Edward W. Klink, The Local Church (Wheaton: Crossway, 2021), 172 pp.
The church stands at the very center of God’s redemptive purposes. Yet there is much misunderstanding about the church in our day. Some people downplay the importance of the church. Others are critical of the notion of church membership. Edward W. Klink intends to “cut through the fog” and set the record straight in his book, The Local Church: What It Is and Why It Matters for Every Christian.
Dr. Klink’s heart for the church emerges on every page as the author sets forth the biblical purposes and priorities that emerge in Scripture. Klink begins by exposing some of the misconceptions about the church. He says, “To speak plainly, a church’s Christianity has no relation to Christ. The real and necessary connection between Christ, his church, and all of its members not only is a biblical command and a theological truth but also must be a personal and pastoral priority in the contemporary church.”
Once the misconceptions are swept aside, the author focuses on the biblical portrait of the church. “The entire story of Scripture explains how God chose a people for himself to dwell with him forever,” writes Dr. Klink. Therefore, at the heart of the church is the pleasure of God, the people of God, the power of God, the proclamation of God, the provision of God, and the purpose of God. The threefold purposes of the church, according to Klink include loving God, loving our neighbor, and loving one another.
The author not only informs and educates; he challenges. Indeed, one of the most helpful aspects of this book is the bold challenge that is offered to professing Christians:
To say that a person has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is to speak about how a person becomes a Christian, not how a person lives as a Christian. Please Hear this: if Jesus is at the center of your life, a local church is at the center of your life. Who is the church? If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you are!
The book concludes with a helpful section that includes twenty common questions about the local church. The answers are short and crisp; but more importantly, the answers are biblical. The Local Church is a superb overview and should receive a wide readership.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.