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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theology that transforms
Chester and Timmis go to considerable lengths to make the point that the church is no longer at the centre of society but on the margins, and so we can no longer expect respect, privilege or institutional influence. In other words, Western Europe (and much of the USA) can no longer be described as `Christian society'. Personally I felt they spent an excessive amount of...
Published on 7 July 2011 by daysofwonder

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old truths written for new Churches
There's not much in this book with which I wouldn't agree but that's not surprising as many of the ideas and suggested behaviours are not new. They are what many Church leaders have been encouraging or Christians doing for years. A couple of examples: Page 106 "Go to lunch with a co-worker, not by yourself." - I did this every working day for about 30 years! : Page 107...
Published 24 months ago by ROY


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theology that transforms, 7 July 2011
This review is from: Everyday Church (Paperback)
Chester and Timmis go to considerable lengths to make the point that the church is no longer at the centre of society but on the margins, and so we can no longer expect respect, privilege or institutional influence. In other words, Western Europe (and much of the USA) can no longer be described as `Christian society'. Personally I felt they spent an excessive amount of time hammering this point home: perhaps that is simply because I am utterly convinced of this already; presumably they know people that haven't accepted this point. However, the rest of the book uses the book of 1 Peter as the basis for a reflection on how Christians are to live as strangers and aliens in the world, so establishing the links between our context and that of 1 Peter is important.

The book then starts to explore the implications of a marginalised "outsider" church in a secular culture:
- the secular culture is no longer Christian culture
- it's a mission field - but are we really starting to act like missionaries? and practical cross-cultural mission?
- we need to rediscover the culture, understand it, and love it
- we are called to be a distinctive community - chosen and sanctified for missional obedience (1 Peter 1:2)
- this distinctiveness comes from love (in everyday life) - not by trying to imitate the culture (cool events)

So how do we `do community'? Their answer is we don't! Community has to come out of a focus on God's Word, rather than as the focus itself. Chester and Timmis provide some great insights in how we can care for each other on a daily basis by applying the gospel to each others' lives. In particular, they use the 4Gs (God is great... good... glorious... gracious) as a very helpful framework to relate God's word to the problems of everyday life - and to our own efforts to pastor each other!

Addressing mission, the authors explain Peter's mission strategy for marginalised congregations in hostile contexts: respond with good deeds; live such good lives that people glorify God; declare God's praises with words. "Our lives are the evangelistic events!"

One of the highlights for me (alongside the 4G's discussion mentioned above) was the section on evangelism. Tim and Steve explain that they are NOT natural evangelists so their advice amounts to "evangelism for dummies - a guide for the rest of us" which is wonderful! They talk about how our culture has its own stories of creation, fall, redemption and consummation that we can identify and present a gospel alternative to,

There is plenty more in the book that is helpful, practical and solidly grounded in theological, Biblical, reflection. Their focus on making sure that the church is being the church, authentically and faithfully, throughout the week - rather than focused on programmes and events and a `church schedule' - comes through practically and compellingly. The book is highly readable, and I would recommend it to any Christian serious about understanding their calling in today's Western culture.

