By George Barna
Word Publishing
Nashville, Tennessee

1998

Reviewed Benjamin C. Maxson, Director, General Conference Stewardship

This work is the result of many years of research and careful study of the Christian Church, especially in North America. But more than a study of trends within the church and society, this book is a comparison of where the church finds itself today when compared to society. The similarities are far too many and too close.

This leads to a comparison of God’s plan for His church and the reality of where the church finds itself. This leads to a call for the church to stop playing church and become the Church--to stop dabbling with religion and to grow spiritually. Barna outlines a proposed strategy to take the church back to its rightful existence of being God’s church. This strategy begins with a biblical rediscovery of God’s vision for His church. It is a call to allow the power of the risen Christ to recreate His church.

Barna then goes on to explore the critical elements that have the power to make a difference. These elements include leadership, dealing with diversity, Christian thinking, cultivating a biblical worldview, and the role of the family. This is a powerful book that demands careful consideration. It forces us to face ourselves in light of culture’s impact on the church. It warns us of the urgent need for change and revival. Yet at the same time, it gives us the assurance that God can make a difference if we give Him room. This may very well be Barna’s best book yet.

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January–March, 1999

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