22 October 2013

Book Review: Becoming a True Spiritual Community

I am working my way through a series of books by Larry Crabb. The most recent one I read was entitled The Pressure's Off, which was a really good book. Becoming a True Spiritual Community (1999) was the next on the list. I figured it would not be much different from other books I have read recently and that I would likely enjoy it. Having said that, I was profoundly moved by this book. The message contained in this book was exciting and fear provoking. Crabb discusses his vision for what he thinks true spiritual community (i.e., church) could look like. It is exciting because I can taste his vision for community where it is safe to be broken and to remind one another of Christ's forgiveness on a deep spiritual level. Its fear provoking because I have a hard time imagining how to get into this type of community. As a typically proud, independent American male, I am less inclined to open myself to others for true spiritual friendship, laying my thoughts and emotions out to be seen. But as I said, I can taste it, and I would like to see it work.

As a psychologist, I think one of the things I most appreciated about this book was his vision for what Christian psychology, or soul care, may look like. He believes that the community of the church should be the primary place for healing to take place and I think he is exactly right.

On page 178, he wrote, "In the middle of the wild ocean of shattered dreams and broken lives, the community of Christ celebrates God's forgiveness: they believe in what each other could become, they never minimize sin but they love to maximize grace. They are carriers of Christ to each other. That's what spiritual friends do when they act together to journey to God."

I would highly recommend this book. I know that there are those who have had negative reviews of this book, but I have a hard time seeing why. If you are one of those people, I would hope that you would be able to dialog about it in spiritual community.

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