“Church isn’t where we go. It’s who we are,” reads the back cover of Joshua Harris’s book Why Church Matters. This was previously released as Stop Dating the Church, so if you already own that book there’s not need to rush out and buy this one, unless you really want the added discussion questions.
Lately it seems I’ve been reading a lot of books which have something to on the church. From You’ve Lost Me to A Faith of Our Own, it seems more people are wondering what to do when the see more and more young Christian leaving the church. One of the questions that will inevitable come up: Is Church is even all that important? Harris answers with a firm, “Yes.”
Throughout most of the book, Harris uses the image of the Church as the bride of Christ. Given this relational image, Harris argues that Christians have not been faithful in our relationship. We prioritize our time, and there are many things we place before church. Whether sports, family, or work, our time and effort shows what we care about. If the Church is the bride, shouldn’t Christians engage with it? Harris explains why participation in the church is important. Faith isn’t meant to be lived out alone. He also offers his thoughts on what to look for in a church, and he notes that there are churches which do not truly follow Biblical teachings.
Coming in at well under 150 pages, this is an extremely fast read. In many of the chapters, Harris seems to only skim the surface of the topics. If you’re looking a quick pick-me-up, this may be a good one to grab. If, however, you’re looking for a deeper look at the function and purpose of the church, you may not find that this goes deep enough. I also thought Harris overly stressed the image of the Church as the bride while largely ignoring other images of the Church found in the Bible. Still, it seemed to be a Biblically solid book and a quick read, good for at least an introduction to the subject.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255