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Stop Dating the Church!: Fall in Love with the Family of God (Lifechange Books) Hardcover – September 23, 2004
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About the Author
Joshua Harris speaks nationally and has led New Attitude, conferences for college students that aims to spread a love for biblical truth combined with a passion for the presence of God. Joshua lives outside Washington, D.C. , in Gaithersburg , Maryland , where he has been executive pastor at Covenant Life Church since 2001, and will resume role of senior pastor in fall 2004. This role allows him to focus his energy on his young family and the church he feels God has called him to serve. His bestselling books include I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl, and Not Even a Hint. Joshua and his wife, Shannon, have two children, Emma Grace and Joshua Quinn.
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Top Customer Reviews
Harris believes that many, and perhaps even the majority of Christians, have a fear of committment to the church. Rather than committing to a local body of believers, most Christians "date the church," refusing to commit to a long-term relationship. He says, "This is my third book on relationships, but it's unlike any of my previous books...this book is about how you should relate to the family of God" (page 12). In Failing to commit to the church, we cheat ourselves, we cheat our church community and we cheat the world.
Over the next six chapters, Harris explains the beauty of the church, our need for the church, what committment to a church involves, what to look for in a church, and how to make Sunday the best day of the week. He draws liberally from the books and teachings of Charles Spurgeon, Don Whitney and John Piper, and builds convincing, biblical arguments. Chapters five and six are particularly engaging. The fifth chapter lays out ten criteria by which to choose a church. The sixth chapter provides some suggestions for redeeming Sunday and restoring it to a place of distinction whereby we use it deliberately as a day to refuel our spiritual batteries.
I must admit that this is the first of Harris' books that I have read, and I was thoroughly impressed by his committment to Scripture, to expository preaching, and to the historic tenets of Protestantism. The men under whose influence he has grown seem to be theologically-sound, showing that he has a true committment to biblical doctrine.
There is not much in this book that has not been said elsewhere more thoroughly and perhaps even more convincingly. But what this book adds to the discussion is accessibility. It should appeal to many young people who already know and appreciate Harris' ministry, and will engage young people who may shy away from longer treatments of the subject. Weighing in at only 129 pages (and small pages at that) this is a book that can be read and digested in a couple of hours. It will undoubtedly benefit all who read it and I give it my recommendation, especially to young people who are disillusioned by the church and may be turning their backs on her.
For those of us who have been part of "a church" for the greater majority of our lives, it was a bit "thin" in places. I would love to see a follow-up volume about the "church's" commitment to the individual believers, and how it all works together.
This is an easy read. I finished it in less than two hours.
Buy this book and let Joshua Harris redefine the church for you in light of scripture. It doesn't matter whether you've been attending church for a month or a lifetime, we all too quickly forget why the church is so important. Using engaging illustrations and an easy writing style, Josh uses scripture as pencil to sketch out God's plan and design for the church. An absolutely outstanding resource!