Corinthian Elders by Jack Fortenberry

Recently I was contacted by a man named Jack Fortenberry and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing his book Corinthian Elders. As a general rule, free books are good. And this was sent in response to my post recently about ecclesiology.

The book is interesting because it’s such a departure from the way so many people think. For instance:
“The church meeting prescribed by Paul was very different from what many believers experience in churches across the United States. Whereas contemporary church services are usually led by one or two professionally trained pastors or elders with a scripted program of hymns, prayers and a sermon, I Corinthians 14:26-31 describes interactive meetings of believers with no professional speaker, no script and many sermons by both new and old believers. Everyone was encouraged to participate without emphasizing any gifts over others.”
Or elsewhere:
“For the church to present one or a few preachers to a passive audience who attend services because they enjoy the sermons or preaching style is a violation of Paul’s commandment to the Corinthians when he redirected them from men to Christ. Why do we persist in disregarding this commandment? Do we know better than Paul?”
I appreciate that the writing style is a little in-your-face unapologetic, but there certainly are things in the book with which I disagree. As usual I’ll let you decide for yourself, but the book is not overwhelmingly long (about 85 pages) so it wont take too much of your time. I suggest it for those chewing on why they can attend church so faithfully, enjoy the teaching/preaching, and yet still feel like they get next to nothing out of it. Perhaps our system is broken. Dependance on a “leader” from the front, as opposed to a system of interaction and community (with Christ as the head) may be the primary cause of our frustration with the way church is run in America.

Then again. Maybe you have no problem with the way things are being run.