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1. Why I Am a Member of the Church
2. What Christ Thinks of the Church:
3. Church History Volume One: From
4. The Shaping of the United Church
5. Reviving the Ancient Faith: The
6. The Church of Christ
7. Women in the Church of God in
8. Spiritual Formation as if the
9. Balaam's Unofficial Handbook of
10. God Christ Church: A Practical
11. The Church of Christ: A Biblical
12. Bishop C. H. Mason and the Roots
13. The Truth About the Church of
14. Journey in Faith: A History of
15. Christ's Time for the Church Calendar
16. 2020 Vision for the Christian
17. Saving Jesus from the Church:
18. Eucharist: Christ's Feast with
19. The History of the Church: From
20. Loving Your Wife as Christ Loves

1. Why I Am a Member of the Church of Christ
by Leroy Brownlow
Paperback: Pages (2006)
-- used & new: US$7.99
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Asin: B001UDJVJ2
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The isbn is the same as the older book. ISBN: 0-915720-71-X ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Why I am a member of the church of Christ

The questions I had about the churches are answered from the Bible. The answers are from the scriptures themselves. This book relies on the orginial languages for answers.

1-0 out of 5 stars One Word (HERESY)
You can call your church whatever you want it dosen't make you the one true church, even if your church was the one true Church none of you would be saved anyway because Campbell was baptized by a baptist. I am a member of the Church of Christ also the Church of God and the Way or whatever name the church was called in the new testament. You need a genuine encounter with the Lord not a baptismal pool. I would also like to say to Lt. Harry Morant to his comment on Matthew 5:20 let me ask you seriously can you pass the righteousness of the pharisees I know I can't it's a good thing I have Christ's righteousness because I have none of my own, I pray the holy spirit will open your eyes and don't get me wrong I ain't promoting sin there is a fine line between legalism and libertinism.

4-0 out of 5 stars Must Have Book for the Curious
This book does an excellent job of explaining the distinctive doctrines of the churches of Christ, which by current religious standards is a peculiar group. The book is well laid out and easy to follow. Whether the reader agrees with the teachings or not, he will come away with a good understanding of not only what church teaches, but why, including the plethora of scriptural references used by the church to back up its teachings.

Subjects covered include teachings and practices on: the Bible; who founded the church, where, and when; the nature of the church and its mission; church names and organization; divisions and denominations; inherited sin; how one is saved, including the role of Christ's blood, repentance, and baptism; Christian living; prayer; miracles; and worship, including communion and church music. These teachings, in whole, distinguish the churches of Christ from other religious groups.

One fault with the book is that the print is small and looks like it was typed using an old typewriter, making it a bit difficult to read. Any future printings should consider having the type reset.

Overall, this is a must have book for those who have friends or family who are members of the church of Christ or for those who are otherwise curious about the church's teachings.

2-0 out of 5 stars Partly Accurate
This book is extremely accurate in a few parts. I agree with many of the statements, especially the ones pertaining to prayer, Christ as the head of the church, and Christ as the only way to Heaven. However, there are many parts of the book that lack sufficient evidence of an argument, such as the chapter about being saved by faith, but not faith alone. Also, the part about a man sinning so much as to be eternally lost and the chapter that says only Church of Christ members will be in Heaven.
The verses that the author uses for the arguments are pulled out of context and are extremely misinterpreted, and the verses that go against his argument, the author sorely twists to support his claim. I also have trouble with the non-use of instruments in church worship. A COC member would claim that the bible never says anything about musical instruments, and that one should be silent where the bible is silent and speak where the bible speaks. I have to ask, where in the bible does it say to have a church building, to drive a car to church, to have a sound system in the church, etc.
Overall, this book is a great example of the legality that most COC's strive on, but as far as being scriptural overall, it leaves a lot to be desired.

1-0 out of 5 stars Hilariously bad.
I do not just give bad reviews when I disagree with a writer's belief set, but this book was down-right hilarious in its stupidity.The person gave bad, tired arguments, often that were quite divergent to the point they were trying to make.The scriptural eisegesis was blatant and the book clearly attempted to say a lot of good sounding things that were not towards his arguments.

Buy this book, that way you will not have a chance of converting. ... Read more

2. What Christ Thinks of the Church: An Exposition of Revelation 1-3
by John R. W. Stott
Paperback: 128 Pages (2003-10)
list price: US$10.99 -- used & new: US$10.50
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Asin: 0801064716
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The author expounds Revelations 1-3. Expository meditations, with maps, inspirational photographs of sites of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor, and archaeological evidence. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars short but thougth provoking exposition
This is a good read; not intended for in-depth and time consuming study. It is a concise exposition of the scriptures and provides a nice conservative view.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks
Thank you for the book.I'm enjoying. Thanks for the quick shipping, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Causes and Cure for What Ails the Church
John Stott is a model of the biblically grounded, socially engaged preacher. In all his writings, he builds a bridge "between two worlds," as the title of his textbook on preaching puts it: the world of divine revelation and the world of contemporary application. In What Christ Thinks of the Church, Stott once again performs this valuable bridge-building function with the notoriously difficult-to-interpret Revelation of John.

We sometimes forget that Revelation was not written for us, at least not first and foremost. Rather, it was written for seven churches in Roman Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It applies to us by extension because the problems these churches faced are the kind of problems we also face. But we should never try to sever Revelation from its original historical context. The seven letters to the Asian churches that Stott writes about in What Christ Thinks of the Church remind us of the historical groundedness of Revelation as a whole.

In each of these letters, Jesus Christ (portrayed as the "son of man" in Revelation 1), dictates letters to John for communication to the seven churches. The letters includes follow a predictable format: a description of Christ, a commendation of the church, a complaint against the church, and a concluding command. Stott unpacks the historical background and contemporary application to each of these elements. The primary application he derives is seven marks that ought to characterize the church:

1. Love (Ephesus)
2. Suffering (Smyrna)
3. Truth (Pergamum)
4. Holiness (Thyatira)
5. Reality, or authenticity (Sardis)
6. Opportunity, or mission (Philadelphia)
7. Wholeheartedness (Laodicea)

As I read the biblical text in dialogue with Stott's book, several things came to mind. First, Jesus Christ is the Lord of heaven and earth. We have a very definite picture of Jesus Christ from our reading of the Gospels. But the Jesus Christ who appears in Revelation 1 and speaks in chapters 2-3 looks (even "feels") different. It is, of course, the same Jesus Christ. But we should not underestimate the glory in which Jesus Christ now dwells as the resurrected and ascended Son of God. What he speaks are not suggestions but commands; and they are commands that are tied to the future of humanity, so we would be wise to obey them.

Second, the church is a mixture of good and bad. Jesus finds something to commend and correct in the churches. No church is perfect, and no church is beyond redemption. Interestingly, these churches' errors include some big ones: heresy, sexual immorality, religious syncretism. These are very similar to problems we face in the various American churches, where doctrinal error, non-biblical standards of sexual behavior, and accommodation of alien spiritual practices are rife. Interestingly, Jesus still treats these errant churches as his churches.

Third, the church is called upon to repent. We have read many critiques of Christianity and the Christian churches over the past few years, especially from the pens of militant atheists. Our initial response is to defend ourselves. Jesus' letters to the church show that the proper response is repentance. We may not be as bad as the atheists say we are, but we're certainly not as good as Jesus wants us to be. We need to turn around.

There's a lot of talk about "turnaround churches" these days. For pastors such as myself, this often means an upward turnaround in the numbers of people attending, serving in, and giving to our churches. Jesus goes deeper and addresses the spiritual diseases that underlie declining church health, not merely the numerical symptoms showing decline or stagnation. Like an able physician, Stott helps us apply Jesus' diagnosis to the ailments of the contemporary church. His book is warmly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Expository Preaching- Not Prophecies Explained
Dr Stott regains the biblical ground lost to the popular and hyped-up books presented en-masse to unwary Christians in their 'Hollywood'-style appeal.

Looking at the letters to the seven Churches, the biblical teacher, John, reviews the Apostle John's, enscripturation of the Christ's words to him on the Isle of Patmos. Reaching to the present, the 'Revelation' or 'Apocalypse' is the culmination of current world-history, and the re-appearance and long-awaited Second Coming of our Redeemer, Christ Jesus.

There were exhortationary warnings directed towards these Churches, which directly impact on ours.Stott stays true to the text and true to the context throughout.

'If this clear-sighted scrutiny of the hearts and minds of people was a characteristic of the earthly Jesus, how much more must the risen Christ know all human secrets?' p 73

A well-presented pastoral injuction to the church in the world not to become the worldly church.

4-0 out of 5 stars What Christ Thinks of the Church
The number of books written on the final book of the Biblical canon could fill a library. Both fiction and non fiction have considered it from virtually every angle, from conspiracy theories to allegories, it's all been said. Few, however, have taken the book in a coolly logical way that makes it applicable for today and does not scare you into wanting to cut up every form of identification you own to avoid accidentally taking the mark of the beast.

Fortunately, this slim volume is the exception. Mr. Stott, a noted Biblical expositor wastes no words in addressing the beginning of Revelation. Examining each of the churches to whom Christ sent a letter, he gives the history of these places and how they might have viewed the messages, then makes them applicable to problems today.

