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Death By Church

I have a new book out called Death By Church. I am a bit embarrassed to do this, but it got a great review in Publishers Weekly and I was so excited that I had to share it! Please forgive me :)

Death by Church: Rescuing Jesus from HisFollowers, Recapturing God’s Hope for His People Michael Erre. HarvestHouse, $13.99 paper (250p) ISBN 978-0-7369-2496-2

Entertainment-oriented. Hypocritical. Idolatrous. Consumerist. A mess. These are only some of the terms Erre uses to describe the plight of the church incontemporary American culture. A teaching pastor at Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa, Calif., and author of The Jesus of Suburbia, Erre delves into the Bible and church history to make the case that the church needs to recover its communal, subversive, confrontational, countercultural truth-telling mission of incarnating “the upside-down way of the kingdom of God.” Drawing on the writings of scholars in and outside of the evangelical tradition, the writer takes a fresh and compelling look at how a kingdom-focused community would approach such Christian fundamentals as mission, worship, evangelism, the Eucharist and apologetics. A culturally marginalized church, he argues, can still be a place of hope, engaging theworld and pointing to God’s rule. While ceding no ground on traditional Christian doctrine, this thought-provoking book is a powerful bill of indictment and an inspirational template for church reformation that may resonate with believers and nonbelievers alike. A too brief postscript offers suggestions for clergy who want to create the “kingdom-focused” church in their own congregations. (Jan.)

 

Tags | The Church

Comments

Don't be embarassed, I would not have known this book existed if you had not shamelessly promoted it! LOL! On a serious note though, I am so glad to see books being written (and glad to buy and read as well) that are attacking the issues of church today and also providing solutions. I look forward to finding this book in the store or, more proactively, ordering it from the site it is sold on. Thanks and keep up the good work! I'm listening and I know others are too!

i've read this book, it is really nice story, to those who not yet read this, secure one copy. You will really enjoy reading it.
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the site it is sold on. Thanks Lacoste UK online store and keep up the good work! I'm listening and I know others are too!

Congrats on the respectful review, Mike. Those are tough to come by! With a new book and a new baby, you're having quite a month--Bravo!

I picked up this book a couple weeks back and can't put it down. The information is bringing together much of what the Lord has been showing me. I love the book and can't find anything to disagree with in it's application and overview of the church. But one sentence sort of bothers me. Nothing to do with content or theme of the book, but something of a more personal nature.
I know how this will sound but I have to ask anyway. It was about the incident on the plane, and the reading of "Harry Potter". When I read that part, I must admit for a short while I thought, maybe I should put this down, it sent up a warning sign. If the author is reading this type of stuff what sort of influence could he be open to. Many other throughts ran through my head. I am over it, it was short lived, and I will look past it, but for a while it was like a cup of cold water was thrown on my excitment of the book. My question is knowing what Harry Potter is all about, and my personal oppinion of these books. (To me they are dangerous and have no place for Christians - I think of Acts 19:19 and what Christians did with occult related books) - Why would a Christian be reading this with no redeeming value and only a hook for youth into the world of the occult? I also thought further, even if there is a good reason (I thought possibly to know what it is about so you can rightfuly talk about it to others and not hearsay? Maybe - but enough is known without doing so in my oppinion). But even if I miss the why, I have to ask why even mention it? Most serious Christians that I have ever heard or talked to are against Harry Potter books due to all the publicity and known nature of the writings. I would also bet this statement will certianly be used by others as a warning sign not to read your book. I guess that would happen by the religious crowd anyway, but what about those like myself who are just cautious of such things? Again, I love the book and will highly recommend it, but I just don't get the Harry Potter part!
God bless,
Bob

Hi Bob,

I stumbled across your post, and hoped, possibly, that perhaps my opinion of the matter could share a new perspective. As a fan of the Potter books (I began reading them in 1998), I have heard basically every negative thing that could have ever been written or said about them. I respect the right for every individual to have an opinion, and also take into account the verses you cited. What I can tell you, is that the stories are not only beautifully written, but that their constant theme throughout, is good winning out over evil. The choices made by every character have repercussions, and the morals and value system are consistent with that you would find in a "Christian home". They are seen ranging from Harry being instructed to show respect to his otherwise difficult family situation, to learning selflessness and compassion. Yes, discussions of magic are of course a prevalent theme, however- do you find yourself offended by the classic stories of Merlin, Narnia or Excalibur? Would you prohibit your children from seeing Peter Pan or Tinker-bell's magical fairy dust? Still, if your child asked you to read Jack and the Beanstalk, what would be your response? I merely mean to shed light to the fact that there are references to magic everywhere around us. If the message of the story is pure, then why throw out the baby with the bathwater/fairy dust?

Respectfully,

Linda

Harry Potter as the first poster pointed out is based on the Occult. The Occult and Magic are real things in the world, except for the riding of broomsticks and some other stuff. Harry Potter mixes real with make believe.

The other stories you reference are pure and simple make-believe, and for Narnia if you went back to the author and found his comments on the series, there is a Christian theme.

As to the idea, that since the storyline is good, therefore, the books are of value. Where do principles come into play? It seems to me that you would differentiate white magic and black magic. Black magic of course is evil! White magic... since it is white and is focused on helping people cannot be bad. But where is the source coming from? Both are coming from Satan.

Harry Potter as the first poster pointed out is based on the Occult. The Occult and Magic are real things in the world, except for the riding of broomsticks and some other stuff. Harry Potter mixes real with make believe.

The other stories you reference are pure and simple make-believe, and for Narnia if you went back to the author and found his comments on the series, there is a Christian theme.

As to the idea, that since the storyline is good, therefore, the books are of value. Where do principles come into play? It seems to me that you would differentiate white magic and black magic. Black magic of course is evil! White magic... since it is white and is focused on helping people cannot be bad. But where is the source coming from? Both are coming from Satan.

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I loved the book. However, I was shocked that you would take capital campaigns (obvisously you don't understand them) and Northpoint to task. You seem to imply that their motives are self-promotion. But your picture is on your books. You have no problem promting your books. You are on the conference circut. I am not sure Jesus would be a visible as you are. Rethink it. Maybe you should take a page from Kenton Beeshore - quietly and privately leads and teaches.

Mike,

I just finished your book and I'm stirred, challenged, and motivated. I recently changed from serving in para-church ministry to serving as an adult discipleship pastor. I find myself wrestling with the pull to simply continue with church "as is" and the reality that we are to be an outpost of the kingdom of God. You've given me much to think about in my new place of service in the body of Christ.

eworld and pointing to God’s rule. While ceding no ground on traditional Christian doctrine, this thought-provoking book is a powerful bill of indictment and an inspirational template for church reformation that may resonate with believers and nonbelievers alike. A too brief postscript offers suggestions for clergy who want to create the “kingdom-focused” church in their own congregations. (Jan.)laptop battery manufacturers
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I agree with you on the separation from the church to state. The book sounds really interesting. Good post.

Elle J.
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yeah, me too, I am so embarrass when the moment I saw the title of your post

This is really inspiring. A real church do have same beliefs and continue loving each Christ and sharing the good news of God as well. - Joe Aldeguer

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About
husband to Justina; father to Nathan, Hannah and Seth; pastor and teacher living in Southern California; author of 4 books, the latest of which just was released and is called 'Why The Bible Matters.'


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