cover image Becoming the Church: God’s People in Purpose and Power

Becoming the Church: God’s People in Purpose and Power

Claude R. Alexander. IVP, $18 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-5140-0572-9

In this formally inventive treatise, Alexander (Necessary Christianity), a pastor at the Park Church in Charlotte, N.C., explores “what God intends for the church to be” by examining its the role in the gospels and the book of Acts. Writing in the first person as apostles Luke, Matthew, Peter, and Thomas, Alexander reflects on how their biblical stories reveal God’s vision for the church. For example, Alexander writes from the perspective of Thomas, “I did not understand... that Jesus called us both to himself and to each other,” suggesting that Thomas’s departure from the church following Jesus’s crucifixion failed to recognize Jesus’s intention for Christians to commune with God by connecting with other followers. Alexander switches to the third person to examine Acts, explaining that the church’s power derives from the Holy Spirit and should be used to spread the word of God. Alexander’s points about the community and evangelistic purposes of the church will be familiar to Christians, but the sections from the perspectives of the disciples make for a creative approach to exegesis. The imaginative presentation elevates the commonplace arguments. (Dec.)