Item description for Drawing His People by Michael Spreng...
Overview Will the Church and the culture ever see revival again? This clear, two-part book, takes a serious look at how God truly draws his people to revival. (Practical Life)
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Studio: Xulon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.43" Weight: 0.62 lbs.
Release Date Jun 21, 2006
Publisher Xulon Press
ISBN 1600341195 ISBN13 9781600341199
Availability 126 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 06:26.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Drawing His People?
Grace the Way God Intended Oct 25, 2006
In Drawing His People, Reformed pastor Michael W. Spreng gives an overview of contemporary Protestant faith and practice and explains how it falls short of its claims to Biblical standards. Considering the current state of attention given to mass crusades and megachurches, Spreng's timely book combines soteriological, eschatological, ecclesiological, and liturgical elements in a powerful critique of the current Evangelical landscape from the perspective of Reformational theology.
Spreng divides his study into two parts. The first covers how God calls to His people through the Church in the ministries of Word and Sacrament. The preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments are essential to the well being of the Church as a whole and should be the centerpieces of Christian worship. The removal of these two vital functions of the Church from their God-given place to be substituted by models derived from the secular culture ultimately leads to a confusion of doctrine and practice that erodes the influence of the Church upon the surrounding culture and leaves its members undiscipled.
In the second section of the book, Spreng covers how God can draw through culture and ethics. Here the Church is to challenge the culture by appealing to the natural grace given to all to lead the society to a more godly conduct. The problem we now face is that when the Church uncritically accepts so many assumptions of the larger culture there is little basis for making proper judgments for Christian practice. For example, measures like evangelical crusades and altar calls that take their cue from mass marketing lead to a type of "chain letter" churchmanship that has as its goal to convince people to "make a decision" for Christ in an artificial atmosphere engineered to entice such a choice and then leave the new convert with the burden of generating similar decisions in others. A healthy Church would have God bring people into the Church through an understanding of their sinfulness and need of a Savior and equip them through the methods God has provided - with Baptism as the entrance and the preaching of the Word and the feeding at the Lord's Table as the normative means for Christian growth.
Although Spreng gives a decidedly Reformed spin, the principles of Word and Sacrament as the basis for the Christian life will ring true for any committed Christian whose ecclesial life takes a more "catholic" perspective. However, this does lead to an interesting conundrum for Spreng: Of all the magisterial Protestant Churches, it is the Reformed that veered furthest from what he advocates. While Anglican and Lutheran (as well as Catholic and Orthodox) have usually had a weekly Communion, the Reformed Churches have not. In America this practice has been even more pronounced. Not only have Reformed Churches relegated Communion to a monthly or even quarterly occurrence, their position on the Sacrament eschewed Calvin's high view for a more memorialist interpretation. It seems there would have to be momentous changes within Reformed circles for Spreng's view to become a major force.
Spreng falls into the category of those who claim to be "reformed catholics" (Reformed Christians who advocate a greater appreciation for the Church's tradition and a more catholic understanding of the role of the Church) a movement that, while certainly encouraging, is still in its formative stages. The main issue they face is how catholic can they become without ceasing to be reformed. Many of their positions do go against the grain of what is commonly held as the "Reformed Tradition". Thus it will be interesting to see if it can maintain any degree of stability or become a launching pad for entries into other traditions.
Regardless of the future of reformed catholicism as a movement, Michael Spreng has issued an important challenge to the Church to return to a proper understanding of its role and mission in a fallen world. In the growing submission of the Church to the culture (which Spreng points out is as common among conservative evanglicals as liberal mainliners), he has offered American Protestantism another vision - one that conforms to the model that God Himself has provided in His Word.