How does the church find significance in modern society? Should the church be involved in such a search? These are the questions Pastor Bob Pearle seeks to answer in his short book, The Vanishing Church. Far from an exhaustive discussion of the ‘cultural relevance’ conversation, Pastor Pearle addresses the Emerging and Emergent movements from a Southern Baptist perspective.
The presentation of material is succinct and to the point. As the chapters are edited transcripts from a sermon series, it is easy to follow the flow and progression of the discussions at hand. Pearle very methodically moves through the material, laying out a precise response to the movement he critiques. Readers are impressed repeatedly with the reverence and respect Pearle has for the authority of Scripture, allowing it to comment on itself.
The information is presented in a scholarly manner without seeming bookish. To those who would abandon the traditional church setting in hopes of finding relevance, Pearle counsels: “Doctrine does matter; it is vital to the stability of a person’s faith and the health of a congregation” (p. 101). This book would be profitable for the layman or ministry professional alike. – Charles L. Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
In a powerful and refreshingly honest approach, Pastor Bob Pearle looks realistically at the issues causing the growing irrelevance and weakness of churches today. What he presents will concern you, inspire you, and lead you to make your church more what the Bible intends.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, writes in his endorsement of Pearle's book: "In a day when churches are captivated by every passing trend and pernicious teaching, Bob Pearle challenges the church to recover the authority of God's Word over every area of life. He writes with the pen of a dedicated and experienced pastor. His book brings fresh light to the challenge of leading a church to faithfulness today."
James T. Draper, Jr., president emeritus of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, TN, writes in his endorsement: "Bob Pearle has addressed the most distressing issue facing the church today: its general decline in influence and growing irrelevancy in the current culture. This book addresses the issue and challenges us to rethink both the practices and the biblical foundation of the church. It will challenge your assumptions about the church and require a careful examination of the church and its role today."