In Elmer Towns and Ed Stetzer’s new book, Perimeters of Light, the authors use parables to portray situations churches today might face. From postmodernism, to music, to preaching styles, this is a nuts-and-bolts look at the church.
Each chapter opens with a parable to demonstrate some aspect of the church, and closes with ‘Casting Light’ discussion questions meant to further personal study or group discussion. Elmer Towns has more than fifty books to his credit and is the vice president and dean of the School of Religion at Liberty University in Virginia. Ed Stetzer directs the North American Mission Board (NAMB) Church Planting Center. Neither author imposes their preferences on the reader. In a refreshingly objective evaluation of the church, Towns and Stetzer offer questions for the reader to examine aspects of church.
The ‘perimeters of light’ metaphor establishes the Lord as the only one able to determine who is faithful and who is not. Towns and Stetzer encourage believers to return to God as the center of preaching, church-life, and activity. The authors remind us that “we have a preference when God does not” in certain areas of church life, worship styles for example. They call for a rethinking of the ramifications of ‘evangelical headhunters’ trying to convert post-moderns.
This easily digestible book, while full of ten-dollar words, is not too heady for laymen as the authors graciously define their terms. Yet the charts and diagrams may serve scholars, while laymen may have little use for them. This is a great book for any church trying to evaluate where they stand biblically, culturally, and bureaucratically. Open-ended questions render the book applicable across all denominational lines. Truly, a book for the whole Body of Christ. I recommend this book without reservation. -- Suzanne Rae Deshchidn, Christian Book Previews.com
How far do we go to connect with our culture? Can we "sell" the Gospel like the world sells soft drinks? Where are the boundaries? The church today is walking a tightrope.On the one hand, we need to proclaim, and - perhaps, more importantly - live the Gospel in such a way that it connects with both seekers and younger people looking for community and authenticity. Yet at what point does this fall into "feel good" ministry at the expense of biblical truth? These are issues that God's people are now beginning to wrestle with. Towns and Stetzer provide an intergenerational perspective that sheds biblical light on some tough challenges facing the church.