In this article from Premier Christianity magazine, Sam Hailes explains why the popular author and preacher Francis Chan’s book Letters to the Church is so important.
Francis Chan’s first book in six years – Letters to the Church – doesn’t make for comfortable reading. You won’t like all of it, much less agree with it. But when it comes to finding a challenging, thought-provoking, paradigm-shifting Christian paperback, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Don’t be deceived by the easy-to-read style of this title either. It might be most convicting for church leaders or those who are heavily involved in church ministry, but every Christian can get a huge amount out of this. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about the health of the Church, especially the Church in the Western world.
Here are just six of the many much-needed wake-up calls which can be found inside the pages of Letters to the Church.
‘Ask and it will be given to you! Search and you will find! Knock and the door will be opened for you! Everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened. Don’t you see? Supposing your son asks you for bread – which of you is going to give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish – which of you is going to give him a serpent? Well then: if you know how to give good gifts to your children, evil as you are, how much more will your father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
‘So whatever you want people to do to you, do just that to them. Yes; this is what the law and the prophets are all about.’
A new generation is re-thinking what they’ve been told about Christianity, the Bible and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. They argue a ‘new reformation’ is taking place as they voice their doubts and embrace a process known as theological deconstruction. Those who have walked this road say it’s a life-giving and ultimately faith-affirming process, but others are sceptical. in this article from Premier Christianity magazine, editor Sam Hailes investigates.
What happens when everything you once believed about God begins to crumble? Perhaps you lose a loved one, get ill or are made redundant and start to question whether God really is good. Or maybe you stumble across sceptical material online, or have your beliefs challenged at university. In a moment, those doubts you’ve had about judgement or biblical infallibility come to the fore and you’re left feeling overwhelmed. What do you do?
For many, this question is not theoretical. Most of us can think of people who have walked away from Christianity entirely. In fact, 53 per cent of the UK population now have no faith, meaning that for the first time in living memory, most of the country is not religious.
But not everyone who doubts their faith ends up rejecting it. In fact, many evangelicals are claiming that an in-depth review of their beliefs has strengthened their faith. It’s a story I’ve heard time and time again from friends, acquaintances and even the odd well-known church leader. So what’s going on?