Back from the Brink

A Church for the 21st Century by Leith Anderson (Bethany, $14.99)

The Consumer Church by Bruce Shelley and Marshall Shelley (InterVarsity, $9.99)

The Body by Charles Colson with Ellen Santilli Vaughn (Word, $19.99).

Reviewed by Gordon MacDonald, pastor of Grace Chapel, Lexington, Massachusetts.

Twenty-five years ago, useful books on the subject of the church were rare. I know; I used to look for them.

The church simply wasn't a popular subject, and those who did write then-it's my impression-usually speculated on the church's demise, the decline of preaching, and the perceived irrelevance (a buzzword back then) of the gospel. We read things like God's Frozen People and The Suburban Captivity of the Churches. Not a lot of hope in those days.

But that's all changed now.

The church has been "rediscovered" and is in the process of being "reinvented" (organizationally) and re-presented. There appears to be a wonderful shift of initiative from the once powerful denominational, educational, ...

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