Rethinking the Church
A Challenge to Creative Redesign in an Age of Transition
Publisher: Baker Books
Reviewer: Discerning Reader Team
Rethinking The Church explores the nature of the church with a view to making the necessary changes that will ensure that the church remains relevant to our culture. The author proceeds from the foundation that much of what we do and see in today’s churches is derived from 17th to 19th century culture, and as such has lost much of its relevance to our postmodern society. We need to critically examine our churches to discern to the world today and what is simply tradition holding over from days gone by.
White draws heavily on the writings of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and George Barna: so heavily, in fact, that it often seems he has little to say that is truly original. If you have read The Purpose Driven Church and are familiar with Hybels’ writings, you will find a lot of repetition in this book. Still, at only 128 pages it is an easy read and still worth your while. If you have not read books on this topic before, this makes an excellent introduction.
This book does a good job of showing the importance and, to some extent, the methodology of taking a critical look at the church to evaluate if it truly is an effective tool for God’s work. I appreciated that on the whole the author treats the traditional church with respect, seeing the beauty of traditional parts of the worship service and traditional music. At the same time I appreciated his harshness on the necessity of being willing to make changes where changes are necessary.