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What Is A Healthy Church Member? (2008)

by Thabiti M. Anyabwile(Favorite Author)
4.07 of 5 Votes: 3
1433502127 (ISBN13: 9781433502125)
review 1: This book is very practical. It offers some very clear guidance on areas that church members can focus in order to become "more effective" believers. Of course to some people this terminology is scary, to Thabiti never lets you doubt his heart behind his recommendations. Instead of being scared of legalism and works-based salvation, Thabiti whole-heartedly sets forth the recommendations of how we can increase our love for other church members in practical ways.We should not be scared to "work out" our faith in systematic rigid ways. We should not let the fear of legalism keep us from growth.Ultimately for most of the church-goers in America this book would be a shocker. It would probably rock their understanding of what it means to belong to a church and hopefully lead the... morem to a greater understanding of the beauty that comes from truly "belonging" to a body of believers.
review 2: Quick thought: I generally liked the book and thought he had some helpful insights for pastors and church goers. I especially enjoyed the exhortation to be a good, expository listener to the sermons that are preached by the pastor. That said, I believe he misrepresents the gospel horribly when he conflates justification and sanctification in his segment on true conversion. He quotes Michael Andrus below: (from loc 757 in Kindle Version)==In order to keep a healthy view of conversion in mind in our evangelistic efforts, he suggests: 1) Counsel seekers in a way that focuses on deeds, not words; a change of life, not just a change of beliefs. The last thing we should communicate is that by merely saying yes to a proposition, they can be assured of eternal life. 2) Focus on a biblical, serious view of sin and guilt. 3) Teach the Bible and Christian doctrine so that potential converts grasp that the plan of salvation is God’s counsel, not human wisdom. 4) Abandon the facile language of decisionism (“ just believe,” “pray to receive,” “invite Jesus into your heart”) in favor of the more rigorous language of conversion (“ surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ” or “turn from sin, accept the forgiveness purchased by Jesus through his death, and live a life of obedience to him”). Michael Andrus, “Turning to God,” 161– 62.=="focuses on deeds not words" ... "live a life of obedience to him" ... these are not grace-centered Eph 2:8-9; John 3:16; Romans 5:4; John 5:24 gospel recommendations. Where in the Galatians or Romans does Paul ever say this? The gospel, true conversion, is about FAITH, not works. Yes, there are some who cheapen faith by saying "say these words... and you'll be saved," but that does not mean that true faith must be tied up with all this extra, non-biblical baggage! Is repentance not a change of beliefs? Is not "Remember me when you come into your kingdom" not a change in beliefs!? My concern is that the "more rigorous language of conversion" may confuse listeners into thinking they somehow earn their salvation by living an obedient life--OR that they must clean up before they get cleaned up. Both are tragic in that they misplace the object of one's faith away from Christ's finished work and on the work that I am currently doing. Plus, this sets the stage for doubting salvation in the future when victories over sin are not as easy or conclusive as they believe they should be. less
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Every member of a local church body should read this and take it to heart.
How do we express what we require for church membership?
I have loved reading this book.
Good, basic stuff.
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