Saturday, December 8, 2012

what brings the glory down

Finished reading James MacDonald's Vertical Church.  The church is first and foremost about God's glory and manifested  presence.  People should sense this, and even the outsider "...falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you." (1 Corinthians 14:25)

The Pillars of a vertical church (what brings the glory down):

  • Unapologetic Preaching
  • Unashamed Adoration
  • Unceasing Prayer from God's people
  • Unafraid Witness by God's people

A couple of final quotes...

On relational evangelism: “The power of the gospel is not in the relational capacity of the witness but in the message itself.  Friendship evangelism, lifestyle evangelism, relational evangelism—all of it flows from our desire to avoid what cannot be avoided.  I will say it again, if you are not willing to be the aroma of death to those who are perishing, you can’t be the aroma of life to those who are being saved.  The idea of having conversations with a person for months or years to ‘earn the right’ to talk to him or her about Jesus betrays an elevation of the role of human persuasion in evangelism that just doesn’t square with the Gospels or the book of Acts.  Now, I’m not talking about enemy evangelism.  Of course we should be kind and live a life of integrity and be sensitive to the Spirit about when to speak up boldly, but bottom line, it’s not about you.”  (James MacDonald, Vertical Church, p. 248)

Summary and conclusion“The problem in the church today is that we treat God’s glory as a by-product and the missional activities of the church as the primary thing when the opposite is what Scripture demands.  We don’t proclaim the gospel and feed the poor and shepherd the flock in hopes that God’s glory will be the by-product of those activities.  We seek the revealing of the glory of God through the methods He prescribes so that His glory is revealed in the church.  When that happens, the lost are converted, the poor are fed, the saints live in unity, and much more, all as by-products of God’s manifest presence in the church.”   (James MacDonald, Vertical Church, p. 300)

Read Tim Challies' helpful review here, which points out some evident weaknesses of this book.  

1 comment:

Ambrose said...

I just got this for my Kindle app for less than $4.00.