Joe Thorn writes that the church has a heart problem and has not taken care of itself as of late. The problem is that the church is looking to programs and some gimmick to identify itself with. The root of this problem is that many churches are not allowing the gospel to fill their hearts. One church looks to one thing while another focuses on a different issue.
The church needs to take its roots back in the gospel. Joe has written a book geared toward that called, The Heart of The Church: The Gospel's History, Message, and Meaning. This is the first of the three books (more like booklets) that Joe has written on the church. The other two focus on the character and life of the church. This one deals with what the gospel is and how God saves us.
Joe begins with the history of scripture by going over what is the Bible and its theme. He goes to address what happened in the beginning that allowed sin to come in the world which produced the promise of a Messiah, who will bring about our salvation. Next, Joe talks about the importance of the life of Christ which is important to the gospel message. Then we come to the Resurrection where that is the one thing that confirms the gospel because without it, we would be still in our sins and looked on as fools.
The next section is on what the doctrine of the gospel which is what God did in saving us and what savings us is suppose to bring forth. Finally, Joe shows us God's work as shown in the gospel. Our salvation is all about God. God condemns justly, saves sovereignly, atones effectively, calls irresistibly, and sustains faithfully. If you think this addresses the five points of Calvinism, you are correct, which Joe beautifully shows the truth of the gospel in these last five chapters.
This book is amazing. I had a hard time putting it down. Joe writes in a way that is to the point without going into much jargon. His writing is clear especially in the final five chapters of the book. As I mentioned, this is the first of three books on the church. I am eager to dive into the other books.