The Living Church - Review

The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor
It strikes me that there are two ways to age. Some things (good wine or antiques) get better with age. Some things (milk, dirty laundry) rot and stink.

As a young pastor who is still on the front porch of my ministry career, I find myself drawn to spend time with guys who have aged well; especially guys in ministry. They're full of both wisdom and optimism. What they have forfeited in terms of physical energy is more than made up in the calculated and urgent way they invest their time and their words. Those are the guys I want to be like, so naturally they're the kind of guys I want to be around. They're also the kinds of guys I want to read. 

When I saw John Stott's book "The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor," I couldn't buy it fast enough. 

I have very little in common with John Stott. He is British, I'm American. He's 90-something, I'm barely 30-something. He's Anglican, I resist boxes... But we're both pastors, both love the Scriptures, and both love the Church. 

"The Living Church" is this 90-year-old man's "dream for the body of Christ in the world today." And it's written that way. It's written with the wisdom of a man who has walked with Christ longer than my parents have been alive, but with the passion of a man who has not forgotten how to dream. 

With pastoral care and the depth of a wise theologian, Stott unpacks what he believes is "God's vision for His Church," and talks specifically about Worship, Evangelism, Ministry, Fellowship, Preaching, Giving, and Impact." 

"The Living Church" is brimming with optimism and sensitivity. It has a good balance of forthrightness and grace, and leaves the reader optimistic about a Church that could be theologically deep and externally invested. It's a book that is easy to read, but shouldn't be read easily. 

I loved this book. 

Obviously, you won't agree with everything Stott argues. He is a 90-year old British Anglican for goodness sakes. But you'll agree with most of it. And you'll get the glimpse into the heart of a man who remains faithful and passionate about the most important things in the waning years of his ministry. 

3 comments:

Andy Rodriguez said...

Oh man, I didn't know about this but will be buying it for my Kindle soon. Thanks for the review.

Chris Freeland said...

No you won't - it's not on Kindle yet ;)

Andy said...

Bummer.