Tuesday, April 01, 2008

An Invitation to Theology in Community

Two months ago we started asking some friends and family back home what books have come out in the last two years that they would recommend. Sharon's sister Lynn recommended a book to us called "So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore" by Jake Colson

As usual, Sharon read it quickly and I took my time to start and finish it. We both enjoyed the read and feel it contains some great principles of what it looks like to really follow Jesus. It also has some provoking critiques of how we do church in general, and it challenges Christians to see God's church beyond the building and institution that we often mistake it for. Needless to say, it led to some very interesting and spirited discussions between us as we wrestled through the ideas in this book.

*As with any book, one must think and pray through the thoughts presented, instead of just blindly accepting them because they're written somewhat authoritatively in a book format. But, if you want an interesting read that will challenge you, make you quite uncomfortable at times, and yet fuel a passion to really know and follow our Father then give it a shot.

Go to www.jakecolsen.com

You can even download a free pdf version on this website!

So, back to the invitation mentioned above, if anyone has or chooses to read this book, we'd love to hear your thoughts! Please post in the comments below.


Amy Guerino said...

Matt & Sharon,
Thanks for the pdf file link. I've begun it today and can see why you two had some spirited discussions on it.

Quotes like: "Won’t it be a joy again to wake up confident about being loved by God every day, without having to earn it by any act of righteousness on your part? That is the secret to first love. Don’t try to earn it. Know that you are accepted and loved, not for what you can do for God, or somehow hoping that you will be worthy of his acceptance, but because his greatest desire is to have you as one of his children. Jesus came to remove any obstacle that would prevent that from happening,” (chapter 2). I fully agree with but I'm wondering if he is advocating that Jesus will remove church from your life to better see Him? Or is he going for a redefinition of significance and satisfaction? My own search for significance has been rocked with chronic pain and the removal of being able to do things. I've had to see that I must be satisfied in Him alone and just being a child, loved by Him, not necessarily used by Him.

I'll keep reading!

Matt & Sharon Mormance said...


Yeah, quotes like that make it quite profound and provoking. I don't think his main premise is to leave the church, but I do think that he is trying to say that God wants a genuine relationship with us where we get to really know Him and follow closely. Unfortunately, many things get in the way of that kind of relationship and we settle for much less. In the midst of showing this premise he does lay an imposing critique against the "institutional" church, and against some of the ways church activities could replace that relationship. As someone in ministry, I took this as an opportunity to take a long hard look at what I am teaching and calling people into.
Oh, and for the record I don't think everyone should leave their church.

Thanks for your comment Amy! I'd love to hear your thoughts as you keep reading.


Marc Peter said...

Hey Matt & Sharon, Elise and I both read the book. Thanks for your recommendation and the pdf link. We had some good discussions.

In the end, I agree with you that the point isn't that we should all give up on church, but that we should really focus our energy on knowing and experiencing the Father's love for us, and helping others do the same. I think there were some really valid critiques of organized religion (and not just mega-churches, but even in house churches and small groups). It was very thought provoking. I wrote a bit more about my thoughts on my own blog. Check it out if you'd like. :)

See you in less than a month!