**** After reading this, you won't know who the Anti-Christ is, nor will you know when the age will end. It is not a countdown to Armegeddon, but sound advice for how to live until then. If you are scared to read Revelation, reading this book will make it a bit easier to conquer that phobia. ****

Reviewed by Amanda Killgore ... Read more

3. Church History Volume One: From Christ to Pre-Reformation: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political Context
by Everett Ferguson
Hardcover: 544 Pages (2005-06-14)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$16.01
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Asin: 0310205808
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A church history text that integrates the events and development of the church with the social, economic, and intellectual history of the world around it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Church History
I was asked to teach a class on Church History and I ordered this book to help prepare.It is very complete, well organized and thorough.I would highly recommend it - you must realize that it is a history book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Textbook History Plus
This book covers the history of the christian church.It is written like a textbook. However, the author sprinkles in a bit of personality here and there (ie a few wisecracks of the sort a college professor might throw out during lecture).The book is a good general reference that covers the church leadership, philosophers, theologins, and writers.It explains the relationship between the church and the political leadership of the various times. It covers intangibles associated with the various personalities.For example, Augustine's improbable upbringing, the Original Benedict's extreme acetacism, and St. Francis' sweet optimism.I think that what I learned most from this book was that, while the world was in a rather constant state of upheval and stagnation throughout Roman times and the dark ages, the church always continued to evolve and progress philosophically.Now what I'd like to know is:When is Volume II coming out?

5-0 out of 5 stars Church History
Good.. going through this book for a class and it seems to be good.. got it in time and good condition thanks..

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but I've read better
This is the text we are using at the seminary that I attend.I recently graduated from the University of Sioux Falls (SD) with a major in Theology and Philosophy.In the Church History class there, we used Justo Gonzalez's book The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Present Day, and I greatly enjoyed that book.Ferguson's book is fine, but it is a fairly choppy read compared to the longer but steadier flow of thought in Gonzalez's.I recommend the latter if you want a good book on church history.

5-0 out of 5 stars OH MY!
READ THIS BOOK BEFORE YOU ENTER SEMINARY! It is VERY helpful, and you'll have a baseline knowledge for the first semester, and this book covers many issues and people YOU WILL encounter your first week. Conservative - not crazy liberal - point of view. Kinda dry, but so helpful, you don't even notice. ... Read more

4. The Shaping of the United Church of Christ: An Essay in the History of American Christianity
by Louis H. Gunnemann, Charles Shelby Rooks
Paperback: 277 Pages (1999-06)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$11.97
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Asin: 0829813454
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excelent historical source
If you are looking for a comprehensive and complete history of the formation of the UCC this is the right book to read. ... Read more

5. Reviving the Ancient Faith: The Story of Churches of Christ in America
by Richard T. Hughes
Paperback: 385 Pages (2008-01-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$29.95
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Asin: 0891125256
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A history of the churches of Christ in America with emphasis on who they are and why. Fourteen chapters with pictures of Restoration leaders from both the 19th and 20th centuries. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Reviving the Ancient Faith
I found the book very interesting and informative.However, even though there
was a qualifier which stated that it did not include data on "anti-institutional" Churches of Christ, I felt that the author did not sufficiently
recognize that there are churches of Christ which are conservative and have not
followed the many paths away from the ancient faith.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enlightening
Having grown up in the coC tradition, this was a really insightful book. I still have not digested all the content and I did not particularly like how vast concepts were suitcased in neat words like "premillenial", "eschatology", etc., but this book to me is like sitting down with my great great great grandfather and having him explain how the family came to be. At the risk of sacrilege, it's like how the Jews would view the Pentateuch. Very fundamental, highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally!!!
It's about time someone in the Church of Christ wrote a history without all the propaganda. For years, we've been told this silly story about the "First Century Church" that went underground after Catholicism rose to power but resurfaced in early 19th century America. Now I have a better historical understanding of the CofC ideology. I now know the real reasons why there is a "plan of salvation" and no instrumental music. These reasons are historical and not scriptural. The CofC is so ashistorical that this book has and will continue to upset more people. After leaving the CofC, I had so many feelings of guilt. This book has helped me cope with a lot of issues. It has humanized this institution and not preserved it as part of a newfound deity - God, Son, the Holy Spirit and the Church of Christ.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Histories of the Stone-Campbell Movement
Reviving the Ancient Faith is by far one of the three best histories of the Stone-Campbell Reformation in print, the others being Leroy Garrett's Stone Campbell Movement, Revised Edition, and Robert Hooper's A Distinct People. Anyone interested in the origins and history of the Church of Christ, and what makes those "peculiar people" so peculiar will find Hughes' book most enlightening.

Hughes traces the two main streams of our tradition, exemplified by "founders" Barton Warren Stone and Alexander Campbell and how Stone's apocalyptic, countercultural worldview and Campbell's "progressive primitivism" and focus on restoring the ancient gospel merged in second and third generation leaders like Tolbert Fanning, David Lipscomb and James A. Harding. As one who grew up in the church of Christ, I was intrigued to learn from Hughes in the book, that our tradition had several pre-millennial evangelists (actually a pre-millennial "wing" of our brotherhood), which I had never realized before (most traces of it were "stamped out" by conservatives such as Foy Wallace, Jr., until memory of this branch of our tradition was lost by the mainline churches). Those sections of the book alone make it worth reading.

Hughes continues by examining in detail the triumphs and controversies of the twentieth century, through the insitutional wranglings of the fifties and sixties, the Crossroads movement of the seventies and on into modern times.

Some readers may be suprised at much of the material presented, asmuch of it has been consciously or unconsciously "swept under the rug," as it were, by the church as a whole. For this reason, many have inaccurately accused Hughes of "revisionist history."

My one problem with the book is the absence of any substantive material on Alexander Campbell's father Thomas, and the latter's pivotal 1809 "Declaration and Address," which greatly influenced the thinking of his son Alexander and, at least in the early years served as the movement's Magna Carta.

But all in all, Reviving the Ancient Faith is a great primer on the Churches of Christ and what makes us tick.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Overview
The author provides a well-balanced, readable and compelling overview of the people and issues that have influenced the modern history of the churches of Christ.The book was fourteen years in the making and is extremely well-researched and well-documented.It includes dozens of historic photographs and drawings of people who figure prominently in the text.

The book covers the standard history starting with Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone, continuing through the various controversies that divided and subdivided the body in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century:missionary societies, instrumental music, premillennialism, moderization and institutionalism.It then provides excellent sections on more recent trends and controversies, including racial issues, campus ministries, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Crossroads and Boston movements, the emphasis on grace, the "new hermeneutic" crisis, and the role of women in the church.

I would highly recommend this book for every member of the church of Christ and for anyone who wants an excellent overview of the church's modern history. ... Read more

6. The Church of Christ
by Edward C Wharton
Paperback: 174 Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$10.99 -- used & new: US$9.89
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Asin: 0892255765
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The Distinctive Nature of the New Testament ChurchBehind the historical church of the New Testament lies the purpose and wisdom of God. The New Testament church is a unique institution of divine origin. The systematic study of Scripture reveals that Christianity is ordered after a pattern and possess a distinct identity: designed by the Lord, conveyed through the words of the apostles, and seen in the practice of early Christians. Only when following this pattern can we fulfill the command to glorify God in the church. In this study, Edward C. Wharton establishes that Scripture contains a divine pattern for the church of Christ. He then presents a systematic study of the biblical passages relating to the church, creating a clear understanding of the pattern set by God. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Church of Christ
A must have book for anyone wanting to know about
the Church of Christ.The answers to many
questions are very easily found.

2-0 out of 5 stars An Adventure in Pattern Theology
This is an excellent book for those who wish to have their preconceived notions about Pattern Theology bolstered.Individualswho believe in this hermeneutic will cheer, and individuals who do not support this hermeneutic will groan. Unfortunately the author does not do anything to get beyond "playing to his base" by trying to address questions like how one selects the portions of scripture one will include in the authoritative pattern to be followed, or how one should deal with honest fellow Christians who do not see the same pattern in scripture which is so obvious to the author-except to mark them as simply being wrong.

I was hoping this book would take a fresh look and ask some of the hard questions.I was disappointed that it did not.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I have read this book several times and plan to use it in a high school sunday school class. It is organized very well and very easy to understand. It uses scripture to show the reader that we do have a clear picture of how the church should be organized and run. It teaches that Christ and the new testiment writers did give us a pattern to follow to establish the church the way
Christ wanted it. I encourage everyone to read this book carefully and verify the scripture that is used with an open mind. I truly believe it will help all who read it to grow closer to God and His church. ... Read more

7. Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World
by Anthea D. Butler
Paperback: 224 Pages (2007-09-03)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$12.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807858080
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), an African American Pentecostal denomination founded in 1896, has become the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States today. In this first major study of the church, Anthea Butler examines the religious and social lives of the women in the COGIC Women's Department from its founding in 1911 through the mid-1960s. She finds that the sanctification, or spiritual purity, that these women sought earned them social power both in the church and in the black community. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book
This book is wonderful and full of interesting facts.I recommmend that every women that is involved in ministry to read this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Anxiously awaiting Butler's next book!
As someone who grew up in the COGIC, with an academic background in women's studies and political science,I found this both a personal and intellectual pleasure to read. Her balanced approach to the shortcomings and hidden strengths of the church's history as it relates to women's voice and agency is honest and revelatory. For anyone interested in some of the little known history of this faith, this book reveals the origin of some of the traditions and mores of this faith to even the "un-churched" reader. It also entertains even the non-academic reader. I can't wait until Butler produces her next book!

