Recommended: A prophetically relevant book and great resource–but read with care.
I really enjoyed this book, but in researching the author, started running into sketchy material–not with him per se, but in those who connect themselves with him. That said, don’t read this for it’s theological views (it’s not a theological book anyway), but for his knowledge and gracefully written comparisons of the modern church to its New Testament counterpart.
Simson engages in controversial ground as he reveals how far the church has drifted from its Biblical model. He then gives general advice and encouragement on how to go back to an emphasis on New Testament values without further control of the church. In other words, he is very clear that it doesn’t work to “make exact copies of a New Testament church. Rather [we should] take these New Testament principles and values seriously, as God-given essentials” (33).
Although Simson speaks specifically with the creation of house churches in mind, many of his findings will be of interest to those church leaders who simply want to strengthen their circles of the body in a more ‘organic’ or family-like atmosphere with God at the center. I especially appreciated his discussions of the roles of the five-fold ministry. This is a cutting edge resource for any Christian in active leadership.