Chester and Timmis are part of a Christian community in northern England
attempting to do church differently – a serious exercise in doing
Christian mission in a postmodern world. They argue that two key
principles should shape the way we do church: gospel (word-centered,
mission-centered) and community (relationship-centered). We need to
be enthusiastic about truth, mission, and relationships.
Crowded House is a network of missionary congregations, mostly
meeting in homes. On evangelism, “Most gospel ministry involves
ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel
intentionality.” (63) Church planting is the best way to be a
missionary. (87) “There cannot be mission apart from the local
church. The local church is the agent of mission.” (88)
are not big on the sermon, saying there is little New Testament
evidence for it. (114) Most character formation happens in informal
conversations with lives being transformed in the messy relationships
of daily life. They are so adamant on community that they say
contemplation, silence and solitude is the “exact opposite of
biblical spirituality.” (141) They describe that tradition as
“spirituality for the elite.” (143) They argue for a spirituality
that is communal. (149) They also argue that the best way to do
apologetics is not by reason or rational proof. The problem of
unbelief is not intellectual but of the heart. The evidence of living
in community is the best technique.
conclusion speaks to a passion for God. “Christianity is not a
strategy or a set of principles. It is a relationship of love with a
Triune God.” (203)
certainly do not agree with everything Chester and Timmis have
written but they do give the reader much to think about with respect
to how we are doing church. This would be a good book for pastors and
church boards to read. There would certainly be much to discuss.
224 pages. Find out more about the book and the authors at the publisher's product page.