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Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community (Re: Lit Books) Paperback – August 21, 2008
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"Challenging, passionate and insightful. Here is a vision of a whole-life, whole-mission 'Total Church' that embraces both gospel and community."
—Chris Stoddard, Director, Reaching The Unchurched Network
"Here is radical, punchy teaching that provokes, stimulates, challenges, and inspires."
—Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe’s, Oxford, England; Director, The Proclamation Trust; author, God's Big Picture
"Total Church digs deep and provides a solid biblical foundation for what it advocates. The argument of the book is very compelling and at the same time very practical."
—David W. Jones, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Coordinator of ThM and Thesis Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Reforming the Morality of Usury
"Written not by armchair experts but by hands-on practitioners, Total Church explores what it means in practice to be both gospel-centered and community-centered. This would be an excellent book to give to your leaders, and to the wider church membership, to provoke discussion and prompt change."
—Peter J. Grainger, Senior Minister, Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh
"Reformed theology and new ways of being church are often regarded as incompatible notions. In this book Tim Chester and Steve Timmis aim to bring the two together in a way that they believe will help church leaders identify ways of relating a conservative theology to the culture, without compromising dearly held principles."
—John Drane, Freelance Consultant to churches in the UK; Professor of Practical Theology, Fuller Seminary, California
About the Author
Tim Chester (PhD, University of Wales) is a pastor of Grace Church, Boroughbridge, and curriculum director of the Acts 29-Oak Hill Academy, which provides integrated theological and missional training for church leaders. He is the coauthor of Total Church and is the author of over thirty books, including You Can Change, A Meal with Jesus, and Good News to the Poor.
Steve Timmis (MA, University of Sheffield) is the executive director of Acts 29 and lead pastor at the Crowded House in Sheffield, United Kingdom. He is the author or coauthor of several books. Steve and his wife, Janet, have four adult children and multiple grandchildren.
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Daniel G McKenney
There are three principles that are pointed out throughout the book. They are; 1. Gospel-centered through God's word. 2. Gospel-centered through mission (action) 3. community-centered. The Gospel is who we are and is displayed in how we live. The authors state that "True theology leads to love, mission and doxology." Again this is nothing earth shattering, but I think we have a tendency to loose sight of the goal because of "programs" that we think and feel will deliver the Gospel.
We have to be reminded that no one comes to Christ through a "program", they come to Christ through the Gospel message. So, how is that message delivered.
Total Church delivers it's message in two sections. Part One deals with the concept of Gospel and Community. Part Two deals with the practice of Gospel and Community.
Even the authors say that the message is simple, but frankly we Christians take what is simple and make it complex. For the early Jewish Community the ten commandments turned into 683 rules to live by. For us today the Gospel Message has turned into 100's of programs.
Don't let programs push out living in community and living out the Gospel. In other words, don't loose sight of the forest because of all the trees.
Enjoy this easy to read but profound thesis.