The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Love Acceptance and Forgiveness - Jerry Cook and Stanley C B


I bought this little book because Stanley has just joined out Forum and i thought it would be good to read it. Some years ago I was part of a Young Pastoral Team (I was easily the oldest) which sought to transition a Church from the “field” approach to “Church as a force” concept. The field approach being the church as a “field” in which we actually work rather than the “world” in which Jesus calls us to work as a force. Our desire was to engage much more with our community and one of the guiding source of ideas that came from Brian McLaren and the Emerge Church concept. We kind of succeeded in becoming much more outward looking but we lost a large proportion of our congregation who were not comfortable at all with the direction. Clearly Jerry and Stan were saying these things back in the seventies though with a Four Square Pentecostal flavour. I think this book still has a valid message for today. Maybe some Churches die because they become cooked in there own juices. Comfortable is generally not the way forward in spiritual growth. I would only have dropped one area from the book and that is the reference to the Greek Orthodox observation which does not really serve much of a purpose and tends to illustrate a lack of understanding of the “priest” in the Orthodox context where a the office and sacramental serve a different purpose and render the observation made in the book rather unfortunate in my humble opinion. I am not hereby defending orthodoxy, just that care needs to be taken when making comparisons across religious and ethnic boundaries. Thus even in our little forum we need to take care that we explain to others, who may have no concept or idea when we speak, of what we speak! Love covers a multitude of sins!