Full review on my blog (theuntaming dot wordpress com)...
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and clearly thought through, 23 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Everyday Church (Paperback)
As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, it is plain to see that the church has a very different place in our society to that of the second decade of the 20th century. Where the church was a fairly focal point of both local life and the state as a whole a hundred years ago, now the church is seen to have no real place in society. We have become a nation that used to be Christian, now Jesus is no more than a name from the past or a baby that appears at Christmas.
This is why this book is important for us to read. Not just leaders of the church, but also the 'everyday Christian.' What Chester & Timmis do is to show the state of the church as it is today and how we 'should do church' in light of the culture we live in. Their argument is for us to show our culture that church isn't a building but a life lived as Christians together.
There isn't anything radically different here compared to other books of a similar nature but it is a model that is clearly producing fruit in a tough area of the UK. The authors want to show us how living lives with gospel intentionality has been far more beneficial than just getting people to come to an event in a church building. This is so helpful to be reminded of and the examples they give of how it has been worked through in their ministry add weight to their argument.
What they do in Sheffield won't exactly fit into every church setting throughout the country but their heart for the lost people of the UK will. This book is invaluable if we are to reach a culture/country with the love of Jesus and the hope of eternity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stimulating and challenging, 27 July 2011
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Bookman (Barnstaple, Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everyday Church (Paperback)
This is a stimulating and challenging book for church leaders. Its cover suggests a book for the ordinary church member, but it would be too conceptual for most. Those who can cope with theology and analysis, and are looking for new ideas and insights on evangelism and church life, will find here much to provoke thought and action. I'm still thinking about how it will apply in a semi-rural situation with an elderly congregation. I'm very glad I bought and read the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh challenging approach to evangelism, 14 Oct. 2011
By 
Moulee1 "Rev" (East Anglia, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everyday Church (Paperback)
Having listened to the author at a recent conference, I purchased this book for further study. To my delight I found the contents challenging and stimulating in the current climate of evangelism. It offers new approaches and gives insight into understanding the current mindset of many non-churchgoers. It is a very preceptive book written by two authors, yet a clear united understanding of not only the current problems of evangelism, but also numerous alternative ways for outreach. All this underpinned by a clear scriptural application and encouragement. I am recommending this book to my church leader with a view that it will be used widely within the church teaching programme.
A thoroughly good read full of innovative ideas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Christian should read this book!, 7 July 2013
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This review is from: Everyday Church (Paperback)
I love this book! It has moved on my idea of church and made me understand more about the early church in Acts. It has helped me see how individualised we have become in Britain in the way we live generally but also as Christians. We need to be sharing our lives with one another as well as our Sunday meetings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What we have lost?, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: Everyday Church (Paperback)
What we have lost.in the western church so often is what the book calls for! Read this book with a pencil to underline and mark it, so you can reread it again and again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it and would recommend, 14 Feb. 2015
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A. J. Scholes (Grantham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everyday Church (Paperback)
Enjoyed it and would recommend.
Based around 1 Peter and draws out some good points.
OK, maybe nothing 'new' but nonetheless some important reminders.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Everyday Church (Paperback)
Excellent application of what a Christian church community should be seven days a week.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old truths written for new Churches, 11 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Everyday Church (Paperback)
There's not much in this book with which I wouldn't agree but that's not surprising as many of the ideas and suggested behaviours are not new. They are what many Church leaders have been encouraging or Christians doing for years. A couple of examples: Page 106 "Go to lunch with a co-worker, not by yourself." - I did this every working day for about 30 years! : Page 107 "Hobby with non-Christians." (also page 50) Our vicar was encouraging us to do this 40 years ago. However perhaps those involved in the sort of community expression of Church such as "Simple Church" or "Mission shaped community" are more likely to accept these ideas if they read about them in a book written by someone from this type of church rather than hearing about the experience of someone from a traditional church.

Page 28 talks about the pitfalls of Churches accepting money from the state whilst not coming out whole heartly against the practise. I would disagree and say the practise should be completely avoided. We believe that if God calls us as individuals or as a church to undertake a venture then he will provide the funds through Christians. I'm unaware of any examples in the Bible where funding for God's work was sourced from anywhere other than God's people. God's work requires sacrifices and this is the one area where we are told to test God (Malachi 3:10). On the other hand we are warned in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 against partnering with unbelievers. In the Old Testament sacrifices had to be bought and David had the opportunity to get his sacrifice on the cheap (1 Chronicles 21:24) but he said he had to pay the full price of the sacrifice. This is an example that we as Churches should follow. It is dishonouring to God to try and do his work on the cheap by getting others (e.g. the state) to contribute to the cost. Page 36 1st Paragraph says "Our values, lifestyle, priorities are radically different from those of the surrounding culture" The state, e.g. local government, represents the surrounding culture and so its priorities will be different from those of the Church. We are called to be Holy, that means set apart from the world. Accepting funds from the state to do God's work means we will have to compromise with the result that the Church's prophetic role and evangelistic proclamation will inevitably be blunted.

On balance I would recommend this book. We have had some fruitfull discussions based on it although very little in it is new thinking, at least to some of us and the view expressed on state funding could be stronger.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My money could have been better spent, 7 Jun. 2013
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I was looking forward to this book. I'm a minister in the Church of Scotland. However it seems the author is rather biased against main-stream denominations. There is nothing new here for those who've been in the church for a while. Basically all it says is that programs won't grow the church, only an authentic living faith will. And that's about it. Probably worthwhile for new Christians.
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