The Honest to God Church: A Pathway to God's Grace

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9781566993449: The Honest to God Church: A Pathway to God's Grace

Doug Bixby knows that many of us have had enough of the liberal vs. conservative battles in the church. In The Honest to God Church, Bixby demonstrates how these extremes have distracted us from our true calling as conduits for God's grace--both individually and as congregations. Many churches see themselves as "okay," while everyone outside the church is "not okay." These churches embrace an ethic of perfection rather than love. Often they are very judgmental and rigid; little room exists for grace after a person is converted. Legalism, rather than love, becomes the primary defining characteristic; people pretend to be perfect even though they are not. In reaction to this approach, many churches have replaced judgmentalism with an ethic of tolerance. But tolerating someone is not the same thing as loving them. Tolerance demands only that we give people space. Love is deeper and more significant and demands that we enter into their space. Besides, if on our own we are okay, then why do we need God and one another? Bixby recommends we embrace the teaching of Martin Luther that we all are saints and sinners simultaneously. Churches that do this raise disciples who readily admit their sin and brokenness and see God's grace as the only means for straightening out their lives. Bixby encourages all congregations to live this way--authentically and transparently--so that we do not have to pretend that we are okay when we are not. Bixby challenges us to respond to Jesus's call to come as we are, not as we think we ought to be.

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About the Author:

Doug Bixby is the pastor of Salem Covenant Church in Washington, Connecticut. As a church consultant and conference speaker, he has worked extensively with clergy and congregations on church leadership and congregational vitality. His first book was Challenging the Church Monster: From Conflict to Community.

Review:

Doug Bixby makes it clear that honest-to-God churches are always come-as-you-are churches. When we are honest with God--and with ourselves--we realize there is no other way to come. That also means, as he quite rightly points out, that we need to be honest with each other and let others come as they are. That's a simple and yet incredibly provocative idea--one that has the power to transform both people and congregations, leading them into ever deeper, ever more faithful discipleship. If we can just be honest--with God, with ourselves, and with each other--who know what wonders God will be able to perform! --Jeffrey D. Jones, Author, Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple-Forming Congregations

Doug Bixby invites us to bring our real selves to church and to God. He shows us ways to move through and beyond the ruins of Christendom and into a new time and a different church. He shows us what the church and the life of discipleship look like when we get honest with God and get real with each other. --Anthony B. Robinson, Author, What's Theology Got to Do with It? Convictions, Vitality, and the Church

Is there anything more needed today than the grace-filled church Doug Bixby describes? He displays a profound understanding of the complexity of the human condition and God's grace. And from this pastor's heart comes a vision for the church that is both ancient and relevant today. --Doug Wysockey-Johnson, Executive Director, Faith at Work

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Book Description Alban Institute, Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Doug Bixby knows that many of us have had enough of the liberal vs. conservative battles in the church. In The Honest to God Church, Bixby demonstrates how these extremes have distracted us from our true calling as conduits for God s grace--both individually and as congregations. Many churches see themselves as okay, while everyone outside the church is not okay. These churches embrace an ethic of perfection rather than love. Often they are very judgmental and rigid; little room exists for grace after a person is converted. Legalism, rather than love, becomes the primary defining characteristic; people pretend to be perfect even though they are not. In reaction to this approach, many churches have replaced judgmentalism with an ethic of tolerance. But tolerating someone is not the same thing as loving them. Tolerance demands only that we give people space. Love is deeper and more significant and demands that we enter into their space. Besides, if on our own we are okay, then why do we need God and one another? Bixby recommends we embrace the teaching of Martin Luther that we all are saints and sinners simultaneously. Churches that do this raise disciples who readily admit their sin and brokenness and see God s grace as the only means for straightening out their lives. Bixby encourages all congregations to live this way--authentically and transparently--so that we do not have to pretend that we are okay when we are not. Bixby challenges us to respond to Jesus s call to come as we are, not as we think we ought to be. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9781566993449

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Book Description Alban Institute, Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Doug Bixby knows that many of us have had enough of the liberal vs. conservative battles in the church. In The Honest to God Church, Bixby demonstrates how these extremes have distracted us from our true calling as conduits for God s grace--both individually and as congregations. Many churches see themselves as okay, while everyone outside the church is not okay. These churches embrace an ethic of perfection rather than love. Often they are very judgmental and rigid; little room exists for grace after a person is converted. Legalism, rather than love, becomes the primary defining characteristic; people pretend to be perfect even though they are not. In reaction to this approach, many churches have replaced judgmentalism with an ethic of tolerance. But tolerating someone is not the same thing as loving them. Tolerance demands only that we give people space. Love is deeper and more significant and demands that we enter into their space. Besides, if on our own we are okay, then why do we need God and one another? Bixby recommends we embrace the teaching of Martin Luther that we all are saints and sinners simultaneously. Churches that do this raise disciples who readily admit their sin and brokenness and see God s grace as the only means for straightening out their lives. Bixby encourages all congregations to live this way--authentically and transparently--so that we do not have to pretend that we are okay when we are not. Bixby challenges us to respond to Jesus s call to come as we are, not as we think we ought to be. Bookseller Inventory # ANB9781566993449

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