Remaking a broken world
Authentic Media, 240 pages, £8.99, ISBN: 978-1-85078-873-7
The author’s thesis is that ‘the ordinary local Christian church contains within itself the seeds, or the DNA, of a remade world’ (p.xi). His aim is ‘to persuade us to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to belonging to, and serving God in the fellowship of, a local church’ (p. xi).
His method is to develop a Bible overview, focusing on ‘scattering as a sign of God’s judgment and gathering as a sign of God’s rescue’ (p.xiv).
There is the gathering in the Garden of Eden, followed by the scattering to the East — a place of wandering; and the scattering, because of pride, at Babel. Then there is the gathering at Sinai under the Word, and the gathering at Jerusalem under the King, followed by the scattering to Babylon.
Moving into the New Testament, we have the gathering to Jesus at Golgotha, the gathering by the Spirit at Pentecost, and the worldwide gathering into the church. The overview ends with the gathering for ever in the new creation.
In these sections we are shown that ‘only at the cross of Jesus is a broken world remade’ (p.116) and that ‘the doctrine of the new creation magnifies the church. It is a great antidote to western individualism’ (p.191).
In view of the stated aim of the book ‘to persuade us to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to … a local church’, it is a pity that no guidance is given on what is an acceptable local church in terms of its beliefs, practices and associations.
Other than that, this is an instructive, inspirational and, at certain points, quite moving book. It tackles a big subject in a fresh and original way which is both helpful and understandable.
There are some excellent discussion topics suggested at the end of each chapter. I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to review this, and recommend it.