This is an important book on the church. You should read it. It is important for two reasons:
1) It’s short 2) It’s solid
Why short is important:
Many of my non-reader friends scoff at the length of books (typical Christian living books are around 250 pages. An artifact of the economics of the industry which stretches some books out beyond their worth, and compresses others into an impossibly short format), and they despair of ever “getting around to” reading them. I will save you my lengthy commentary on this attitude and leave you with the following comments: readers are leaders, leaders don’t have time to NOT read, and you will never “get around to” reading anything. You must make the time.
At a scant 108 pages, this is a very quick read. I read it through in about an hour and a half one quiet morning. Though short in format, easy in terms of vocabulary, it is not light on content. Harris’s writing experience serves him well here. It is wonderful to-the-point, digestible, and comprehendible, and all of this is very good, because the book is solid:
The book is solid.
Harris avoids various extremes, winds and waves of doctrine, fads in “doing church” or even attempting to redefine “church” (as is very popular among the pop-christian books on churches today) and gets to the point: you cannot live the Christian life, or hope to progress in your faith outside of the context of the organization/organism/family of The Church, traditionally defined.
If this statement seems bold and controversial, then you need to read the book. If you’d like to strengthen your ability to defend this statement, read the book.
This book is a republishing of “Stop Dating The Church”. This rebrand is wise. The first title, released 8 years ago, was playing off what he was best known for: being the “I kissed dating goodbye” guy. Harris has become a much more serious theologian and pastor since then. And that brand is no longer as important. The new title gives this excellent book in a more serious tone, and wider audience, which it deserves.
(FTC required disclaimer: I was pleased to have received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)