book: Total Church

book: Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community

I’m still trying to work out what to make of this book. To some extent, it’s another “everyone else is doing church wrong, this is how you should do it” volume, but it makes some constructive points. There were moments where I felt like giving up on the book altogether, because I had such strong disagreements.

The book talks about changing the nature of Christian gatherings from a public meeting to something more akin to living in community, with as big an impact on the wider community as possible. By living in community, the Christian faith is to be lived out more practically and authentically than in “normal” churches.

The biggest problems I saw were the chapter on counselling (best to just bring people into your community and teach them the bible, rather than refer them to an external counselling professional), and – oddly – on spirituality. It seems their spirituality is not one of meditating or thinking about God, but rather about getting out and doing things.

The opening couple of chapters attempt to make a very broad case at a biblical basis for the rest of the book; it’s generic enough that it’s hard to fault, but leaves me uneasy given the material that follows.

Sure, there are some good ideas in terms of social involvement and living out the Christian faith in a more holistic way, but overall, I found the approach somewhat troubling.

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