5-0 out of 5 stars COGIC Women:Making a Sanctified World
Professor Anthea Butler's Women in the Church of God in Christ:Making a Sanctified World is a must read for all who are interested in the value of staying focused on an established mission.This book clearly demonstrates how a clear mission to sanctify the world deteriorated into an internal mission of sanctifying a denoninational church called the Church of God in Christ.From the founding of the Church of God in Christ with the support of Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, Mother Lizzie Woods Robinson and Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey created a standard for both personal sanctification and in extending the influence of the Church in the world through active participation in civic activities to elevate the quality of life for all. They followed the lifting as we climb strategy into social prominence and respectability in the community at-large. The emphasis in the Church went from dressing to look holy to dressing to reflect your status in the Church organization and in civic afairs.This book also addressed the unresolved issue of what to do with and about women of influence in the ministry and in the Church's organizational structure especially as they out-distanced the male leaders under whom they are supposed to serve.Unfortunately for women in the Church of God in Christ, it seems that their role in the second half of the twentieth century declined as the Church went through a period of turmoil after the death of the founder and the nation as a whole experienced the civil rights movement and the resurgence of the feminist movement in the 1970s which forced Church women to retreat to more traditional subservient roles.This is a marvelous study of the rise and decline of women power in the Church of God in Christ which also coincides with the decline in the Church's influence in cvic affairs. ... Read more

8. Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered: Growing in Christ through Community
by James C. Wilhoit
Paperback: 240 Pages (2008-02-01)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$12.28
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Asin: 0801027764
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The yearning and restlessness of our souls drive us toward God. This hunger and homesickness is the beginning of spiritual formation, according to James C. Wilhoit. In Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered, Wilhoit takes a unique approach to the topic. Whereas most books focus on the individual's spiritual transformation, this one intentionally concentrates on how the local church itself is the seedbed of spiritual growth and how the process is a community effort. This book's short chapters, sidebar material, and concluding prayers fit well with readers' busy lives without sacrificing quality and depth of content. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars WhiloitFan
This is a very good practical book on the issues (sin, openness to God, etc) that are of primary importance if we are going to develop a growing relationship to God.

5-0 out of 5 stars Church does matter
Spiritual formation has become a catchphrase in churches and is gathering as much attention as churches that are `emerging.' Unfortunately, different people understands spiritual formation differently. To some, it is the practice of spiritual disciplines, to others the introduction of ancient spiritual practices, while in yet other churches, it is adding candles to the church service. James C. Wilhoit is the Scripture Press Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry at Wheaton College. He explains that "Christian spiritual formation refers to the intentional communal process of growing in our relationship with God and becoming conformed to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit" (2008, 23).

The key words of note are Christian, intentional, communal, process, Christ-likeness, and the Holy Spirit. Wilhoit proposes a `curriculum for Christlikeness' which have the following dimensions (1) receiving, (2) remembering, (3) responding, and (4) relating. Each dimension has a few `community practices' to achieve it. This curriculum is for community spiritual formation. Receiving is to be open to the grace of God and involve `worship, confession, sacraments, and prayer' as community practices. Remembering means `tranformational teaching' leading to knowing that we are part of God's community. The community practices are `teaching, preaching, evangelism, meditation, spiritual guidance, and small groups'. Responding is in service and involves `discernment, honouring relational commitment, setting aside prejudices, ministries of compassion.' Relating is living in a faith community and involves `hospitality, handling conflict well, honouring relationships, Sabbath observance, (and) attending to pace of life.'

The community practices are similar to that of the Christian practices as suggested by Dysktra, Dorothy Bass and Diana Bass (Bass 1997; Bass 2004; Dykstra 2005). Wilhoit recognises that we are all being spiritually formed all the time and that formation through the work of the Holy Spirit occurs before conversion (2008, 27). He builds upon and interacts with Dallas Willard's work on spiritual formation (1988;1998; 2002). However he did not interact with Willard's psychosocial transformation of the soul as spiritual formation (2002,38-39).

Instead, he uses the concept of the `imitation of Christ' as the means and ends of spiritual formation (Meye 1994). Also, he did not expand on how different this is from discipleship. Growing in Christlikeness through community implied that community is the matrix in which spiritual formation takes place. However, aside from naming the community practices, Wilhoit did not explain how the community become the means of spiritual growth. Are the community practices the only means of spiritual formation? Are there any weightage to the community practices? Are any practices more important than others? Who is to practice these community practices? Does it involve only the pastors, leaders or everyone? It must be recognised that it is unrealistic to expect all the members of the church to practice all the community practices.

Community practices are also spiritual disciplines practiced by individuals (Foster 1989; Whitney 1991; Tan and Gregg 1997). Whitney has shared on some ways how some of these disciplines can be used for both individual and the church (1996). However both Wilhoit and Whitney has not indicated whether there is a critical level of participation of members of a community before that community becomes a context for spiritual formation. What is this critical level? The weakness of this model based on community practices is the danger of legalism. The Pharisees in the bible epitome legalism in spiritual practices. Though theologian Roy Zuck has written in length on the role of the Holy Spirit and educator Parker Palmer of the importance of the teacher, the danger is real as the community practices become the end rather than the means (Zuck 1984; Palmer 1998). It may become another `church activity.'

It will have been useful if Wilhoit has explained how his community spiritual formation model can be sustained. Baptist Jeff Woods concludes from his meta-analysis of recent congregational studies done in the United States that there are five factors of influence in a congregation that is spiritually vital. They are (1) a willingness to change, (2) right theological thinking, (3) appropriate organisational metaphors, (4) clarity of purpose, and (4) missional leadership (2003). Wilhoit in his survey of the bible discovered that there are three families of images or metaphor for spiritual formation; nurture, journey and resurrection (2008, 24-25). These organisational metaphors are appropriate as church does matter in spiritual formation. Spiritual formation is not about a lone wanderer but a people journeying together.

... Read more

9. Balaam's Unofficial Handbook of the United Church of Christ
by Balaam's Courier Staff
Paperback: 157 Pages (2008-07-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$9.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0829817972
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The staff of BALAAM's COURIER, the unofficial General Synod daily publication since 1975, provides a handbook of the basics of the United Church of Christ for new member and confirmation classes and anyone who has ever sturggled to explain the UCC to others. Written with a light touch, but a passion for the life and work of the UCC--and sprinkled with black-and-white cartoon illustrations--it gives historical biblical, and theological insights into issues that have challenged the church rhtoughout the ages. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Balaam's Unofficial Handbook of the United Church of Christ
This book is well-written and brief. I am currently using it in an adult Sunday School class and the members love it. They are eager to read more, get to the next class, start up the discussion, and learn more about their church. Comments I have heard: Wow! I didn't know that! Our ancestors in the church sure did alot of good things in the world! And our denomination is still doing good things today! I recommend this book to any member of The United Church of Christ, and to anyone who is curious about who the UCC is and what the UCC believes and stands for. The book is worth the read and worth the price. ... Read more

10. God Christ Church: A Practical Guide to Process Theology
by Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki
Paperback: 272 Pages (1992-06-01)
list price: US$27.50 -- used & new: US$24.10
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Asin: 0824509706
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This book offers a comprehensive introduction to process theology by one of its foremost practitioners.
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Doctrine on Process
This work by Suchochi provides the notso timid reader of theology the opportunity to understand the concepts of evil, God's aim, Christ, Redemption, Resurrection and Eschatology from the view point of ProcessTheology. Suchochi shows God as a truly relational Being. She explains Godas one who takes us from the point we are at, considering our pasts andthen providing us with the best possible combination of circumstances(considering the world's influences upon us) and developes a way to reachGod's aim. Suchochi provides some diagrams that need to be studied well inorder to get the most benefit from them. ... Read more

