Very often, and for many different reasons, God will shrink a church from one size down to something much smaller. Sometimes the reason a church shrinks is because they have made some poor choices, but often the reasons are totally unavoidable. Changes in employment, changes in the community, changes in denominational affiliation, or a new church opening up down the street are common causes of church reduction. It is very common to find a church that has shifted from 1000 members to 500, or 300 down to 100, or from 100 down to 20. When that occurs, changes are necessary!
The Acts of the Apostles is the seventh chapter in the great story of the Bible. This chapter is extremely important because it tells how the followers of Jesus carried on after his ascension back to heaven. Did they lose their faith and give up their confidence in the messiahship of Jesus when he was no longer with them on earth? Or were they so convinced by his teachings and miracles that they continued sharing the good news even at great personal cost? The Book of Acts is the story of the expansion and growth of God’s kingdom through the faithful witness of the apostles who were empowered by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
Dan Anderson has written a book with his daughter, Jacquelyn, which I believe will be a major asset for parents to use when talking to their daughters about dating. Both are high school teachers in Portland, Oregon. Dan writes from the perspective of both a teacher and a parent, and provides tremendous insights from these two contexts as a Christian man.
The next chapter in the story of the Bible brings us to the New Covenant, better known as the New Testament. This title is derived from God’s promise through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make a “new covenant” with His people to replace the covenant which they had broken. Speaking to His disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus presented the Passover cup saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20).
This book began as a “search for clarity” regarding the “commonalities and differences between Roman Catholic and evangelical Protestant theology with reference to the Reformation.” (13) Finding no extant resource adequate to this task, the authors elected to put together the volume under review. While the topic of this book is timely (considering the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation), the question is whether what is offered here achieves its stated goal.