In this forthright, passionate wake-up call for the evangelical church, author Mark Galli, former editor in chief of Christianity Today, asserts that contemporary evangelicalism and much of Christianity in America is in serious trouble because believers have forgotten God.
For decades, Galli has observed that “American Christianity has been less and less interested in God and more in doing good things for God.” In other words, Galli claims, as the church has placed a greater emphasis on horizontal relationships and goals, it has forsaken “the reason for its existence,” that is, to live for the praise of God’s glory: “The point is this: the church is its own end. It is created by God’s good pleasure and for our good pleasure. As a result of being called into the family called church, our job is to bask in its sheer goodness by living together in holy love and by together praising God’s glory for doing such a wonderful thing.”
Galli’s book is a plea for evangelical Christians to seek a renewed desire for God. He shows that when that is the first priority of believers, then service to the world, in its proper place, will follow.
With biblical insights, compassion, and practical suggestions, Galli takes a hard look at the evangelical church’s failings, investigates flaws in the missional mind-set, and explores the biblical picture of church, especially as spelled out by the apostle Paul in the letter to the Ephesians.
Though Galli’s critique of the state of evangelicalism is distressing at times, he stands firmly on biblical hope: “This entire book, in fact, is founded on a truth that is greater and more important than the theme of this book. We may have forgotten God, but he has not forgotten us. And he not only urges and prompts us to remember him, but he gives us the means of grace to do just that.”
Even as Galli explores these means of grace—glorifying God in communal worship, celebrating communion, reading the Bible, contemplative prayer, suffering for the sake of Christ, confession, and loving our neighbors while loving God—Galli realistically spells out how a life of longing to grow in desiring God will be like “embarking on a perilous journey,” even as it will be punctuated with joy.
An excellent resource for pastors, worship leaders, and all those who are concerned about the future of the church and long to grow in their desire for God. (Tyndale House Publishers)