11. The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today
by Everett Ferguson
Paperback: 443 Pages (1996-06)
list price: US$38.00 -- used & new: US$22.77
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Asin: 0802841899
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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By systematically examining the New Testament's teaching, Ferguson unveils a comprehensive model of the church that is boh biblically centered and relevant to a world on the verge of the twenty-first century. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Christ is Lord
This is a very useful and thorough text book. I would recommend it for anyone who wants an in depth study of the Lord's church.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ecclesiological Milestone
With the publication of Everett Ferguson's book on ecclesiology, another milestone has been reached in the scholarly presentation of the distinctive theological perspective of Churches of Christ. The book is dividedinto six chapters, each roughly sixty to seventy pages in length.Withineach chapter, Ferguson neatly and systematically outlines his thoughts andarguments. The first chapter, entitled "The People and theMessiah: History and Eschatology," deals mainly with background issues.Itexamines the Old Testament teaching on the importance of covenant and themeaning of the phrase "kingdom of God" in its relationship to an anddistinction from the church.Ferguson enters into the New Testament andecclesiology proper via a consideration of Jesus as Messiah, including acareful exegesis of Matt. 16:13-23, where he concludes that the "rock" ofMatt. 16:18 is not Peter, but the fact of Jesus' Messiahship.Ferguson'sanalysis of Matt. 16:13-23 is insightful and carefully articulated.Withinthis section, he gives attention to "the gates of Hades will not prevail"and concludes with some interesting yet encouraging insight. In thesecond chapter, "The Church and Her Lord: The Nature of the Church,"Ferguson deals with and focuses on three images, "people of God," "body ofChrist," and "community of the Spirit."A peculiar feature in this chapteris placing the discussion of the word ekklesia last rather than first.Thelatter would seem more appropriate and would seem to set the stage for thechapter, especially for a work of biblical ecclesiology.This greatsection will open the eyes of the reader and renew his focus of church. That is to say, this chapter correctly puts Christ as the head of thechurch and gives Him His appropriate place. The third chapterconcentrates on, "The Church and Her Savior: Salvation and ChurchMembership."Essentially this section covers soteriology, which determinesecclesiology, but it is not ecclesiology itself.His full treatment of thenature of sin, the meaning of the cross, and the human response to God'ssaving work is only loosely linked to his topic of ecclesiology.This isnot to say that this section is uninteresting or uninformative because itis quite helpful for a fuller understanding of these matters.Far moreimportant is the content of Ferguson's soteriology.Ferguson is strongwhen it comes to the necessity of baptism.A few statements will give thereader an idea of his position: "Baptism is the time at which one isincorporated into Christ and so becomes a child of God" (pg. 170); "Baptismis a `calling on the name' of the Lord" (pg. 180); and, "Baptism is theappointed time at which God pronounces forgiveness" (pg. 183).Heconcludes: There must be an objective necessity about baptism, or NewTestament writers could not speak of baptism in the way they do" (pg. 185). How refreshing!In our world of relativity and ecumenism, people need tohear Ferguson's words, especially those in Churches of Christ. Thelast three chapters move into a more familiar territory for a treatise onthe church.Chapter four, "The Church and Her High Priest: Worship andAssembly" is a great section for anyone interested in the dynamics ofworship.Here, Ferguson begins with a type of etymology as a way ofintroduction, concentrating on both the Greek and English words.Thisintroduction to the subject sets the stage for the entire chapter.Worshipis a hot topic today, thus chapter four is rather applicable for our daywith all the differing views.This section is multitudinously faceted andexhaustive. "The Church and Her Bishop: The Continuing Ministry" isappropriately the title for the fifth chapter.In this section, Fergusonagain touches on some hot topics in the church.It is unfortunate howeverthat he only briefly deals with the debates on miraculous gifts and women'sroles.Ferguson advocates a cessasionist position on miraculous gifts anda complementarian position on women's roles, but leaves the readerthirsting for more information and a more comprehensive treatment of theissues.In a day where these two in particular issues are so widelydiscussed and debated, one would think that they might have received alittle concentration.Again, this is not to eradicate what wasaccomplished in this chapter because it was insightful and obliging,especially given the fact that his discussion on deaconesses was amazinglyinsightful and well balanced. In chapter six Ferguson adequatelycovers, "The Church and Her Teacher: The New Way of Life."In thissection, he includes an unusually prominent consideration of ethics and avery healthy discussion of the importance of Christian fellowship and itsconcomitant, church discipline.One last thing that must be mentionedabout this chapter is Ferguson's section on unity.Although this sectionis brief, it is significant and insightful.Ferguson lays out the variousaspects of unity and does so in just a few short pages.It serves as anexcellent conclusion to a monumental work. Of course, any reader isfree to take issue with some of Ferguson's conclusions.For example, thedistinction that is made between the temporary and permanent endowments ofthe Spirit still awaits additional clarification, and there will be thosewho will score Ferguson, despite his disclaimer, for his synchronic ratherthan diachronic approach to the New Testament writings.This is acourageous book.Its Reformed-Restorationist slant that the properdoctrine of the church entails a return to the faith and practice of theapostolic church is unmistakable.There are numerous nuggets of exegesisand important points of emphases that make this book worth reading.It isastounding that Ferguson deals with so many facets of ecclesiology in aone-volume work.Not only that, but he also includes a helpful subjectindex as well as a number of bibliographies.Just a glance at his copiousfootnotes and it is clear that this book is well researched and welldocumented.This book should be one that every minister, church leader,and ministry student is required to read and ponder. ... Read more

12. Bishop C. H. Mason and the Roots of the Church of God in Christ
by Ithiel Clemmons
Paperback: 208 Pages (1997-01-01)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$22.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1562294512
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Bishop Ithiel C. Clemmons documents the rise of the Church Of God In Christ movement, the first pentecostal denomination to spring from the Azusa Street revival of 1907. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars roots of cogic
this book does its purpose in giving a great detail of how the church of god in christ got startedit even gave a good detail about other denominations such as church of god & assembles of god started. great history backgroud I did wanted to find a little more on bishop mason personal persecutions but over all it was a great book recommend to anyone want to know cogic history especially member which I am

5-0 out of 5 stars As expected
Very informative for a new convert to the C.O.G.I.C. I believe in the strong evidence of faith I witness among church members, many of whom have been associated with the COGIC for their entire lives...I appreciate knowing the origin of the church...

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring!
Bishop Mason was a man remarkedly used by God and this book holds up his accomplishments in beginning and developing the Church of God in Christ.I loved it and read it twice.It made me want to visit a COGIC.God is notfinished with this denomination and this book will inspire both members andnon members.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally a book the gives C.O.G.I.C. it's place in history.
The Late Rev. Dr. Clemmons has given a clear account of the Church of God in Christ with this book. It is not just a mere account of its history but distills for the reader the very essence that has made this Church what itis today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Praise God!
A fantastic book.Very exciting to read the history of Church of God in Christ and Bishop Mason.This book is easy to read and very inspiring. ... Read more

13. The Truth About the Church of Christ
by Hugh Pyle
Paperback: 99 Pages (1977-06)
list price: US$2.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
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Asin: 0873981278
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Dr. Hugh Pyle shares with us that many years ago, a strange religious sect joined the so called "Christian" community. Over the years they have gained a notable following of ill-taught people who are being convinced that this is the one true church, and that it was actually founded by the Lord Jesus Christ on the day of Pentecost. In order to prove their points of doctrine, they use the most chopped-up portions of mismatched and ill-chosen verses imaginable. About three-fourths of their proof texts do not even relate to the subject at hand. This book is a helpful tool for soul winners who would convert these dear, lost people. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars A Book of Mis-Shappened Facts
Written by what appears to be an older Independent Baptist, there is nothing but distortion and foolish in this work.I do not know where the author received a doctorate, perhaps at a mail order or perhaps at Bob Jones U.

However, if you want to know what the author believes read it, the arguments can each be turned to the true Light and you can see it for what it is.

5-0 out of 5 stars The distinctives that mark the Church of Christ
Being a former Church of Christ member, I struggled for years to frame and identify the teachings of this denomination which are contrary to historical, orthodox Christianity. This book will give a simple refute to the teachings and practices of the COC backed up by scripture. I would recommend the book to anyone that has delt with this church or if you have family members in it. This denomination makes claims that are simply not true according to scripture and the book lays out the eight main points of distinction. Dave Anderson, AZ.

1-0 out of 5 stars Full of Distortions
I read this book years ago and was appalled at the terrible inaccuracies and distortions given by the author.Mr Pyle claims that the Church of Christ teaches "water salvation" which is absolute nonsense.I have never heard or read of any Church of Christ preacher or member who would teach such.Baptism is indeed a vital part of God's Plan of Salvation, as taught by Jesus Himself in Mark 16:16, and is essentual to contact the blood of Christ, as seen in Acts 2:38 and Romans 6:3-4, but is no more important than faith or repentance.

This book is to be avoided by all sincere seekers of truth.It misrepresents what members of the Church of Christ believe and teach, and is filled with ridicule and satire. The author seems to take great delight in mocking those who wish to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where it is silent.

For a full refutation of this book, read Spiritual Sword vol.14 no.3 "Response to an attack on the Church of Christ." 1983

Recommended reading: "Why I am a member of the Church of Christ" by Leroy Brownlow

4-0 out of 5 stars The "Water Gospel" Exposed
This book is aggressive and Scriptural, attacking with fervency the false teachings of baptismal regeneration and other practices. Sometimes the author is a bit too harsh on those he is criticizing, but the message is solid. I recommend the book for what it sets out to do: debunk the Churches of Christ.

3-0 out of 5 stars Speaking the Truth in Love is found Wanting
Not a lot of apologetic books have been written about this cultic group (which is not to be confused with the International Church of Christ). In fact, I have only found 2 on the internet: Bob Ross' "Campbellism / Its History and Heresies" and this one by Dr. Hugh Pyle.

