Thursday, September 20, 2007

Book Notes: Building a Better Body by Simon Jones

I have just finished reading this book - which has been on the go for quite some time now. It is a fascinating and provocative look at the whole way we go about viewing the church and being the church, written by someone who is a "critical insider"!

This book makes a great companion volume to Stott's "Living Church" in as much as they approach the same subject matter in radically different, yet mutually enriching ways. Stott's concern is to grapple with the biblical texts and to seek to build our contemporary authenticity by conformity to their patterns. Jones, on the other hand, wants to engage with not just theological ideas, but also with real people - folks who have struggled with church, have left the church, been hurt by the church or who long for the church to wake up and fulfill its potential. It is his interaction with all these elements which causes him to ask far-reaching questions about how fit-for-purpose our traditional models of church-life are for the realities of contemporary life.

If like me you are thinking through the issues of church, read Stott and gain a real understanding of what we should be about; then read Jones and engage with the difficulties of achieving it.

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