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A Gathered People: Revisioning the Assembly as Transforming Encounter Paperback – September 30, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Mark Hicks is professor of theology at Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a Ph.D. in Reformation and Post-Reformation History from Westminster Theological Seminary. Johny Melton has ministered with churches in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Indiana for 35 years. He holds a D.Min. from Erskine Theological Seminary. Bobby Valentine is a minister in Tucson, Arizona. He holds an M.A. in church history and an M.Div. from Harding Graduate School of Religion.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Leafwood Publishers; 1st edition (September 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891125507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891125501
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Morine on November 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have been looking forward to reading this book for some time. John Mark was almost a professor of mine, I do not know Johnny, and Bobby Valentine is a friend. Once again this book will cause some controversy, but it is not really controversial. It is a great work on the development and background of worship in the churches of Christ. The authors trace worship from Israel to Acts-Luke on to the early centuries into the reformation, and onto the Restoration Movement. At the end of the book, there is a coming together of the theology of worship. It deals with the regulative principle, the connection of the temple and worship, and mostly the sacramental nature of worship. Worship is beyond five acts and edification, but it is about being transformed in the image of God. The book addresses some of the neglected aspects of the past, an emphasis on the poor, tolerance of worship styles, to kneel or not to kneel. It highlights the need for communing around the table of the Lord's Supper. This book enlightens those who read it into the past and possible future of Christ-Like worship.
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I like the historic review of assemblies at the beginning, but the end becomes a little repetitive. They do not attempt to solve any problems of division within the church, but they suggest a framework for discussion to settle disputes.
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John Mark Hicks provides an interesting insight into the purpose of "the asembly" and how it is approached. It points out that assembly is more than just fellowship, more than just edification, and more than an "X" marked in the legalistic box "went to church this week". If you want to think about why you go to church, read this book.
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This is the third in a trilogy of very thoughtful works centered around the thinking of John Mark Hicks [conservative intellectual Bible scholar]. Very insightful and well supported in the biblical text. Hicks and associates are doing a great job of finding the roots in the TANAK for the New Testament. If you can only afford one purchase buy the first volume in the series, "Come to the Table". I recommend all three for the complete view. Read wisely!
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First, good O.T. understandings are presented on which to build our understanding of N.T. assemblies. Sacrifice and covenant relationships established by God with Israel which foreshadow the covenant in Christ Jesus. From there, the authors site the history and development of assemblies and "liturgies" of churches of Christ in America but do not counter it with much biblical support to the contrary. It's good reading for a historic prespective but stronger counterpoints could have been made to support or contridict (as I'm sure these writers could have done) positions taken by churches of Christ to show where they missed the mark in restoring the primitive church. Overall it is a good book to have in your research library but it needs to be supplimented with others for a fuller prespective. But members of churches of Christ need to realize the Restoration is not complete (which is implied in the book), there is more work to be done regarding our assemblies in bringing about the full participation of all believers in the assembly in order to completely eradicate the clergy/laity distinction. We rest on what happened in America 250 plus years ago with the Campbells and have done little since then except to defend where we are now. This book details (in part) that time and what happened and who formulated those ideas for "church." Unfortunately we are stuck there and this book will help you see that when compaired to today.
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