1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good but not brilliant,
This review is from: Gospel-Centred Church (Paperback)
The Gospel-Centred Church is part of a series of 3 study books (Gospel Centred Life and Family being the others).
The book is helpfully set out with discussion starters, a brief Bible study and a 'read all about it' section. It works well as a one to one study or as a housegroup discussion book.
As with other material from Steve Timmis and Tim Chester (eg Total Church) it challenges a received understanding of church which is formulaic and a long way from the NT missionary church which shares its life together with a focus on reaching out to others. At that level the book is incredibly helpful and if you've never begun to think about those issues I would thoroughly recommend it.
However the reason for 3 stars is the fact that the more I've studied this book (and I've used it a few times in one to one's with guys in our church) the more frustrated I've become with its use of the Bible. On a number of occasions it seems that the passages are shoe-horned into making a point which is quite a way off what they were intended to say - chapter 17 being a good example. It seems as though the writers have got hold of a clearly biblical principle (mission focused churches) and are trying to force its expression into very narrow pragmatic ideas which themselves are not implicitly or explicitly taught by the Bible (ie small household church, no buildings, belonging before believing). In doing that sadly I think it fails to hit the target with as much force as it might.