4 out of 4 stars
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Title: Christ Without a Bride?
Author: Michael J. Ray
“God did not call us to just go to church, He called us to be the church.” This is one of the many thought-provoking statements found in this book, Christ Without a Bride?, written by Michael J. Ray. He explains what the church is, its characteristics and its mission.
He says, “A biblical worldview is a way of dealing with the world such that we act like Jesus twenty-four hours a day because we think like Jesus” and proceeds to give examples of how Jesus would act, for example by doing good to others. He also quotes Soren Kierkegaard when describing what faith should do, saying, “When faith in God begins to affect an individual, his entire existence is transformed. His obsession with immediate pleasures and pains dies away. Instead, his attention is increasingly focused on God.”
He talks of the inside and outside forces that hurt the church, and what brings about religious division. He cites the issue of women preaching in church, saying that it is prohibited and that women should teach God’s word to children and fellow women.
The 13-chapter book has reflective questions at the end of each chapter which aids the reader’s understanding of and meditation on the subject matter. The chapters flow well into each other, with every new chapter building on the contents of the previous one.
The book could very well serve as a bible study guide for use in fellowships because the questions would provoke lively discussions. Although this 127-page-book has many quotes from the Bible and ends with a bibliography, it surprisingly has no table of contents. This I disliked because it was hard to look for something specific when I needed to find it quickly. It is nonetheless a short, easy and interesting read with personal stories and other anecdotes shared to help convey the message of the book, which I like.
It is a professionally edited and formatted book, and I came across only one typo, which did not affect the reading experience in a negative way. For this reason, I would give the book four out of four stars. Towards the end of the book, the author says, “ … training may seem harsh, but when we are broken is when we will realize our dependence on God and will become close to him.” For this reason, I would recommend it to those who would like to understand the Christian faith, and for new Christian believers who would like to grow in their faith.
Christ Without a Bride
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