Renewal by James Jonn

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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
7bd791994f0a8e9e49777e24237cedb0.jpg The author is JOHN JAMES - seems I can't edit the the title

Anyone read or reading this book? I would appreciate some discussion of its message. So far I noted its discussion of the Billy Graham crusades effectiveness as in part due to the cultural climate of the 50's. There was no discussion of the false conversions that resulted. - I believe that a year later over 90% had fallen away.

That prompted me to question whether the author was Arminian? Checking the denomination it seems that it was Arminian in its origins but accepts Calvinists into the fold not making it an issue.
 
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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
One of the most insightful quotes was from Mark Dever who reflecting on 'revitalisation' realised it probably just meant pastoring. I had already come to that conclusion. There is no need to coin a new term for an existing practice unless it is to do with marketing.

I recall being allowed to go on a course on AiFL when someone dropped out. Quickly brushing up on it I realised it was essentially formative assessment repackaged. My first question was that if i understood it correctly AiFL was formative assessment rwbranded to appear as something new. Given the opportunity to repudiate my suggestion. - our keynote speaker didn't!
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
I think I would also add that while Mark Dever seems to have had pastoring in mind, John James seems to have a new pastor and "core members" arriving to "turn things around".

At one point I was thinking in secular terms of a company undergoing a takeover. This was perhaps prompted by James use of terms such as' asset stripping'.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
I am now some 50 pages in and there is at last an acknowledgement of God's sovereignty in the work of reviving a church (local fellowship not a denomination). What puzzles me is that there is (as yet) no acknowledgement that sometimes it is not God's will to revive a local church. There is "presumed consent" that God will revive a church.

Maybe I should be charitable and pick up on the 'failure to change' and 'human opposition' passages as an indirect way of saying that sometimes God does not renew/revive. The brief quotation of God's charge to the seven churches in Revelation has me thinking was this God threateelevantning individuals or the continuation beyond that generation?

So far the lengthiest exposition I have encounterted has been a thirty word discussion of Gideon's 300 on p55. I would have thought a thorough exposition of Ezra (mixed marriages) and Nehemiah (the use of the Sabbath) would have been relevant.

...the journey continues.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
One of the things I look for is an index of Scriptures in any serious tome. This one doesn't have one - perhaps because it doesn't deal with any passages in-depth. My biography of John Gill - does!

Being charitable the author seems to assume that we are all on the same page without stating what that is. On p100 for example he suggests that visitation could be undermining sermon preperation. Yet he doesn't actually explain what a serious expository ministry requires.

My Baptist minister once kicked me out the door (metaphorically) at 11.30pm Saturday because he needed to start his sermon for the following morning! In contrast my Presbyterian minister spent every morning until mid-day in sermon preperation with the phone off the hook. His congregation was not used to this sort of serious study but grew accustomed to it. Needless to say one fed the flock and the other...

One line I definitely thought deserved explanation was on p39, "If we believe in the perseverance of the saints, we should believe in the revitalisation of dying churches". I thought the next paragraph would explain that one but he was off in a different direction leaving that sentence as a maxim or truism that was self-explanatory (but wasn't).

As for Josh, I eagerly got over to this thread thinking someone else had read the book to find he was simply pranking me! Fortunately for you I have a sense of humour but what is it they say "what goes around comes around":flamingscot:
 
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