A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture That Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing

Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer. Tyndale Momentum, $22.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4964-4600-8
In this powerful work, father-daughter team McKnight (The Jesus Creed) and Barringer use their experiences with misconduct by a pastor at their local church as a springboard to explore how toxic church cultures develop and persist, and how to nurture healthier congregations. The authors describe attending Willow Creek Community Church and the allegations of sexual harassment against pastor Bill Hybels in 2018, and they argue that a celebrity culture around a pastor (like the one around Hybels) is the single most dangerous sign of a toxic culture within a church, followed by loyalty to an institution rather than to fellow congregants. To protect against these tendencies, the authors recommend congregations seek to nurture empathy, grace, truth-telling, justice, service, and imitation of Jesus, as well as resisting top-down initiatives and “institutional creep” by making one’s church service-oriented. The authors also suggest building empathy by using church services to tell the stories of marginalized people in the Bible, as well as in church and local history. Their vision of a church based on empathy, confession, and repentance provides a pathway for those seeking to create a more welcoming congregation. Churchgoers and aspiring church leaders will find much wisdom here. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/03/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Religion
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Book - 978-1-4964-4601-5
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