Previously, I have written on the heart and the life of the church. The Character of the Church concludes this mini three-volume series on what makes a church. Joe Thorn in his book The Character of the Church seeks to answer the question of what a church is by defining what the church does: preaching the Scripture correctly; properly administrating the ordinances; develop biblical leadership; implement church discipline; possess a clear focus on the mission of Jesus to the world.
The book is divided into five sections as described above each with its own chapters. The subsequent chapters cover the doctrine of Scripture (e.g., Scripture’s authority, sufficiency, and usefulness); baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and their vitality to the local church; elders, deacons, and the pastor all as examples of leadership; the practice of discipline in grace; and discipleship as outflow of evangelism.
As in the other two volumes, Thorn skips the academic jargon which weighs upon those without formal theological education for which I am thankful. This volume, along with the others, is a valuable resource to the vitality of the local church. With church congregations in decline, even whole denominations suffering from the lack of attendance, this volume is a short, compact guide to revitalizing your church by looking at what it means to be the church.
I hope you will add this volume to your library. I hope you will include the other two companion volumes. These, while short in length, are rich in calling the church to remember or discover what it means to be the church of Christ here on earth. Pastors, students, and the like should take, read, meditate, and apply.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Moody Press through the Moody Blogger Review Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.