Item description for The Normal Christian Church Life: The New Testament Pattern of the Churches, the Ministry, and the Work by watchman nee...
During conferences held in Shanghai and Hankow, Watchman Nee spoke to his fellow workers on the principles in the New Testament concerning the practical arrangement of the churches, the ministry, and the work. He declared, It is our desire to accept and proclaim the whole Word of God...we seek to follow the leading of God's Spirit, but at the same time we seek to pay attention to the examples shown us in His Word. The leading of the Spirit is precious, but if there is no example in the Word, then it is easy to substitute our fallible thoughts and unfounded feelings for the Spirit's leading, drifting into error without realizing it." In his speaking, he honestly examined his own work before the Lord in the light of these principles, provided adjustment and encouragement to his co-workers, and confirmed through personal testimony that the practice of the normal Christian church life revealed in the New Testament can be recovered.
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Studio: Living Stream Ministry
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.48" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.47" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 1999
Publisher LIVING STREAM MINISTRY #517
ISBN 0870830279 ISBN13 9780870830273
Availability 0 units.
More About watchman nee
Watchman Nee became a Christian in mainland China in 1920 at the age of seventeen and began writing in the same year. Throughout the nearly thirty years of his ministry, Watchman Nee was clearly manifested as a unique gift from the Lord to His Body for His move in this age. In 1952 he was imprisoned for his faith; he remained in prison until his death in 1972. His words remain an abundant source of spiritual revelation and supply to Christians throughout the world. For more details concerning Watchman Nee, please see www.watchmannee.org
Reviews - What do customers think about Normal Christian Church Life?
A Most Remakable book. Mar 14, 2007
Watchman Nee's "Normal Christian Church Life" is no ordinary book. It's actually incredible to me it is so reaadily available today at such a nominal price, and says very much how fragmented Christian mindshare must be!
I first came by this book the very hard way: I had to make a copy of it on a copying machine in the late 1970's because it was completely unavailble.
Here is a true story about this book.
In the spring of 1983, I was asked to escort an older gentleman who was then an itinerating preacher. I drove him from Omaha, NE to Lincoln, and then to Des Moines, Iowa, and then to my late father's house in Omaha.
Over the course of that driving, we had many long conversations wherein i essentially poured out my heart wit the struggles I was facing as a young preacher who knew God's calling.
This old preacher had a few very key things to tell me, not the least of which was detailed information about a mutual nemesis we had both faced.
Then, upon raching my father's home, I considered I should share with this old preacher my notebook copy of this book by Watchman Nee. I told him it greatly influenced me, and that he would probably enjoy it, because I knew he had served in the China Inland Mission in his youth.
The preacher said a few cordial words and said he must excuse himself for awhile from my compnay. I feared i had offended him.
He came back to me after about an hour, and I learned he had gone the room furnished to him to be alone and pray. He looked me in the eys, and said, "What I am going to tell you now you must not disclose, or I will not be invited to preach in brethren assemblies anymore, and at my age, it's all there is left to do."
"I translated this book."
That old preacher was Dan Smith of Vancouver, B.C., a man of God who did me more good in a few hours than any preacher before or since.
It is ironic that, having provided the English reading world with this remakable book that Dan Smith was treated so poorly by the Witness Lee schism that took the book - against the warning of Watchman Nee - as "a manual for service."
The Normal Christian Apostle Life... & Church Life Too Feb 13, 2007
If you are a member of an institutional church (i.e. you meet in a religious building, practice empty pagan rituals, pay professional staff members, etc.) this book will not be much help to you. I recommend reading "Pagan Christianity" by Frank Viola. However, if you are seeking first-century Christianity... this book is worth the read!
The first book I read from Nee was the classic, "The Normal Christian Life." Great book! One of my favorites! After doing some reading on the house church (Frank Viola primarily) I realized Nee was also known for radical recovery efforts to bring the ekklesia (church) back to its first-century origins. So... I read this book.
Most of the book centers on the life of an apostle/worker. In today's terms... Church Planters! Now... I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church... was on staff for 6 years... it wasn't long ago I believed all the apostles were dead and no more. I come to discover, among MANY other things, that apostles are still very much alive and on the front line of what Christ is doing with his church. This book is very thorough when it comes to the work of the apostle/worker/church planter. If you are wanting to know more about the role of the apostle and how he/she is to function... you definitely want this book.
