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Prodigal Church

   Restoration Ministries has a number of publications, many of them viewable online. One of the best is titled, "Restoring the Early Church." The subtitle is "Restoring Intimacy and Power to the Modern Day Church."

   The book itself is divided into three sections, with twelve chapters. The first section is "The Hebraic Facets of the Early Church." This section has four chapters:

   I confess that I have been leery of Messianic perspectives, because there is a good dose of old fashioned religion present in some of the movement, and I am not prepared to become a Jew or use matzah bread when I celebrate the Lord's Supper!

   There is no such argument by the authors, however. Instead, there is sound biblical wisdom in reaching back to the Hebrew roots of the early church. Those roots are clearly biblical and much needed in the modern church. Our Greek heritage has left us far too intellectual and divorced us from the concrete realities of day to day discipleship and family life.

   What does that mean? Look at this chart, a simplified version of the one used by the authors.


   This chart is very conceptual, and I won't argue that it appeals to the left brained types more than the right brain. But the book is not so.. rather, it is one of the most practical books I have read in the last few years. The emphasis is on family, community, and purity. The author's perspective on the destructive influence of the Constantinian and Greek heritage is clear and well presented. The modern church system is far from representing Jesus' intention.

Section Two is "The Transition from Our Hebraic Origins." This section contains three chapters:

  • Chapter 5 The Loss of Our Hebraic Roots: Christianity's Response to the Jews
  • Chapter 6 Greek Philosophy in the Church: How Did Plato Displace God?
  • Chapter 7 The Roman Conquest of the Church: Is the Reformation Unfinished?


  Section Three is "The Early Church Born Again." While never having lost the practical slant, this section gets very earthy indeed. There are five chapters, and they delve into the nitty gritty where we all live. The diagram at right is used to guide the discussion from here on to the end of the book.

  • Chapter 8 Your Relationship with Jesus
  • Chapter 9 One on One: Marriage
  • Chapter 10 One on One: Parenting
  • Chapter 11 Neighborhood Home Fellowship: Promoting Righteousness
  • Chapter 12 Neighborhood Home Fellowship: Load-bearing Relationships
  • Chapter 13 Fulfilling Biblical Prophecy: Israel and the Jewish People Today
  • Chapter 14 Conclusion: Jesus Is the Head. What Part Do His People Play?

   This summary is far from a book review. I simply don't have the time to do the work, but the book is signficant and practical enough that I wanted to make others aware of it sooner rather than later!

   Finally, there are EXCELLENT 36 page brochures available that summarize the book! They are titled simply PRODIGAL CHURCH, and they contain the diagrams above. These can be handed to your confused churched friends or inquirers who are wondering why in the world anyone would ever leave the IC. The brochures are available at 5 for $10 US through Restoration Ministries or you can phone (719)477-1619.

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Last Updated: June 9th, 2001