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By: Michael Beckett

Authentic Church

Pages: 152 Ratings: 4.7
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If you had a blank sheet of paper and were going to describe what church should look like, what would you include? Why has the make-up, of what we generally understand to be church, diverged so significantly from the kinds of people that Jesus hung out with? For very few of them would easily fit into most churches today. This book is an attempt to consider this and whether or not the Anglican parish system still has anything to offer by way of a way forwards as the numbers of those attending church in this country still continue to decline. This book attempts to describe our experience as members of St Pauls Church here in Cambridge, as the theology that underlies it emerged in our midst on our journey together and as it is summarised so succinctly by Luke in Acts chapter 2 verse 42.

Michael Beckett was born in Essex and married at the age of 21 to Debbie. They have four grown-up children who each have two children. They have lived half their lives in Cambridge following Michael’s ordination into the Church of England in 1988. He was vicar of St Paul’s Church in Cambridge for 28 years and retired in the year 2021. He already has one book published, The Gospel in Esther.

Customer Reviews
3 reviews
3 reviews
  • Nic Boyns

    It is refreshing to read a book which does what it says on the front cover "Authentic Church: A radically old model of being church for twenty-first century Britain". It inspired readers to be more authentic and more radical in being in a community of word, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. The book finishes with John Peck's inspiring vision of the church and it seems to this reader that the preceding pages were an excellent case study of how one church sought to embody that vision.

  • Richard Farr

    This book goes back to basics: Apostle basics. You can't argue with that.

    The centuries of political accommodation are peeled back to the raw necessities of the true Christian life. The book also spotlights the acute differences between St Peter and St Paul (and I thought Paul was the conservative), and how Paul spread the Good News using gatherings in houses, with food around a table.

    Jesus' open and radical acceptance of the unclean (spiritually and physically) and the despised (Samaritans and Tax Collectors) makes one wonder how one would welcome into one's current day church equivalent outcasts?

    If you want authentic faith, and walk the real Jesus talk; please read this book.

  • Alasdair Cant

    Authentic Church is a refreshing read, if not always easy. Alongside the exposition of the theological position, there is a heartfelt plea to the established church to look afresh at itself. I particularly liked that this is done through the lens of the earliest Christian communities, wrestling with familiar scripture to offer something seemingly radical and alternative today, but well proven over centuries.

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