Perhaps the reason is that most Christians have considered the Churches of Christ to be just another Christian denomination. However, this group claims:
(1) to be a "non-denominational" church - and at the same time promotes itself as the only true church.
(2) Water baptism by immersion is essential for salvation. If one has not been immersed by a CofC minister, then that one has not received the Holy Spirit.
(3) Humankind is not born with a sinful nature.
(4) Justification by faith alone is a false doctrine. Works is needed.

Dr. Pyle's book, The Truth About the Church of Christ, mainly deals with point #2 because, as he states, "To be wrong about salvation, of course, is to miss everything!" (p. 17). I found that the author adequately dealt with the cult's "proof-texts" for baptismal regeneration: Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 3:21; Acts 22:16; Jn. 3:5 (pp. 37-46).

Dr. Pyle also critiques (or should I say, hammers) the Church of Christ teaching that worshiping God with musical instruments is a sin (chapter 9).

I must disapprove, however, of the author's sardonic style of writing aimed at the church throughout the whole book. He uses alot of sarcasm: "no one else can pronounce the word 'baptize' quite like a Church of Christ preacher." (p. 14). He also ridicules the CofC ministers: "They are completely waterlogged!" (p. 32), calling them, "our watery friends" (p. 97).

While we, as Christians, are called to share the truth and expose false doctrine, we must do so in love (1 Cor. 13:6; Eph. 4:15). ... Read more

14. Journey in Faith: A History of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
by Lester G. McAllister, William Eldon Tucker
Paperback: 505 Pages (1975-06)
list price: US$26.99 -- used & new: US$12.00
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Asin: 082721703X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Start
I found this to be very helpful in understanding how the CCDOC formed in the context of western expansion in the United States.This is not a complete history, but an excelent overview, and can be used as a starting point for anyone wanting to explore the CCDOC history.It is a lengthy book, but it is easy to get through.I have heard rumors of a new history of the CCDOC in the works, but it will be difficult to do a better job explaining the information that this book covers while keeping the information managable.Despite the value of this book, an update covering the past half century will be welcomed. ... Read more

15. Christ's Time for the Church Calendar
by Laurence Hull Stookey
Paperback: 190 Pages (1996-07)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$16.94
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Asin: 0687011361
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Calendar: Christ's Time for the Church is the third volume in a trilogy which includes Baptism: Christ's Act in the Church and Eucharist: Christ's Feast With the Church. Calendar presents in great detail a theological explication of liturgical time--a valuable textbook and essential resource for clergy and laity. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Calendar
If you're going to buy one book on the Christian year, this is the one to buy. Thisgreat resource was on the required reading list for a class I was taking on the Christian year. Coming from a denominational tradition that doesn't emphasize much of the Christian year (Christmas and Easter, but not much else), Stookey's book gave me a readable, well-balanced overview of the subject. I highly recommend it!

2-0 out of 5 stars good information in a less-than-stellar book
All of the information was accurate and well-researched, but it was presented in a style that was dry and sometimes confusing.As a catalogue of the elements of liturgical time, it functions nicely; as a book, it leaves something to be desired.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent text on how using the Christian Yearstrengthening Christian formation
This is one of many books that explain about the "proper" use and historic development of the tradition of the liturgical or Christian year.What sets this book apart from the masses of prose on this topic is that it draws the reader into the spiritual appology for why the use of the Christian year in worship is so important.Christmas is not just about the baby Jesus lying in the manger and the cattle lowing.It is about God's humiliation to take on human form (the Incarnation) for the purpose of the redemption of all creation.When we remember the saving works of God through Christ as the centerpiece of our faith from which everything else stems, then we celebrate Christmas in a way that strengthens our individual and corporate faith.Each of the seasons of the Christian year can equip us to spiritual growth if we look to the purpose for God's acts rather than simply the history of the events that we commemorate.I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is responsible for planning corporate worship experiences.

5-0 out of 5 stars Calendar: Get it, Read it, Nourish Your Worship!
This has guided my understanding of the liturgical Christian year. Stookey's scholarship is greatly evident, as well as his deep love for the Church and for Christ. This enchanting blend brings an edification of widest breadth in this field of understanding. Because of this, the readily apparent readability of his work proves helpful and allows the reader to feel no shame for being ignorant of the practices the Church has performed for centuries. He takes the reader on a journey of understanding the theory of why the Christian calendar is so, and then walks us through the rationale for why the Church has sought to worship God the way it has for centuries. What is also very helpful is the pragmatic index, for example, where one will find a useful Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter calendars from 1997 - 2020 CE.

The thesis of the book is that Christian people living in the present ought to be mindful (ie connected and engaged) of the Church's past and seek to remain connected to it through the understanding and practice of the liturgical calendar.

The chapter I was most interested in was chapter 2, titled, "The Year of Our Risen Lord." It begins with familiarizing the reader with why Sunday (the first and the eighth day) was the chosen day to worship God. It then moves to helping the reader understand the significance of the Week and how to reorder our lives (and schedules) to make Sundays a day of refreshment for ministry during the rest of the week. Then the author moves to the broader category of what the Year of the Lord means and explains the Christian calendar. This chapter helped give me the framework and understanding of what is important in the Christian year and lectionary, so we may appropriately worship God in a way that is consistent historically.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential understanding of Christ-time
Calendar is, perhaps, one of the most important books to enter the read-field in the area of liturgical studies, and I would postulate, pastoral theology.In Stookey's classic logical fashion, and his easy readability, he demonstrates the essential nature of understanding the events of the Christian year; in typical Jesus fashion, "You have heard it said, but I tell you...", Stookey helps us to see that our fulcrum for time has been placed in the wrong balance.Indeed, preparation for and the experience of Resurrection are the pivotal events for a Christian life, and it is from these events that all time is derived.His style is inviting and his content is convincing. This book will become a mandate for a new generation of ministerial leaders, both clergy and lay. ... Read more

16. 2020 Vision for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
by Richard L. Hamm
Paperback: 180 Pages (2001-05-01)
list price: US$18.99 -- used & new: US$11.00
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Asin: 0827236379
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Where are the Disciples going in the first twenty years of the new millennium, and how will they get there? In this book, the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) shares his vision for his denomination, lifting up three marks of a faithful church: a deep Christian spirituality, true community, and a passion for justice. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Visionary in a Sea of Nostalgia
I had never heard of the Disciples of Christ denomination until a couple years ago. I have never been particularly religious but my lover and I were looking for a gay friendly spiritual community and came accross a local DOC church and liked their liberal interpretation of theology and welcoming attitude to gay people. At the time we started attending, the congregation had already dwindled down to about 20 or so core congregants and most of those were white, over fifty and most of them were long term members.

Although the theology was liberal, the service was very traditional, formal, Euro-centric and nostalgic of the 1950s which was lost on most visitors. The worship was geared toward the comprehension level, biases and preferences of long term Christians that had grown up in a Euro-centric Christian culture and spoke that language and this level of worship was almost incomprehensible to the vast majority of multicultural, secular American "seekers" that do not have the same esoteric language, symbol associations and experience of DOC insiders and old timers. It was frustrating to see a congregation with such great theology dying and Richard Hamm's book was helpful in clarifying some of the issues involved.

Richard Hamm probably summed it up for me best when he said in chapter one that "many of our congregations and related institutions remain firmly rooted in the 1950s." He asks, "How do we go from being a church that is, is some ways a church of the 1950's to a faithful and growing church for the world that is becoming?"

His answers to those questions are often broad, vague and generalized but they open the door for further discussion. I progressed through that conversation over the next year or two with books by Norman Peart, Kimon Sargeant, George Barna, William Easum and others. It seems tragic to me that it is often the churches with the most conservative, fundamentalist theology are the ones that have made the effort to communicate with seekers and often are the ones that present worship services in the most modern and interesting ways while churches with relatively liberal theologies tend to cling to old fashioned, conservative worship services that most seekers don't relate to. There is often a confusing of content with presentation. I think Richard Hamm understands that if a congregation is going to grow, that worship styles must cross age and cultural barriers. What good is the message if one can not communicate it in a language and style that has meaning for seekers? If the message is only communicated in a language and style appealing to the biases and preferences of "mature" Christians and ignores the needs of seekers, the church will die out with those "mature" Christians.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do you see what I see...
Richard Hamm is the recently retired General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a position he held for about a decade.He recently described his role in that position not so much as an administrator or dogmatic leader, but rather as someone who is called to provide a vision for the denomination into the future.

Vision is a word bandied about by corporate types and organisational theorists, but often remains murky in definition and application.The first two chapters of this text develop the most important part of a foundation for valid vision - the context and present situation.Hamm explores the context of the church, from within and within a broader society.He also sets the context for what vision involves - spiritual renewal, institutional renewal, and ultimate transformation.The vision not only sees, it has intention, the intention of being made real.

Hamm called for primary elements of this vision to fall along the lines of developing true and faithful community, a deepening spirituality, and a passion for justice.All of these sound wonderful, but become difficult to put into practice.For example, what constitutes justice to one person or one congregation may not be the same for another.All three aspects - community, spirituality, justice - require people to leave their comfort zones and embrace a higher ideal.As church folk, that should be part and parcel of the call from baptism and membership, right?

