Hopefully by now those that are planning on participating in this book study have read through the introduciton of the book. There’s also a preface as well which you could read – but it’s kinda out of context if you haven’t read the book before. I’m sure someone has probably read ahead as well – no problems.
I’ve been contemplating how this study might unfold over a blog, and I must be honest and tell you that I have several concerns. When I studied this book years ago in a small group one of the vital elements to its effectiveness was the groups’ commitment to be open and honest, but to keep what was shared within the group. How do you do that in a public forum? I have also considered that even though the blog is “public” this media is sort of anonymous as well – I mean, we all “know” each other, but it’s not like we can really get in each other’s faces and use any “dirt” this study might bring out against us… For the time being, I think that the anonymity will balance out the need for discretion amongst our little group. We’ll see – we can always take the discussion over to a closed Yahoo Group if we decide that would be better.
The other concern I have – and it’s really more of a warning or disclaimer – is that this book is not an easy book to read. If you really take the book seriously, you will need to face (and likewise share) the deepest sins, fears, disappointments and frustrations in yourself. It’s not pleasant – Crabb describes the process as “surgery without anesthesia” and he’s not kidding. I don’t offhandly recommend this book to just anyone – you need to be in a certain place in your Spiritual walk to be able to look inwardly at yourself the way the book requires.
With that said, let’s jump in to the book. The introduction tells us that something is wrong with modern day Christianity; that many of us have been sold and have thus bought into a lie.
“We want something now! And something is available now, something wonderful and real…. Our hope has switched to a responsive Christ who satisfies His hurting people by quickly granting them the relief they demand.“
Let’s get the ball rolling by sharing initial thoughts about this introduction. Why does this book interest you? What about the introduction of the book has piqued your interest? Any sections of the introduction that jumped out at you? Agree/disagree?
Start reading Chapter One – I’ll give you a week and then post some questions and/or comments to foster discussion.
P.S. One other request: I don’t intend for this discussion to be about the merits of Crabb or the validity of what he is saying -at least not the berating, name-calling kind of discussion that sometimes crops up: if what he says resonates with you – tell us about it, if not – that’s okay to discuss too. You won’t agree with everything he says, and that’s okay.