After some amazing chats last night, I felt compelled to share this book that I’m reading again. I use to rarely read but, as the Holy Spirit has led me on this journey, there have been many books I’ve been prompted to dig into. This will be my fourth reading of this book in the last 2 years, and I find new and amazing concepts with Jesus every time.
When I first saw the title of this book, I was a bit turned off by it. I was invested in a local congregation at the time and didn’t really consider “the Church” to exist outside of the Sunday morning walls. Of coarse, my viewpoint has radically changed. I see the title now as a play on words. The Church isn’t something we “go to,” it’s who we are. Aspects of the Church may exist in the well known congregational settings, but it also far, far transcends that.
I’ve also had a chance to (indirectly) correspond with the primary author (Wayne Jacobsen) via email and a few podcast comments. He is the one I mentioned last night to those who were in that conversation. Wayne intimated not to worry about finding a church, and that every time I went back to the old congregation, I would find less and less there spiritually (though he wasn’t discouraging me from going). He also stated that as I walked out this journey with Jesus, others would find me and begin to walk alongside, and that it would most likely happen all of a sudden.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s one of my three “if you were on an island” books. It’s written as a fictitious story so it’s fairly easy to digest while still having meaning that can astound veteran believers.
The Parousia was published by James Stuart Russell in 1878. I expected it to be a hard read, filled with a lot of outdated language, but it has been remarkably easy to understand the wording and enjoyable so far. Digesting the implications are another story entirely, however. The book is somewhere close to 600 pages and can be found online for free in PDF format. It’s helping a lot in understanding the often confusing passages Jesus spoke. The author presents the scriptures in a very straightforward manner and also expresses why alternate, more complex and confusing views, can be misguiding to say the least. I’m only about 10% in, but would highly recommend this book to anyone who’s still wondering just what in the world Jesus and the apostles were talking about.
Initially, I felt led to read this book about a year and a half ago. I wasn’t at all sure of what to expect then.
While I was able to wrap my head around some of the concepts, it deeply challenged much of my Christian-conservative-republican upbringing. Since then, I searched the Bible a lot to see if what The Shack presented could be true and found some correlation. I largely thought that it was an okay story, and I understood the main lesson it seemed to convey: God is love. However, I wasn’t so keen on agreeing with too much else that the book presented. I recommended it to others more as a “read it and see what you think” type book.
I felt led to read it again this pass week and was in tears more times than I could count. I’m astounded by how God has been changing my heart, and this is coming from a deeply introverted/emotionless guy. There are many concepts that God has shown to me over this pass year and a half that I didn’t pick up on, or maybe just refused to, in the initial reading.
I would recommend this book, however, it may be hard to even consider much of what it presents on the initial reading.
It seems they are handed out to others as generic advice that they should retrofit to their unique situations. Sometimes they work, but many times what someone may need is a more personal encounter rather than just a cliche that could make them feel as though they are just outright wrong.
That being said, this cliche just so happens to fit perfectly here.
I had first heard of the book “Bo’s Cafe” about a year and a half ago. Based on the title and cover, I didn’t have much interest in it. I read the synopsis and figured I might give it a chance one day if I found it at a discount and I was bored.
Well, just that happened. I found it at a used bookstore and decided I’d nab it for a time I just wanted to read a novel type story.
When I finally felt led to read it, the book went about as could be expected for the first several chapters. I found the story line interesting enough that I had a continued desire to read it instead of doing other menial things.
And then it happened.
The author(s) made a point. At first I didn’t think it applied to me and didn’t get what the point was. Often, when I come across this scenario in such books, I never really get an applicable answer. However, the main character made the same statement as my thoughts (that this doesn’t apply to me and I don’t get the point). From there, the point was actually explained more fully and I saw how it is relevant to me and probably most of those I’ve known my entire life.
This has given me a major puzzle piece that I previously thought I knew, but haven’t been able to really “see” until now. It would seem that I was led to read this book at the perfect time when I most needed this perspective. I’m still learning how to apply this information personally but feel even closer to God now after these realizations.
I don’t want to explain the topics of the story in this post though as I don’t want to inadvertently provide any spoilers. I may discuss some of these concepts in future posts as I learn to respond to them in my own life.
I would definitely recommend “Bo’s Cafe” and reiterate that old cliche–Don’t judge this book by its cover.
Wayne Jacobsen has made the first five chapters of his new book available for download in advance of the full release on Oct 15th. Over the past two days I’ve read these chapters and have been astounded. He hits the nail on the head repeatedly of what organized religion has been for the past two thousand years. The free chapters can be found here. I wait in eager anticipation for the release date when I can get my hands on the full book. I encourage anyone who is seeking a real, meaningful, deep relationship with God to review these free chapters. If you aren’t familiar with Wayne’s writing and podcasts, much of this may be shocking but most likely in a pleasantly surprising way. He manages to conjugate very effectively what I’ve personally experienced and knew deep down all my life but could only partially put into words up until now.
When I first saw this title over a year ago, I cringed. I though it was a direct offense to the church. After reading the synopsis however, I was a little less skeptical but decided not to read this particular book.
At the time, I was in a place of spiritual stagnation. I tried to do more for the congregation I was a part of, but that approach only left me exhausted. I was desperately seeking more. God pointed me to this book after reading “The Shack” which, for the first time, showed me God in a light of love I’d never been shown before. The synopsis for “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” was in the back of that book. However, I was in a place where I was too afraid to read such a book as the title sounded like heresy to me. After a few months of wallowing in spiritual drought regardless of my efforts, God again reminded me of this book. I hesitantly decided to read it.
I expected this book to be anti-church, yet I was under the wrong impression of what Jesus’ church actually is. I always knew that it was more than just the building but realized I was living under an illusion of the type of fellowship that Jesus desires for us to have. I have since read this book three times and get drawn more into that loving relationship with God and others each time I do.
For anyone interested, I would say don’t be afraid of the title. This book can be downloaded in PDF form for free from the authors’ site here.