Many will have a problem with Nee's seemingly rigid approach to church by locality only. Nee believes that churches should only divide on the grounds of locality. His biblical evidence and reasoning for this is very convincing. He says, "Apart from such places where people live a community life, there is no scriptural unit of the churches of God." Although I believe there are exceptions to this, for the the most part I believe Nee is right on. The only reason we don't all meet in the same home for worship... is because WE CAN'T FIT! If we all could gather in the same place... we would... or at least we should. The church by locality guards against divisions and factions based upon national, racial, theological, and other denominational issues that make Christ want to spew!
Nee's book also touches on other aspects of the church. He continually affirms the first-century church model and boldly claims that the church as an organization led by "spritual specialists" is not the biblical model of ekklesia. He goes on to briefly describe the roles of the prophet, pastor/teacher, the evangelist (preacher), elder, etc. He even discusses our favorite topic of all: FINANCES!
Although Nee is a bit repetitive... he is straightforward and thought-provoking. If you are seeking to do house church right and not just as an alternative to the institution... I recommend this book. (If you are new to house church, please be aware that there are several other methods of house church that are not concerned with modeling first-century ekklesia. They simply see house church as an alternative to the institutional church that burned them.)
After reading Nee, I highly recommend you read "SO YOU WANT TO START A HOUSE CHURCH?: First-Century Styled Church Planting For Today" by Frank Viola. Viola writes with Nee in mind. Viola seeks to give a better overall realistic, yet biblical, representation of first-century house church. If you have not yet fully come out of the institutional church and are open to it... read Viola's entire set.
I also recommend: "Paul's Idea of Community: The Early House Churches in their Cultural Setting" by Robert Banks "Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Good but Repetitive and Boring at Times Aug 27, 2006
I gave this book 5 stars because of the truth involved is crucial to all believers in Christ although it'd be hard-hitting for any pastor or anyone quite attached to the traditional church system. Most other reviewers have already stated the good in this book, so I'll add to the review collection by bring up my complaints.
The problem I have with this book is that Nee can be annoyingly repetitive. There should be one church per city. [Brings up a point], and this empshasizes that there should be one church per city. [Brings up another point], and this also empahsizes that there should be one church per city. Oh, did I mention there should be one church per city.
The book is actually a manuscript of speaking, and the speaking is directed at those who are vehemently opposed to his ideas. So if you're not vehemently opposed to what Nee is saying, reading this book is like Nee trying really hard to convince you of stuff you already believe.
So in conclusion, there should be one church per city.
What is Truth? Mar 13, 2006
Some folks should live the life of a church planter and labor and suffer in the Lord's work all over their country and have an incredible depth of knowledge and experience of the Lord Jesus Christ before they judge Nee's work. Some folks reviewing the book miss the point and do not realize that Jesus is the Truth,it is His person we worship, and we worship in truth whenever we worship Him regardless of the fact that we cannot possibly fathom Him or understand Him completely. Christ does not consider us in sin or idol worshippers if we do not have perfect doctrine about Him or everything in Scripture. That idea makes a mockery of salvation and implies God won't accept children or uneducated folks, or anyone who makes a mistake in interpreting their Bible. If anyone thinks they have correct views on everything or that their church does, they are lost in incredible spiritual pride that will blind them to the Lord like the Pharisees were blinded. No one has arrived at perfect knowledge and it takes humility to learn and grow spiritually. We must learn from those who have gone before and labored greatly for the Lord. If their work comes from real experience of the Lord and the Church it is worth hearing. Theories from ivory towers, however scholarly, cannot match the work tested by fire and approved by those in a position to know. The New Testament itself was produced in the 'trenches.' Nee had such experience. Hear him. He's not infallible, but neither are this site reviewers.
Tough Truth For A Traditional Church Aug 22, 2004
This book is a classic by Nee that few Christians have ever read or heard of. I would no doubt believe that many have not heard of it because of the hard hitting truth that Nee brings forth in this book. For years I tried to reject what he teaches in this book but the more I have read my Bible and the more I have read books by house church leaders the more I have become convinced of its truth.
Nee writes about the normal Christian church life. He tears down many of the man-made traditions such as one pastor rule versus a plurality of elders leadership (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 15:6, 23; 20:17, 25-35; Titus 1:5). He tears down the walls of division among believers by pointing to the unity of the Body in Scripture (Eph. 4:4-6) and he forces us to wrestle with nearly every facet of the Church.
While I don't agree fully with Nee in all parts, he does force you to go the Bible for your doctrines and practices (1 Cor. 11:2; 2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6). A must read for every true disciple (John 8:31-32).