Biblical Renewal

Sharpening the Focus of the Church, by Gene Getz (Moody, 1974, 320 pp., $5.95), is reviewed by Kenneth Gangel, president, Miami Christian College, Miami, Florida

It is disturbingly axiomatic in evangelical Christianity that some who talk most loudly about the primacy of the local church are most unaware of the biblical information concerning its life and ministry. And though my idealism stops short of confidence that they will take this volume seriously, it is for them.

Backed by adequate credentials of academic preparation and experience in the trenches, Getz develops a provocative and penetrating analysis of the Church’s ectoplasmic crust formed over almost twenty centuries. The book is a welcome addition to the literature on the resurrection of the Church from the tomb of the late sixties. And it may well be the most biblical “renewal” book yet published in this decade.

The author argues for balance in the Church between evangelism and edification. And although his definition of the Church will be considered marginal by some, the first section, “The Lens of Scripture,” which occupies more than half of the pages, is logical, progressive, and well presented. Helpful charts and illustrations support an already strong organizational pattern. Concise summaries appear at the end of each of the twenty-one chapters.

Although I am firmly positive about the book, I did find a few weaknesses, such as the failure to establish thoroughly the plurality of eldership (two pages); a less than adequate treatment of the issue of spiritual gifts (six pages); and a “slow” conclusion, the practicality of which does not complement the strength of the theological sections. To be sure, one cannot say everything in one book, but these ...

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