We understand that we don't practice our faith the same way as Jesus or Paul. We have adapted the way we “do church” because we live in a different day and age.
“But,” Hostetler asks, “what if we've done more than that? What if the form of Christianity commonly practiced by us and by most of the Christians around us bears little – if any – resemblance to the way of Jesus and the kingdom he came to earth to usher in? What if we've missed the boat...? What if we've misunderstood – even misrepresented – what it means to truly follow Jesus?” (12-13)
This book is about identifying and correcting the ways we have departed from the way of Jesus.
Hostetler urges us to quit going to church. (16) After looking at the early church in Acts, he writes, “If my relationship with God consists of 'going to church,' I need to quit that. I need to 'quit going to church' and start following Jesus.” (22) He continues, “So I urge you: quit going to church – and start being the church.” (22)
He continues: quit saying your prayers. (Jesus wants us to keep company with him.) Quit reading your Bible (the way you read a book). (The Bible is for relationship with God.) Quit sharing your faith. (Share your life of living faith.) Quit tithing. (He owns one hundred percent.) Quit volunteering. (Devote yourself to your spiritual gift.) Quit being nice. (Be authentic and bold in following Jesus.) Quit helping the poor. (Unite with them instead.) Quit fellowshipping. (Party instead.) Quit trying to be good. (Turn your eyes on Jesus.) Quit enjoying worship. (True worship isn't about you or what you enjoy.) Quit living in the center of God's will. (Relax. Give thanks for everything, that's God's will for you, 1 Thess. 5:24.)
Hostetler has done a great job of comparing how we Christians live today to what Jesus has asked of us. He tackles head on many of the accepted ways we do Christianity and jars us with the picture of what biblical Christianity should be. It is a very though provoking book.
If you want to take a serious look at how you are living your Christian faith and compare it to what the Bible mandates, you must read this book.
Unfortunately, there are no discussion questions in the book. It would make a very good choice for a small group to read and contemplate.
Bob Hostetler is a writer, editor, pastor, and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His twenty-seven books have sold over three million copies. He is a co-founder of Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. He and his wife have two grown children. See more at his website: www.bobhostetler.com.
Leafwood Publishers, 222 pages. See http://www.leafwoodpublishers.com/ or visit your local Christian bookstore.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.