The second primary section deals with `getting from here to there'.The first chapter calls upon people to be agents for change, but with careful intention and proper discernment.Discernment is a specific process that involves all voices in the community, and does not arrive at easy answers or simple majority-rule decisions.Hamm draws on modern ideas of leadership theory and tempers this with spiritual practices for ministers and others in the church.The second chapter in this section carefully shows the physical projections (charts with age of clergy, etc.) and incorporates the principles of vision (I see the church as...) to make the case for Hamm's vision.

There are two appendices - one on denominational questions generally (the Disciples having a strong ecumenical history often concerns itself with general questions about denominationalism), and one on polity issues.These bring up important questions for discussion as the vision of the church continues to grow.

This is a very accessible book, an interesting read for Disciples in particular, but also more generally for those interested in the ideas of Christian direction and polity in North America in the coming years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I agree with Diana that the book well written and gives a sobering account of the future of Proestants and the Disciples of Christ, in particular. Not a hard read at all!

5-0 out of 5 stars A view into the 21st century in mainline Protestantism
This is a readable book that is hard to put down if you are interested in the future of Christianity. Hamm helps us understand the differences in how various generations approach organized religion. He states that North America is the area of the world most in need of missionary work at this time. Even though his focus is the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I think most of the book is relevant to all the mainline Protestant denominations. I am a lay person interested in this topic and found the book quite understandable. ... Read more

17. Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus
by Robin R. Meyers
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-03-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$6.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061568228
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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From One of America's Leading Pastors, a Bold Call to Restore Christianity's True Mission: Following Jesus

The marriage of bad theology and hypocritical behavior by the church has eroded our spiritual lives. Taking the best of biblical scholarship, Meyers recasts core Christian concepts in an effort to save Christianity from its obsession with personal salvation. Not a plea to try something brand new, but rather the recovery of something very old, Saving Jesus from the Church shows us what it means to follow Jesus's teachings today.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars A noble perspective but not to my taste
This is very good exposition on the concept that it is possible to interpret the Gospel as the story about a visionary who lived and died two thousand years ago, who urged us to be compassionate, to do good to our neighbors, to shun material rewards, and not just to pay lip service by saying "I believe".By the way, according to this interpretation, Jesus was not God and he died on the cross but never actually resurrected.

All very good, refreshing, and stimulating to those who are in spiritual torpor.

But I do not quite actually get it in the end.E.g. on page 198, it says "a nontheistic understanding of God is what actually makes interfaith dialogue and mission possible".Is that true?But more important, just what does this "nontheistic understanding of God" mean?How can you have a God who (or which) is not "God"?

Anyway, it is otherwise coherent and does a good job in exposing the fallacies of the ultra-conservative branches of Christianity.This alone deserves at least 4 stars.

2-0 out of 5 stars Who Needs Saving?
If the subtitle of the book doesn't make it clear enough, Meyers is not an orthodox Christian. He rejects even the most basic Christian teachings:

I have never believed in the virgin birth as a biological fact, the infallibility of scripture as a test of faith, the miracles as past suspension of natural law demanding current suspension of reason, the blood atonement (that the suffering of the innocent can vicariously atone for the sins of the guilty) as the foreordained mission of Jesus, the bodily resurrection as the only way to understand Easter, or the second coming as a necessary sequel--and I am the pastor of a church that does not define Christianity this way either. (p. 6)

With that confession, or rather, denial, at the beginning of this book, it is obvious that one who subscribes to an orthodox Christian faith will not have trouble finding areas of disagreement with Meyers. This review will not focus on defending the historic faith against Meyers' various departures from it. Rather, I note three general areas where Meyers falls short in his argument.

Intellectual Honesty

For Meyers the only "serious and scholarly" study of the Bible is that which takes a higher critical approach to Scripture, such as the philosophy that undergirds the Jesus Seminar (p. 18). He calls this "the most candid and intellectually honest assessment of the life and message of Jesus" and insists that "we should study the Bible with all the tools of higher criticism . . . to uncover a more authentic reading of the life and ministry of Jesus." The alternative to this he dubs "biblical illiteracy" (p. 18) and accuses conservative scholars of building faith "on demonstrable fictions." (p. 19)

What kind of "fictions"? For one, Meyers suggests that orthodox belief in the resurrection of Jesus comes by confusing the transrational with the irrational. Because a physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus would be a violation of the laws of the physical universe, Meyers argues that an orthodox faith requires one to "check their brain at the door" (p. 77). But if affirming the possibility of the supernatural is to be rejected a priori, then one wonders who, in Meyers' opinion, God is. Meyers affirms that he worships God (p. 29), but the God he worships must not be a personal being, distinct from the creation and natural processes, otherwise he would be supernatural. And if we have a supernatural God, then supernatural events are not out of the question.

Repeatedly Meyers appeals to the "scholarship" of higher criticism, citing frequently from Robert Funk, John Shelby Spong, and John Dominic Crossan. Yet the scholarship of the Jesus Seminar has been fairly criticized, leaving it highly doubtful that only there do we find an intellectually honest critique of the Bible and the orthodox Christian faith. And in this book, Meyers continues to purport critical ideas that are themselves demonstrably false. For example, in order to debunk the inerrancy of Scripture, he cites Bart Ehrman's well-known complaint that "there are now more known differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament" (p. 62). But this is a highly misleading statement, and Meyers should know better. No other textual critic makes these kind of claims. Bruce Metzger noted that out of 20,000 lines that make up the New Testament, there are only 40 that are in any kind of serious doubt. That's a mere two-tenths of one percent of the Greek New Testament text that can be called into question.

While the scholarship of the Jesus Seminar will inevitably have its followers, it is arrogant for Meyers to think scholarship is entirely on his side. It simply is not, and a major problem with this book is Meyers' failure to adequately refute orthodox scholarship (note, for example, his dismissal of N. T. Wright's arguments for resurrection on p. 90). It will not do to say that this book "is not offered as a scholarly argument against literalism or literalists" (p. 13). With his sweeping claim for taking the more scholarly approach to the Bible, Meyers ironically furthers the sort of uncritical thinking he has frequently encountered in the church.

Mischaracterizing Orthodoxy

It is Meyers' experience with the church that seems to have had the greatest cause in his attempts to "save Jesus." He clearly likes the things Jesus said (at least those parts that he deems authentic to Jesus), but looks suspiciously at the scriptural writings of other New Testament characters. This begins with the Apostle John, who according to Meyers "gave us the Gnostic Christ" (p. 85).

Meyers seems convinced that an orthodox faith in Christ is focused too much on life after death. Salvation, according to Meyers, "is a new way of being in the world" (p. 109). The emphasis that historic Christianity places on a proper theology is his whipping boy, leading him to mischaracterize the Christian gospel with simplistic generalizations, such as the idea that "all we have to do [for salvation] is confess to believing in a set of postbiblical propositions that were not finalized until the early Middle Ages" (p. 108). He misunderstands the doctrine of original sin by implying that one cannot be made in the image of God and "rotten to the core" at the same time (p. 109). He lumps all who hold to orthodoxy together with those who preach a prosperity gospel (p. 123). And he contends that "one can be called a Christian just by mouthing a creed" (p. 219).

One might be sympathetic to many of Meyers' complaints, given the fact that he has observed much of this in southern conservative churches where he lives. Indeed, many of his complaints about the church are mine as well. But Meyers' ideas are not part of any new Reformation, as he asserts (p. 219). The kind of Christianity that rejects orthodox for orthopraxy is classic theology liberalism that has been with us now for some time. Indeed this theological liberalism seems to pick up steam in times like these when the church starts to forget the essence of the gospel. But the reformation we need is not one where we chuck theology out the window; rather, we need to get back to a theology that offers real hope for our time.

Hope for Humanity

And what can offer that hope? What can save us from the doom we sense as inhabitants on planet earth. Here's Meyers' answer:

To save ourselves, however, we will first have to save Jesus from the church--break him out of the stained-glass window in which he is frozen as a two-dimensional superhero without depth, flesh, or breath. We need to turn away from the institutional forgeries that constitute orthodoxy for millions: the blood atonement, fear-based fantasies of the afterlife, "vertical" notions of heaven and hell, selective providence based on human ignorance, and a God who pimps for us on the battlefield (p. 198).

What Meyers really wants is a kinder, more compassionate Christianity, freed of any concept of divine wrath and judgment and motivated only by doing good for one another. He says that being a disciple of Jesus does not involve acceptance of any particular ideology but rather the choice to live by a new ethic, "where the strong support the weak and the healthy sacrifice to cure the sick. Their members care for the earth, for the life of the spirit, and for each other" (p. 157). They seek a just society where the earth's resources are distributed fairly (p. 158) and where "churches lead the way to protect the environment--conserving energy, recycling, preaching the virtues of organic farming and lawn care, and establishing community gardens" (p. 229).

