OK, we’re not exactly doing that, but today I did upload the PDF file of the rewrite of my first book everâ€”The Naked Church. This was my first attempt to express my passion for the body of Christ in the world and how we’ve traded the realities of relationship for the burden and ineffectiveness of programs. My hope was that it would help people discover the life of the church not as they’ve always known it, but church as they’ve always believed it could be. Then we would come to recognize how we’ve sacrificed a vibrant intimate walk with Jesus for traditions, programs and institutions, and how we can recover his life again. I had no idea at the time where that little book would take me.
The first edition of this book was filled with anger and some of the answers it offered were as stuck in the religious mud as those things I was criticizing. I just didn’t know it then. In 1998 I rewrote that book in the Revised Third Edition that has been available since. Many people have found a kindred spirit in that book and a hunger to see the church emerge is the living body of Christ in the world. It freed them to believe that what Jesus had put on their hearts wasn’t an idealistic fantasy, but a calling of the Spirit to go beyond the status quo of our religious institutions and find the life that really is life.
Just yesterday I received the following email from a pastor in Alabama:
Just to let you know, I have read two chapters (of The Naked Church) so far and almost burst into tears. Not because I didn’t see all of this, just because someone else does. I could have almost written word for word what I have read so far. Thank you for putting it into print. I plan on reading the whole book in a short time, and I’ll email you back when I get to the end. God bless you, my brother.
I hope the book continues to stir people to a more passionate walk with God wherever you are in the world. You can download the PDF file here.