Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review of Authentic Church by Vaughn Roberts

Authentic Church: True Spirituality in a Culture of Counterfeits

Authentic Church: True Spirituality in a Culture of Counterfeits
Vaughn Roberts
ISBN 978-0-8308-3798-4
Intervarsity Press
Reviewed by Clint Walker

According to the forward, this book was born out of a specific situation in the author's life. Early on in his spiritual journey, Vaughn Roberts was told that he needed to have a specific spiritual experience to demonstrate to himself and others that he had an authentic and growing Christian faith. He asked his mentors, and he studied the Bible.What he found was there were many counterfeits of authentic spirituality. As he grew more mature in his spiritual journey he began to discover that the book of I Corinthians was a good guide for identifying healthy spirituality, and for avoided counterfeit imitations of true Christian spiritual maturity. The book Authentic Spirituality is a book spawned by this study of Vaughn Roberts.

Authentic Spirituality is, in fact, both an exegetical and topical study of I Corinthians and concept of faithful Christian spirituality, and the places where we often get off track and/or deceived about what the Christian spiritual journey is all about. Each chapter covers a specific issue, and has study questions at the end of each chapter that both cause the reader to review the text of the book and to dig deeper into the Scripture passages that each chapter summarizes.

I enjoyed reading this book. It is a fresh take on the book of I Corinthians with a very clear focus. It is also wise in how it connects issues in the early church with challenges that our churches and our church cultures face today. I think it would be a great book to use in a Bible Study at some point. As a pastor, I also think it would be a helpful guide for a preaching series on I Corinthians.

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