His admonition to all of us to live simpler for the good of others is well-taken, but I cannot help but conclude that Meyers' gospel is not good news at all. It is us who need saving, not Jesus. He ends his book with a dream, a hope for a utopian society. This is everyone's dream because we know the world is not the way it should be. Meyers contends that by trying to live better we can move toward this utopia. His gospel is not without guilt, for any gospel built on man-made efforts to try harder are doomed for failure.

The man in Meyers' church understood this when asked why he would not join the church. "You probably understand the Christian faith better than 99 percent of the people who join this church. What's holding you back?" Meyers asked him.

The man's answer? "Reverend, I get it. I just can't do it" (p. 161).

In the end there is no good news in Meyers' "try-harder-to-live-better" approach. The good news is found in the blood atonement Meyers rejects. In the cross of Christ God was not taking care of whatever you think separates you from God, as Meyers claims (p. 70). Rather, God was taking care of what actually does separate us from God, namely, our rebellion against him. This is the cause of the problems we see in the world, our rebellion against a holy God. And until we see our sin for what it is--violence against God--we will continue to think that we can eradicate it peacefully.


Meyers is correct that something is horribly wrong in many theologically conservative churches. He points out the correlation between high church attendance and negative social statistics like teen pregnancy, divorce, physical and sexual abuse, and chemical dependency. (p. 7) And he is right to ask, "Does the worship of Christ mitigate such sinful behavior, or just help to enable it through cheap grace?" (p. 7).

Many will recall in the reference to "cheap grace" the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who distinguished between "cheap" and "costly" grace. Bonhoeffer shared Meyers' concern regarding those who confess an orthodox faith but whose lives remain unchanged. Meyers suggests that the solution for this cheap grace is to "stop worshiping Christ" and to "start following Jesus." Bonhoeffer had a different idea. "Cheap grace," he wrote, "is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate" (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, [New York: Touchstone, 1995], 44-45).

Maybe the problem is not that we have been worshiping Jesus too much. Maybe the problem is that we have not been worshiping him at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars From aproud "Follower of Jesus"
Sadly, many in the church today find themselves worshipping "The Christ"."The Christ" existed from the beginning of time, was then "born" of a virgin, lived his life (perfectly)and did a few things--but mainly came to save us from our "original sin", was crucified and physically resuscitated, now lives in heaven and will eventually return to earth to judge humankind and send some to heaven and some to hell.

The problem inherent in this worship is that it has very little to do with Jesus of Nazareth, a 1st century Jew who was born in northern Israel to a very poor family, might not have even had a father, taught for about two years, and was crucified by the Roman authorities as a rabble rouser.Jesus of Nazareth died on that cross and was probably not even buried, his corpse left to rot.

So, who in God's name would want to worship Jesus of Nazareth?The answer lies in his message--a message of love, inclusion, direct access to God, community and relationships.A message that asked and answered the question "What if God, rather than the Roman emperor, ruled?"The answer--"The world could be...?" This man was so close to God, so in "tune" with God that it can be said he was truly a manifestation of God--here--on earth--in the 1st century.In Jesus of Nazareth, one could "see" God!

In Pastor Meyer's book, he compares and contrasts this difference.Do we worship the "Christ" or should we look for Jesus of Nazareth?His answer, of course, directs us to look for Jesus of Nazareth--to go back and find him--the 1st century teacher of wisdom--the sage.

We should strive to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth--not believer's in "The Christ"."The Christ" feels good and sounds good, but HE cannot teach us to become 21st century rational, reasoning, loving, and sharing Christians.Only Jesus of Nazareth can do that and Pastor Meyers shows us the "Way".

At a time when the world needs Jesus of Nazareth more than ever, lets find him again!I can now proclaim--"I do not worship 'The Christ'--I follow Jesus of Nazareth."

Thank you Pastor Meyers for enriching my "walk" with Jesus--this book can change your life--start your "walk" today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Saving Jesus from the Church
Don't agree with everything in it, but it's a fascinating take on what we've done with Jesus' life and teachings.Inspirational.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finding the teachings of Jesus
I give this book a six on a scale of 1 to 5.This is the best book that I have read from the Let's-get-back-to-Jesus movement.These various authors (see my review of "If the Church Were Christian" by Philip Gulley) are asking us to follow the teachings and example of Jesus.In other words, one should find the religion of Jesus, not a religion about Jesus.As Meyers suggests, most of the Christian Creeds actually get in the way of being a follower who acts on the simple message of loving, accepting and helping everyone.What a person should be seeking is justice for all in the present, rather than some possible future reward that might be obtained by simply believing the right words.Fundamentalist Christians will not like this book.We find in the book of James [2:17], "So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead."
A world of justice and equality is possible.Jesus often spoke of the Kingdom of God being present but not recognized.It has the potential of being realized in the here and now, if everyone, regardless of religious beliefs, were to act on the teachings and example of Jesus.You certainly don't have to be Christian to do this.As John Dominic Crossan put it, "God is waiting for us to act."
This book points one way.
... Read more

18. Eucharist: Christ's Feast with the Church
by Laurence Hull Stookey
Paperback: 208 Pages (1993-04)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$15.40
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Asin: 0687120179
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The author of Christ's Act in the Church concentrates on Protestantism, exploring the Calvinistic Eucharist traditions of the Presbyterians, members of the United Church of Christ, and Methodists (of whatever Wesleyan type). He also provides material pertinent to preaching, study of the Eucharist by laity, and practical local reform that implements recent revision of denominational rites. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sets an Ecumenical Gold Standard
Lawrence Hull Stookey is one of the scholastic luminaries of the United Methodist church and is especially wonderful when writing on matters of liturgy and sacramental theology. This work is no exception and it is not written for United Methodists. It is an ecumenical work which explains the things from the Catholic perspective and the Reformation tradition and looks at all major shadings in between as well as a few others. In doing so, he treats everyone with respect.

Stookey looks at the historical development of the various theologies associated with the Eucharist. He then looks at areas of convergeance and divergence, all the while asking the question, "How does this compare with what is current practice and with Biblical warrant" Besides looking at the problems, he also looks at possible solutions and pays attention not only to the theology of the subject but also the pastoral ministry. This is a well rounded and well thought out book suitable as a text in a seminary or a text for a class of laity who are interested in such matters. He will completely satisfy no one but he will make all think.

This one sets a gold standard.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great feast
Laurence Hull Stookey has a wonderful trinity of books in this text and the companion volumes 'Baptism: Christ's Act in the Church' and 'Calendar: Christ's Time for the Church'.These books address key aspects of Christian church practice in ecumenical and historical tones.'Eucharist' is no different - it is a one volume survey of historical, theological and practical issues surrounding the central facet of Eucharist / Lord's Supper / Communion.Stookey himself is a Methodist, but writes intentionally as an ecumenical writer; this particular text was completed while he was on sabbatical near a joint Anglican-Methodist seminary.

Stookey's preface begins with a comparison of Babette's Feast and Christ's meal with the church - there is something hidden, something disarming, something inviting about the meal; we may not all approach it exactly the same way and with the same expectations, but those who feast do find it a nurturing banquet.As Stookey points out, eating and drinking are central to life and community.Food is a common motif in the gospels; gathering together for meals is frequently cited from the time of the apostles forward as primary , and indeed the first ordained members of the church were those appointed to help serve the food.

Stookey gives a brief summary of New Testament images and writings about communion.He begins with Paul's instructions to the Corinthians, the text upon which many churches base the liturgies or prayers at Eucharist, given that they are the closest in time to the original Last Supper.He discusses terms such as 'anamnesis' and 'prolepsis' without becoming too bogged down in theology or exegetical analysis.Stookey highlights a few aspects of Paul's verses - that they are actions (more than concepts) central to the importance; they are corporate, not private, actions; they bind past, present and future together; and, they have evangelistic and soteriological (dealing with salvation) relevance.

Stookey also explores the images of the Last Supper in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and quoting from Dom Gregory Dix, he states that the Last Supper is not something radically new, but rather a reinterpretation and deepening of already-existing practices, not least of whom the group of twelve themselves.While John's gospel does not include the Last Supper in the same way, Stookey argues that the whole of the gospel is in a way a commentary on the importance of the Eucharist - chapters like the water-into-wine at the wedding in Cana, the 'bread of life' chapter, and more all point to this.

Theologically, Stookey explores Platonic and Aristotelian ideas with regard to the Eucharist (as these are the two dominant philosophical schools underpinning Christian theology).These address issues of real presence and real substantive changes, and how those might be understood.Stookey also explores Nominalism, Lutheran, Zwinglian, Calvinist and later ideas regarding communion.

After this theological discussion, Stookey examines the way in which the eucharist practice has been carried out over time - quoting the Lutheran hymn ('from age to age the same'), he points out that how communion is done changes dramatically over time.Early Eucharistic feasts could be elaborate, full congregational and full day meal.Stookey highlights liturgical practices of Justin Martyr and Hippolytus and the pre-Constantinian church, as well as shifts after this key official date.Stookey describes the practices of some Eucharistic traditions (the 'dry masses', the remoteness of the public, etc.) as well as reformer and modern innovations that sometimes restore the Eucharist back to its original formulations, at least somewhat.

