Last evening, I finished reading Dr. James Emery White's most recent book The Church in an Age of Crisis: 25 New Realities Facing Christianity published by BakerBooks. The 25 realities White addresses are organized under the topics of faith, mindset, marriage and family, media and technology, and mission. Having read several of Dr. White's books previously, I expected the book to be well-referenced with information plucked right out of the news and a variety of stories illustrating the points made and was not disappointed. I could find myself relating to many of the realities discussed. Frequent readers of White's Church and Culture blog will find many of the chapters have a familiarity.
As indicated the quality of The Church in an Age of Crisis and the information presented completely lived up to my expectations. However, I was not prepared for how overwhelmed I felt while reading about these 25 realities, and the heightened concern I felt for the world in which my children are growing up. Due to these feelings, I found I needed to read this book in short doses rather than reading it straight through. In fact, I would recommend the book be read in short doses so that individuals can thoroughly process the content that White presents. As I reached the end of the book, I would have liked a bit more content focused on what the church should do to counter these realities, particularly as the last sentence states "And there is so much we can do." However, I think that content was intentionally left out as the "what" may vary significantly from church to church and locale to locale.
I recommend The Church in an Age of Crisis for a variety of audiences. Undergraduate or beginning seminary students who are studying worldviews or reaching contemporary minds would find this book very engaging as a textbook or recommended reading. Every minister, church leader, elder needs to read this book. This book needs to not only be read but also should be the impetus for an action plan laying out what the church needs to do in the face of these realities. While it was somewhat depressing to have these stark realities laid out in succession, as believers we know that the Lord is in control of all things and these realities are not insurmountable. Read The Church in an Age of Crisis and then resolve to do something to help your church engage our culture concerning these realities.
Disclaimer I received a complimentary copy of The Church in an Age of Crisis in exchange for a fair and honest review.