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What’s Right with the Church by Elmer Towns

March 3, 2010

Elmer Towns has forgotten more about the church than I will likely ever know. He is thoroughly qualified to write this book. I just don’t think he wrote the book he could have. It is not a bad or poorly written book; it is just not a particularly good book. Perhaps it is simply not the book I anticipated it would be. I am not sure what I expected, but I am pretty sure this is not it.

I will admit what Towns did is clever. He identified twelve core doctrines or purposes of every church (Jesus, Bible, sin, worship, family, great commission, etc.), describes that doctrine or purpose, and demonstrates how today’s church practices that doctrine or purpose. The problem, in my opinion, is that his descriptions of these doctrines and purposes are light and thin.  Again, it is accurate (generally), it is just oversimplified. I do think it is odd that for a book written in such general terms, there are a few highly specific doctrinal positions articulated. Most have to do with his Baptist affiliation.

Generally, I probably would not recommend this book. I would not recommend against it, I just would not recommend it. One exception would be to the spiritually immature who are disillusioned with the church or who only hear complaints about the church. Another exception might be for pastors who preach topical series. It is not a bad idea for a sermon series.

In the final analysis, Elmer Towns is correct. There is a lot that is right with the church. It is God’s church. It is the method and mechanism that He has chosen to bring hope and healing to the world. While I did not particularly enjoy this book, I do appreciate it. And I appreciate its message, as far as it goes. Thank you, Elmer Towns, for your “Manifesto of Hope”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Regal as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Do you have a great love for the church? What’s right with your church? Please share your comments below. Encourage us with your comments.

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