Stookey puts forward a renewed Eucharist platform that takes into account contemporary and ancient principles and practices, recovering sacramental ideas, the presence of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the work of the people.He includes a good length discussion of practices, elements and settings for communion services, some things to avoid, and ideas to incorporate into the denominational and local adaptations that natural occur in such practices anyway.Stookey addresses the issue of ecumenical actions, highlighting some divergences that make the one-service-fits-all approach unlikely to succeed.

He concludes with two appendices - one looking at issues around communion taken to the sick and otherwise-unable-to-attend, and one looking at particular issues in the Wesleyan/Methodist traditions.

There will be points of divergence to be sure; he points out some historic ironies along the way (such as the closer familiarity of Eucharist practices between Roman Catholics and Lutherans than the Lutherans and Presbyterians, both Protestant churches), and cautions that not all of his ideas and analysis will be fitting or welcome in all denominational settings.Nevertheless, the issues addressed are important ones, and Stookey's writing is clear, concise, accessible and worthwhile.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's Time to Reconsider the Eucharist
The author writes this book in a response to a need for a single volume that brings together historical, theological, and practical matters from a variety of sources.Much of the material available on this subject is written in a technical style that is not easily read or understood by the lay person.The author also seeks to suggest new ways of understanding and conducting the Eucharist.He identifies two audiences for his book.The first audience is lay people in the local church. A second audience is identified as seminarians and church professionals.The author writes from a Wesleyan/Methodist background, but seeks to produce a work that is ecumenical in scope.Stookey wants to clear up misconceptions about the Eucharist and to help the reader develop a historical and theological understanding that will affect the way the Eucharist is observed and shared in our churches.Stookey has succeeded in his objectives.I found the book to be well laid out, fairly easy to read, and quite engaging.Especially helpful was the section about how to preach on the Eucharist, and an emphasis that the observance of the Eucharist is not a solemn occasion, but a celebrative one!This book belongs in every pastor's library. ... Read more

19. The History of the Church: From Christ to Constantine (Penguin Classics)
by Eusebius
Paperback: 480 Pages (1990-04-03)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$8.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140445358
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Beginning with persecution at the beginning of the fourth century and ending with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, the author demonstrates the purity and continuity of the doctrinal tradition of Christianity in its struggle against persecutors and heretics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars An invaluable reference!
As a reference it is invaluable. Some, however, will place greater importance upon the vivid reminders portrayed throughout that Christianity has persevered and thrived until today because of the extraordinary strength of faith and conviction displayed by the earliest believers and those courageously facing persecution in their footsteps. Nonetheless, Eusebius makes no excuses for the missteps of his predecessors or contemporaries, owning the mistakes which he believed led to discipline for the sake of correction. The History of the Church serves as a blazing beacon of how fortunate many Christians are today and how difficult it still is for many around the world.

Interwoven with Eusebius' chronology of the most severe of the early persecutions is his primary purpose for writing The History. That is, relating the apostolic succession from Christ's death and resurrection to the author's own time. Within this succession, he describes, while sparring few references, current affairs in relation to each period of time being discussed. It is primarily this collection of references, as Eusebius contributes few original thoughts, which has likely secured his work's preservation for generations to come. Even if The History is read for nothing more than its value as a convenient work of reference, it is worth the time spent doing so. Whatever the reason, every Christian should read Eusebius' History of the Church.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Church History Book - Superb
The History of the Church by Eusebius (Penguin Classics)

You read the book of Acts from the Holy Bible and want to know where you go from there in regards to Christian history, then this book is the one - from the life of Christ up to Constantine - the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire.

Some bits are complex and a little hard to understand, but Eusebius quotes so many of the apostle, forefather and church fathers and goes through the apostolic successions of the various sees.

Originally written over a period of 20 years and compiled into 10 books by a man who owned no laptop, had no internet access, printing press and quotes a few hundred sources is absolutely remarkable - all in the 3rd century.

Great time-line of the sees (Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch) and emperors at the back and an index of names (though not all names in the book)are in the index! 1983 edition.

Mentions various people whom are mention in the N/T - obscure names and converts of the apostle Paul and what they done and even some of the relatives of Jesus, cousins, uncles etc. How the N/T and O/T books were compiled and which ones were considered un-canonical.

Mentions about persecutions, rise of heretics, defences, other books etc.

In essence Eusebius book is superb and should be compulsory for all Bible College students and Christian workers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Warning!
Williamson's translation is great, and Louth has produced a fine introduction for a foundational text of Christian ecclesiastical history. However, this Penguin edition has one serious drawback:

Eusebius spends pages at a time quoting from his sources. Penguin has decided to render these selections in what appears to be -5pt. font. While that might be an exaggeration, I am not exaggerating when I say that this tiny type makes reading these sections an exhausting task, and can chip away at the reader's attention, hindering absorption of the material. You might be better off going to a bookstore where you can browse through different editions and see what seems most readable to you.

4-0 out of 5 stars History of the Early Church
The writings of the Greek Christian Eusebius, born in the late 3rd Century AD, remain the most in-depth and accurate source we have on the first three centuries of Christianity's existence.Eusebius gives a detailed account of the various persecutions early Christians faced, as well as the ultimate triumph of Biblical Christianity over an assortment of heresies.This Penguin edition of Eusebius' histories is also useful for a meticulous glossary of proper names, a handy `who's who' for the early Church, its leaders, patrons, writers, historians, and enemies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Early church
Terrific book about the early church when church growth was the fastest and greatest it has ever been. Great service from the supplier and the book is just what I needed. ... Read more

20. Loving Your Wife as Christ Loves the Church
by Larry E McCall
Paperback: 206 Pages (2009-02-12)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$9.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 088469304X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Many men don't have a good role model for how to love their wives. This helpful volume explores aspects and implications of using Christ as our model in marriage. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars reader and provider of literature to my fiancé'
this has allowed my finance now husband learn the value of being the head of the family, and know what God expects from him as a husband and a christian.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on 'husbands' that I have read.
I have served in pastoral ministry for over 20 years.During these years I have certainly counseled a lot of individuals and couples.Since I desire to be effective in both the public ministry of the Word (preaching) and the private ministry of the Word (counseling/discipleship), I am constantly on the lookout for tools that are biblically accurate.It was a thrill and blessing, therefore, to read Larry's latest book.It is biblically solid, centering on the implications of knowing Christ and the gospel of grace.I have read many books related to marriage and the roles of husband and wife, some better than others.This is one of the best.I am looking forward now to using this book in my ministry to the men at the church where I serve.It was encouraging and convicting to my own heart--I am positive it will be so to others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loving your Wife as Christ Loves the Church
I have read this book twice.I lost my wife of 51 years to cancer 16 months ago and I have fallen in love with a beautiful lady and I saw this book in a store in California and got it.I read it so it could help me if we get married.The book is awesome, I wish I had read it before my wife passed and I could have put into practice some of the things Larry talks about.

I want to make sure that if God blesses me with marrying this wonderful lady that I don't make some of the same mistakes I made the first time.My marriage was very good, it lasted 51 years, but I know I could have done a lot of things different and this time that's what I want.

The book is excellent for both married men or men like me that are thinking about getting married.It is so much better to know what to do correctly ahead of time than to find out what you should have done after the fact.

I am giving this book to friends of mine that are married to read.I have given it to my pastor for read also.I think it would be a great study group subject for all married men.

4-0 out of 5 stars Men - this is "must read" material!!
Loving Your Wife as Christ Loves the Church is the latest release from Larry McCall (Walking Like Jesus Did).He not only is an author but conference & leadership seminar speaker, and the Pastor for Preaching and Teaching at Christ's Covenant Church which is just a short drive from where I live.Published by BMH Books, a local publishing house, Loving Your Wife was a book I was immediately interested in reading and reviewing.

Loving Your Wife takes Ephesians 5:25 and unpacks it in such a way that men come to know a full understanding of Paul's exhortation.McCall challenges husbands to love their wives in very practical terms, and his pastor's heart comes out at the end of every chapter as he provides questions to consider and action steps to apply.His appendices further this practicality as he offers insight for men who may be married to an unconverted wife, living in a difficult marriage or those who might want to begin an accountability group.

Loving Your Wife was easy to read and yet challenged my thinking concerning my own marriage.I found myself reflecting, and wincing from time to time, as I finished each chapter.I enjoyed the manner in which Larry McCall probed nuances of the biblical text, and in the process stayed true to it's intended meaning.I envision this book being used by men's groups, young married classes, as a counseling resource and other varied ways in & out of the church.

I recommend this book unreservedly!

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful!
Having had the opportunity to read this book in conjunction with a seminar on this book, I have gotten to really know the author's thoughts on the subject of husbanding in a Christ-centered, gospel loving manner. Pastor Larry, (as I know him), has shared quite a bit of insightful truths into marriage that have been helpful even in my own, fairly new marriage. He has authored the book in a way that truly allows Christ to become the center of a marriage. This is his passion. He has revealed in my marriage many things that need to be improved on, things that I've completely failed at, and how Christ can truly be the glue that holds my wife and I together. Christ has used this book in my marriage. Let Christ use it in yours!! ... Read more

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