Joe Thorn's The Heart of the Church: The Gospel's History, Message, and Meaning is the first of a three-volume set on the Church, written from a free-church perspective. Here, Thorn breaks down the very foundation of the Church, that which orients all of its life and work: "The gospel is the heart of the church. It's not simply one thing we believe, but the defining truth for the Christian and the church" (p. 105).
The Heart of the Church approaches the Gospel from three directions: The History of the Gospel, The Doctrine of the Gospel and The God of the Gospel. In a few short pages for each of those topics, Thorn gives meaning to the mission and message of the Church in a way that is both approachable and Christologically formed.
The entire series is one churches will want to provide in their libraries, and books that pastors should use regularly in training congregational leaders.
I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishing in exchange for my honest review here.