Foreword by Anthony B. Robinson
Pastor and church consultant Doug Bixby considers the many ways churches can fall short of their potential to be grace-filled places. He also shows what the church and the life of discipleship look like when we get honest with God and get real with one another. Bixby makes it clear that "honest to God" churches are always come-as-you-are churches.
Drawing from the gospel and real-life examples, Bixby explores pathways to a more open and authentic Christian life and spiritual community between the extremes of liberal and conservative, judgmental and permissive, mean and merely nice. He provides action steps for church leaders seeking to begin shaping their church into a conduit for God’s grace.
Bixby recommends we embrace the concept that we all are saints and sinners simultaneously. Churches that do this raise disciples who readily admit their sin and brokenness while anchoring their lives in God’s grace and working to spread the good news of that grace to the world. Bixby encourages all congregations to live authentically and transparently so that we do not have to pretend that we are okay when we are not.
Rich in theological insights yet easy to read, The Honest to God Church is ideal for study and discussion by a whole congregation or in small groups and adult classes. Each chapter ends with ideas to try and questions for further discussion. The book challenges us to respond to Jesus’s call to come as we are, not as we think we ought to be.
“Is there anything more needed today than the grace-filled church Doug Bixby describes? He displays a profound understanding of the complexity of the human condition and God’s grace. And from this pastor’s heart comes a vision for the church that is both ancient and relevant today.” —Doug Wysockey-Johnson, Executive Director, Faith at Work
“Doug Bixby invites us to bring our real selves to church and to God. He shows us ways to move through and beyond the ruins of Christendom and into a new time and a different church. He shows us what the church and the life of discipleship look like when we get honest with God and get real with each other.” —Anthony B. Robinson, author of
What's Theology Got to Do with It?
“Doug Bixby makes it clear that honest-to-God churches are always come-as-you-are churches. When we’re honest with God—and with ourselves—we realize there is no other way to come. That also means, as he quite rightly points out, that we need to be honest with each other and let others come as they are. That’s a simple and yet incredibly provocative idea—one that has the power to transform both people and congregations, leading them into ever deeper, ever more faithful discipleship. If we can just be honest—with God, with ourselves, and with each other—who knows what wonders God will be able to perform!” —Jeffrey D. Jones author of Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple-Forming Congregations
Alban No. AL334
paper, 125 pages
($13.60 for members)