When I first heard about this book from pastor and author Harris, I was curious. The premise behind the book sounded strikingly like the author’s 2004 book Stop Dating the Church, which I reviewed here (follow link to my original review). What I found when I read the book was a re-package of the original text. For the most part it is an excellent and thought-provoking argument for church-tasters to dig in, to commit, and to make church a priority.
There are very few changes in the text itself—a new title and cover, an updated title for the final chapter, and (as with all re-issues of a previous book) study questions at the end of the book which provide more interaction with the text in perhaps a small group setting. I believe that the book was pretty well on point to begin with. Which brings up the question: Why repackage material at all?
In answer to that question, I believe that Harris and publisher Multnomah had more in mind than simply reissuing the text to make another buck on an old standby. This re-packaging cannot be considered a new edition since there are so few major changes. It is more like a re-issue under new title and cover to appeal to a different audience. Personally, I prefer the previous package, but there are readers who would be more likely drawn to the calmer approach to church apologetic (Why Church Matters vs. Stop Dating the Church) which seems less abrasive on the shelf.
In any case, I liked Stop Dating the Church, and I still like the new version, Why Church Matters. If you are young and open to in your face confrontation about living your Christian life, you’ll want to try and find a copy of the 2004 version of the book. If you’re more refined and would like to enter a conversation about why church is important, pick up a copy of this new packaging. Either way you’ll get a four-reading glass book—it’s short, to the point, and reads like lightening. Enjoy.
—Benjamin Potter, March 30, 2012
[Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This is a review of the Nook edition of this book.]