We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…
- Publisher: IVP
- ISBN: 978-1-84474-503-6
- Pages: 192
- Price: 7.99
Moving in the Right Circles
192 pages, £7.99
Star Rating: 3
This book aims to be an antidote to pious ‘churchianity’ – understanding Christianity to be passively attending church meetings without any engagement with the world around us.The author passionately pleads that Christians should be constantly maturing as ‘apprentices of Jesus’ and as lifelong ‘agents of transformation’ both in the church and the world.
The book covers three main ‘circles’ in which Christians move: in Christ (trusting his cross and resurrection), in the church (pursuing discipleship, prayer, meditation, study, fasting, and the Lord’s Supper), and in the world (especially at work). In light of Christ’s return to renew all of creation, the conclusion encourages the church to continue transforming the world through both evangelism and social action.
Those looking for meticulous theology and clear Scriptural support for each point will be disappointed. Moreover the author overstates some points (e.g. ‘God is defined by love’) without being careful to give equal weight to complementary truths. Some readers will also dislike Yuill’s cursory dismissal of premillennialism.
Elements of the book are nonetheless incisive. For example, we must fight the temptation towards: a) discipleship ceasing at the point of becoming a member of the church, or b) focussing on preaching at people instead of helping people to actually learn and obey, or c) viewing conformity to our church culture (dress, jargon, or even commitment to church activities) as the gauge of Christian maturity.
Yuill writes with a lively style, suitable for most readers, and the book has numerous illuminating paragraphs of testimony from Christians and non-Christians about various aspects of church life. Additionally, each chapter has concluding questions designed for reflection in a small group.Despite some shortcomings, this book conveys a delightful zeal for compassionate mission and cross-carrying discipleship.