The heart of the church was the first book I have read by Joe Thorn. I have listened to his podcast and other sermons and have always enjoyed his teaching. I was not disappointed with his book "the heart of the Church" and look forward to reading His other two from this trilogy.
First off the book was clear and to the point. I would call this a "mans book" because the chapters are short and the book it not long. Not only are the chapters more concise, but are written in such a way that will keep your attention, and you'll walk away learning something. The heart of the church is an important subject that needs to be taught and clarified, and I believe that Joe has done a fantastic job in doing so.
The heart of the church is broken up into three parts; 1. the history of the Gospel, 2. The doctrine of the Gospel, 3. The God of the Gospel. Through each section, Joe breaks down the title of the division by focusing on crucial parts that address his claim. By explaining these areas, we the readers walk away with a fuller understanding of each section. I enjoy this because far to often I have read books that make claims and the author barely backs up his points with research. But I didn't have this sense with "the heart of the church" as I read each section I could confidently say I understood what Joe was getting at and how he drew his conclusions.
One chapter that stood out to me was chapter seven on reconciliation. Joe is walking through the common flow talking about humans being enemies of God and from there we move to be children of God when we are in Christ Jesus. After Joe explains both parts, he puts a subheading called " The ministry of reconciliation." And it's under this subheading where I read a line that made an impact on me. It may not be profound to you, but to mean it spoke volumes.
It said "The church of Jesus Christ is not only a reconciled community. It is also a reconciling community". I enjoyed that line because there is so much truth to it. If you didn't catch it, Joe is saying that we the Church the body of Christ have been reconciled to God through Christ, but we shouldn't stop there we should also be actively seeking to reconcile other people. Share the good news of Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to convict the hearts of others so they might even be reconciled to the Father through His perfect son.
I would recommend this book to anyone to read, but especially to someone who lacks understanding of what the church is and how it should function. Although it is a short read, you will walk away from it having learned something new. So if you need more knowledge on the church or you want to confirm what you already know, "the heart of the church" is a book for you!