THE CHURCH AWAKENING
This is the title of a book that both Dora and I have read since Christmas, it was written by Charles (Chuck) Swindoll in (2010), and is subtitled "An Urgent Call For Renewal". He starts with a quote from D. Martin Lloyd-Jones "When the church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first". Dora read it first and kept telling me about parts that impressed her, so when she finished reading it I had a good understanding of what it contained, and breezed through it in a few days. It is a very challenging read, and I would certainly recommend it as a "must read" to anyone who is part of the Church that Jesus has been faithfully building for the last 2000 years. (Matt 16:18). He uses the word "erosion" to explain what has happened to the church over the years. He tells a story of how his grandfather showed him the truth about the effects of erosion, by driving a stake into the ground near his cottage that was located near a cliff overlooking a bay in Texas. They measured the exact distance from the stake to the edge of the cliff, and checked it each year to see how much the erosion had shortened the distance. Some years it would be only a few inches, but other years it could be a few feet, depending on the number of storms. He uses this truth very effectively to describe how the church can erode little by little from the "Truth" and not even be aware of it.
Here is a list of the contents by chapters, 1/ The Church: Let's Start Here, 2/ Challenges, Struggles, Solutions, Priorities, 3/ Distinctives of a Contagious Church,
4/ Worship: a Commitment----Not a War, 5/ What Must The Church Realize? 6/ How Should the Church React? 7/ The Church on a Long Drift, 8/ It's Time to Restore the Years, then The Conclusion, and Notes.
Probably chapters 3 and 4 might have been my personal favorites, but they were all very well written. Chuck is an experienced pastor and a proven church leader, having spent several years as president of Dallas Theological Seminary, before starting the church he still pastors today.
I found him to be very clear on where he sees how the church needs to change, in order to prevent the erosion he sees that is happening. But he does it in a very compassionate way because after a period of 10 years, he realized the church he had helped to start had already needed some correction, so he speaks the truth, but not in words that come across in a negative way. All in all, I believe any devoted follower of Jesus could certainly benefit from reading this book!
Dave Jamer 01/02/14