AUTHOR: J. Paul Nyquist and Carson Nyquist
PUBLISHER: Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2013, (144 pages).
- "Following Jesus" instead of "Going to Church";
- Church that tends to be toeing the line, observing the rules rather than faith and acceptance;
- Church being more of a 1-day week instead of an all-days week
- Bad reputation and image, that churches tend to be hypocritical, anti-homosexual, political, judgmental, and so on
- Creeds, dogmas, and following all the right rituals, instead of freedom of belief
- Separatist agendas from the world
- Lack of freedom to mingle with people in the world;
- An overly black and white culture or "Either you're right or I'm right" attitude;
- Where belief supercedes belonging; where rules are more important than relationships
- For all its flaws, Christ still loves the Church and the Church is the chief witness for the world;
- Just because the Church is imperfect does not mean we simply leave the church;
- There are Four functions of a Church. First, they gather regularly. Second, they appoint and are led by qualified leaders. Third, they observe ordinances and rituals. Fourth, they maintain Church disciplines.
- For Church reputation that has been tattered and negative, we do not simply abandon the Church. We learn to be part of the redemptive process through forgiveness, openness, and reconciliation.
- As part of the redemptive process, we forgive, thank, and engage with people of all groups
- Dialogue and regular conversations are the biggest needs to bridge the generation gap;
- Greater understanding of what constitutes legalism and Christian liberty and the different perspectives to both, according to both generations;
- True freedom is never one without limits
- Freedom must come under the umbrella of helpfulness, how it frees oneself, how it frees others, and how it glorifies God;
- Move away from the "country club" image to a frontline mission
- Address the perceptions of hypocrisy straight on not with arguments but with authentic living
- Affirm the uniqueness of Jesus in the light of securalism and pluralism
- Engage and not get immersed in culture
- Affirm the next generation and be open to their ideas, even radical ones.
All in all, I find this book an enjoyable read, especially when I can see the perspectives of two different generation looking together in the same direction toward the Millennial and toward creating a common future for the Church. It is an example of how generations can dialogue and work together for a common goal. Both generations cannot continue in getting stuck in their respective paradigms but to move toward understanding one another with openness and love. Both generations need to consider a balanced view from all sides. The Church is not for any one generation. The Church is for all generations. That is why we need to see the Church with redemptive eyes always. Here is my reflection upon reading this book. One common reason why people are disillusioned with churches is because they see themselves more important than others. Sometimes, they do it in the name of God. Other times, they do it in the name of self. Perhaps, as we see ourselves less as consumers and more of givers, less as being served and more of serving others, less about us and more about Jesus, we learn to see "church" from the redemptive eyes of God. This book shows us a way ahead. A powerful way indeed. Let's join hands to pray, to work together, and to serve together.
Rating: 5 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me free by Moody Publishers and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.