride of Christ. Why would we need a book telling us that our churches need to be Jesus-centered?

The authors provide a clue from Samuel Johnson via C.S. Lewis. “People need to be reminded more than instructed.” It’s not that we don’t know but that we need reminding. We need reminding that the gospel of Christ should permeate everything we do, according to the authors. They offer a series of examples of how our theology should inform our philosophy and guide our practice. Too often, they write, the discussion starts with practice rather than the other way around. There is often incongruence — disconnect — between what we say we believe and what we actually practice.

Need an example? So did I. “If a pastor teaches on the grace of Christ being bigger than any sin, yet the culture does not allow for openness and confession, an outsider who admits to struggle in his life will be unlikely to experience much mercy in the way people express themselves. Sadly a culture of law will weed out a culture of grace.” Ouch.

The book is well written, packed with illustrations and examples that get to the heart of who we should be and who we really are as churches. Just wait until you get to the chapter on the Jesus-Centered Flower Committee.

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