So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore?

Yes, an American book ('anymore' - is that really a word?!) by Jake Colsen (pseudonym for two authors) and one that's been highly recommended recently by several of our friends.

Despite the title which makes it sound like a few other popular books on this subject, it's a short novel - about 160 pages. It features Jake, an assistant pastor who is feeling discouraged about life and church in particular. He's also feeling a little uneasy about his friendship with his senior pastor, and concerned about the amount of time and money it takes to keep their successful church going.

Jake meets someone called John, who is full of wisdom and gentle suggestions which prompt Jake to re-think many of his preconceived ideas about church and the Christian life in general. Several crises follow, leaving him often discouraged, but John turns up when least expected but most needed. In the conversations John prompts Jake to consider his own life and expectations, to think about who Jesus is and what God is doing, without religious jargon or false assumptions.

Surprisingly it doesn't come across as 'preachy' or even over-American. Instead I found it thought-provoking and extremely encouraging. An excellent antidote to the various 'how to lead a wonderful and purposeful life' sorts of books that seem to proliferate in Christian bookshops these days, and highly recommended.

Further thoughts about this book and its implications can be found at my Abstractions blog.

It's available as an e-book for downloading from the authors' site, or can be read online. It's also available as a printed book in both the USA, and (under the real authors' names) in the UK.

Note: you can also read my longer review of 'So you don't want to go to church anymore?' when I re-read it, five and a half years later

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