Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #10: The Gift that Reflected Badly on the Giver

With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #10.

We attended this aging Baptist church on Fathers’ Day; they had a gift for all the dads: a book.

Although I appreciated a free book, needing to go forward to accept it was uncomfortable. Still, the gift of a book is a meaningful gesture to me. Titled 199 Promises of God, it provided, without commentary, 199 verses from the Bible with the apparent theme: promises from God.

52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common Faith

My excitement diminished when I saw it quoted the King James Version of the Bible. I don’t speak Old English and need to work hard to understand it. Of course, the KJV is in the public domain, so using it avoids the need for the publisher to obtain permission and protects them from copyright violation.

As I read it, some of the verses, although offering encouraging thoughts, didn’t seem like promises at all. Maybe the promises were too deeply disguised in the centuries-old verbiage or perhaps the editor wasn’t diligent enough in his selections.

Although the book is only a few thousand words long, I gave up before I finished it.

Overall, my experience at this church was positive, but my most lasting impression of them resides in this disappointing book.

[See my reflections about Church #9 and Church #11 or start with Church #1.]

Get your copy of 52 Churches and The 52 Churches Workbook today, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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