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Douglas Bursch: The Community of God

Sin is a major part of our brokenness. The author points out that sin divides, it can fracture a community. Using Scripture, history, and experience he demonstrates that sin divides marriages, families, nations, and churches (chapter 5). Bursch is very transparent regarding his own feelings about community. A self-confessed introvert, he does not normally gravitate toward people, at least do so for long periods of time. However, he stretches himself out of his comfort zone because he realizes, first, that community is biblical, and second, that it has value. There is much to be gained in community, not just for the individual, but for the gathered body as well. We can benefit one another, the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is one example of this. Bursch says “In relationship with the body of Christ, we find out who we are and why we exist” (page 139).

Sin divides, it fractures communities.

The Community of God could go a long way in moving the church in the West toward a more biblical and communal mindset and practice, that is, if we will let it. Church leaders will find much to ponder in this book. The biblical and practical sections of the text clearly set forth the necessity and value of the communal aspect of our faith. The book is written by one who grew up in the Christian church and now serves in a leadership capacity in the church. I think that men and women who are contemplating pastoral ministry should read this book. It may help dispense some myths that they currently believe and help them understand the realities of working with people. In short, this book will be a welcome addition to the library of anyone who has an interest in ministry, whether a prospective minister or a veteran.

Reviewed by John Lathrop

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2019

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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