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Book Review : Red Alert

June 4, 2020

Gil Cann raises some very good points in his book, Red Alert, but unfortunately, his solutions are beyond the reach of most churchgoers. The average church attendee wouldn’t have the necessary influence to make the sort of changes Gil suggests, even if they were a church leader. Gil points out the many flaws in our church structure and practices and explains how much of this has come from tradition rather than from a biblical understanding of Scripture.

I found his book depressing because I understood the discrepancy between what we do in churches and biblical principles, but I feel powerless to bring about the necessary changes. What Gil is suggesting requires major changes which won’t be achieved by one person or one book. The book is over-ambitious in its attempts to bring about change. I feel a better approach would have been to suggest smaller changes that could have been implemented over a period of time. These smaller changes could begin the gradual process of changing the thinking of regular attendees.

I was thankful for Gil’s last chapter on An Attitude of Gratitude which was uplifting and encouraging after the heavy going of many of the previous chapters.

Overall a thought-provoking read.

by Susan Barnes
4

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

4 thoughts on “Book Review : Red Alert”

  1. David Cohen

    Hi Susan and thanks for your review. I thought Red Alert was very revealing and more challenging than depressing. There are big gaps in the church as you suggest, and so we try and prop up the outdated traditions and practices – we even make it look like we are doing things differently (eg online church) but it’s not really different – still the same hymn book and order of service. I personally wouldn’t say that asking “What is God doing?” and “What does He want me to do?” should be too difficult to achieve, albeit on an individual level. I agree with you that changing the course of the juggernaut will be nigh on impossible, but then, maybe not necessary as it will probably run aground. I think if we accept the premise that the old/current hierarchical/structured system is past it’s use by date, then knowing how to move forward will be revealed – if we are willing.
    Regards
    David Cohen
    Geraldton WA

  2. David Cohen

    Hi Susan and thanks for your review. I thought Red Alert was very revealing and more challenging than depressing. There are big gaps in the church as you suggest, and so we try and prop up the outdated traditions and practices – we even make it look like we are doing things differently (eg online church) but it’s not really different – still the same hymn book and order of service. I personally wouldn’t say that asking “What is God doing?” and “What does He want me to do?” should be too difficult to achieve, albeit on an individual level. I agree with you that changing the course of the juggernaut will be nigh on impossible, but then, maybe not necessary as it will probably run aground. I think if we accept the premise that the old/current hierarchical/structured system is past it’s use by date, then knowing how to move forward will be revealed – if we are willing.
    Regards
    David Cohen
    Geraldton WA

  3. Susan Barnes

    Hi David,
    Thanks for your comments. Good to get another perspective.
    Ultimately, my confidence is in God and his ability to “present the church to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” One day we will see the church as she is meant to be, and I look forward to that time.
    Blessings
    Susan

  4. Susan Barnes

    Hi David,
    Thanks for your comments. Good to get another perspective.
    Ultimately, my confidence is in God and his ability to “present the church to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” One day we will see the church as she is meant to be, and I look forward to that time.
    Blessings
    Susan

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