I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Author Michael Spencer blogged as the Internet Monk (www.internetmonk.com) until he died in April 2010. I had never read Spencer’s blog so I was new to his beliefs and writings. (And actually, when I requested this book, I misread the title and thought I was getting Mere Christianity.) While I agreed with many of his statements and findings on the modern day church in Mere Churchianity (those about people leaving many churches to in fact find Jesus, rather than religion), I felt the book was written with an almost bitter tone. I had a hard time getting past the extreme generalities and assumptions made of groups of people referenced in his book (and I’m not even one of them!).
I struggled reading this book primarily because I was not the right audience. Spencer states in the introduction “I’m writing to people on the inside who are about to leave or have already left (the church). I’m writing to those who are standing in the foyer of the church, ready to walk out, yet taking one last look around… for people who have come to the end of the road with the church but who can’t entirely walk away from Jesus.” Fortunately, I worship/live in a community of believers who focus on Jesus rather than religious people taking away from who Jesus really is.
I do believe this book would be good for church administrators to help understand the exodus of members from traditional churches. And to bring church members (and administrators) back to “Jesus-shaped spirituality,” as termed by Spencer. I just think it could have been written in a less abrasive way.