Book Review: Ekklesia

Ekklesia:  Rediscovering God’s Instrument For Global Transportation, by Ed Silvoso

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Do you like books about the social gospel that discuss the supposed obligation of believers to be active in “progressive” political causes [1]?  Do you like books that discuss with considerable passion the workings of the Holy Spirit and that spend a great deal of attention to evangelical efforts in East and Southeast Asia and Latin America?  If so, you will probably like this book a lot more than I did.  In reading this book I was offended by the author’s politics, appalled by his lack of biblical knowledge combined with his strident and arrogant tone critiquing contemporary Christianity and immensely disappointed by his continual tendency to engage in wordgames in the absence of sound biblical instruction.  As is the case with all too many authors, he wrote too much about his previous writing, and tried to pass himself off as someone who has something useful to say about Christianity and how it needs to be reformed and showed himself too ignorant of the corpus of biblical law in order to provide useful advice for the purpose of the author to be fulfilled.

The contents of this book are not particularly surprising.  Most of the chapters focus on supposed rediscovery.  The author has a strong Pentecostal perspective, and laments the various divisions that exist within the Christian world, although the author does not have any sensitive conclusions to them except to encourage Pentecostals to write their own Bible commentaries so they avoid being affected by any lingering cessationist thought as is the case with the Schofield Bible Notes, and for those who are not Evangelical to agree with Pentecostal ideas about the Holy Spirit.  The author engages in a great deal of quarreling over words and their meanings–referring to baptism as involving the redemption of populations and not merely people.  Throughout the book the author makes reference to towns and cities supposedly being redeemed by their population of charismatic Christians like Ciudad Juarez.  After a bit less than 200 pages of this sort of material, with the author making comments about spiritual warfare as well as showing a markedly egalitarian political bent, many of the last pages of the book include selected quotations from the preceding material.

It would be a shame if the author’s obvious lack of biblical knowledge hindered his larger aims.  The author makes comments against what he views as legalism when he appears to be much more hostile to pietism.  What is most striking about this book is what is not mentioned more than what is.  The author has some idea about Christians being destined to rule and lead, and the author’s seeming postmillennial optimism leads him to see that rulership as being devoted into bringing the world into obedience to God before the return of Christ, although admittedly this book is not very precise about the eschatalogical views of its author.  Yet, strangely, the author shows little awareness of the practical implications of God’s law for redeemed communities and nations.  It is a strange sort of silence, in that the author spends so much effort seeking to encourage believers to change the world through the power of the Holy Spirit without providing a vision as to what a godly society looks like in obedience to God’s ways.  Perhaps in a future volume the author, or someone else, will take a look at the Torah and its implications for a how a godly contemporary city, province, or nation is to operate in light of God’s laws.  For all of the author’s considerable flaws, what strikes this reader the most is how incomplete it is, and how the author seems to think he has said far more than he has, and knows far more about redeeming the world and bringing it into obedience to God than he shows here.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Christianity, Church of God and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Book Review: Ekklesia

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Everyone, Everywhere | Edge Induced Cohesion

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