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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Mark Tooley has honestly and courageously told the story of United Methodism's departure from its own heritage and principles. As a delegate for two of the General Conferences he describes, I can attest to the reliability of his coverage of these events. Mark is especially good at describing the theological gap between much of the national leadership and most of our churches. For this he has been vilified - virtually demonized - by many in power.

The issue behind the issues is that United Methodism is losing touch with its original purpose, the distinctive contribution it can make to the larger Church and world. Too many leaders, policies, and institutions within the church operate on a theological and ideological foundation radically different from, and opposed to, Wesley's mandate to "reform the continent and spread Scriptural holiness over the land." The attempt has been to redefine our identity and redirect our energies in ways that have little to do with all that motivated our circuit riding ancestors. We could be a textbook example for the pattern Jim Collins demonstrates in How the Mighty Fall.

If this denomination is ever to flourish again, it will have to regain its soul, and a necessary first step is to face the reality Mark Tooley shows us in Taking Back the United Methodist Church.

Greg Van Dussen, Batavia, NY
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Mark Tooley has done a wonderful job of identifying some of the problems within the United Methodist denomination. His book helps to affirm the angst that many of us are feeling about our denomination; it's reassuring to know that we're not alone. I have purchased multiple copies of this book to give to others in the church. Being informed is the first step to making changes. The church won't inform the congregations of the radical stances that it takes on various positions...you have to go looking to discover what's really being done with apportionment dollars. I wish there was a plan of action included. Most people are just choosing to leave, and we're actually advising our college-aged children to do that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Mark Tooley of the Institute for Religion and Democracy has written an excellent insiders account of UMC General Conference social/theological actions since 1992.
The happy surprise in this book is that the "good guys" look to be actually winning!
In the Episcopal, Lutheran (ELCA)or Presbyterian Church USA that is not the case and biblically conservative members and parishes are fleeing in droves. Anyone who is a Methodist or has Methodist friends would profit from this book. Even a "progressive" Methodist would/should enjoy seeing how their church looks from another perspective. The only drawback to the book is that it does not cover the 2012 General Conference (but going to the IRD website and clicking on past newsletters regarding the UMC can remedy that).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
After 20 years attending military Protestant chapel services, I returned to my hometown Methodist Church, and faced disillusionment. What had happened to the Methodism that I'd known growing up in the Fifties? Ministers were saying they no longer believed in the basic doctrines and that much of the Bible was allegory. I heard United Methodist Women's programs praising the multicultural chapel they had built near the United Nations where people of all faiths prayed together. On the one hand, it sounded beautiful. But on the other hand, the Name of Jesus was never even mentioned at that meeting. I reached the point reached by Toffel in Fiddler on the Roof when he proclaimed, "On the other hand, THERE IS NO OTHER HAND."
This book shows how Methodism strayed from its roots in Bible teaching into liberal multiculturalism. Then recognizing how they reached that point, Mark Tooley points the way back to the God John Wesley knew, the God who sent His Son Jesus to show mankind that God has a plan for redemption. Many Methodists will think the church has progressed and doesn't need taking back. But for those like myself who are disturbed by the state of 21st Century America today with its increasing acceptance of behavior that contradicts the Bible - from divorce, to non-marriage, to same-sex marriage - to the point of redefining age-old definitions - this book gives hope in the verse from Second Chronicles 7:14. It will reaffirm your belief that absolutes still exist and God still expects humanity to obey His commands, not rewrite the rules. Taking back the Methodist Church begins with taking back your own interpretations made to accommodate society, one individual, one community at a time. Mark Tooley points the way in this book.
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on March 27, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Arrived quickly.

The make up of upper echelon of the church is totally different than the vast majority of the folks I know.

And, they don't give a damn about representing the good folks that pay the apportionments.
Kind of like our government - they are out of control.
They're spending a whole lot of money on things that may not exactly be in line with the beliefs of the people who contribute in good faith.

I recommend it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
No stars! This biased book is an embarrassment to Christianity. I don't think that the author's time doing who knows what for the CIA is the equivalent of a seminary education! Jesus wept.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Looking forward to reading it. Working on another book at the moment. Looks good, what I have read of it.
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