Cover Image: Radiant Church

Radiant Church

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Member Reviews

I felt like this book was a little hard for me to get into initially, but once I got a couple chapters in, I couldn't put it down! I loved Tara Beth's transparency, prophetic voice and the way she calls the church to more in this season!
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I could hardly stop reading this book as it was so packed full of insight. Just as a thirsty person drinks and gulps but must also frequently stop to breathe air, so I also had to stop myself reading so I could reflect on the words even while I was eager to read more. Leach’s words are grace-filled and challenging, humble and strong; she challenges us to remember who we are personally and as the Bride of Christ. Leach is not afraid to discuss paradoxes nor to encourage us to lament when necessary for our part in the church’s shortcomings. In every chapter she speaks hope while she calls us to action. Reading through I found myself eager to do better, love better, join in better, serve my fellow believers better, and to be thankful for all Jesus has made possible.
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Leach certainly pulls no punches in this book primarily directed at white evangelicalism! (Sometimes a tough pill to swallow, belonging to the target demographic as I basically do, lol.)

One of the most convicting sections for me addressed living in the here and now (and also, of course, anticipating heaven). She writes, "I often wonder if our obsession with getting into a future-only heaven has caused us to worry less about living faithfully in the kingdom and being God's radiant people on earth." Focusing on heaven is all too easy (come, Lord Jesus); that anticipation is fantastic and justified, but it's also important to use the time given to each of us, short or long as it may be, here on earth.

Plenty to think about, for sure, and aided by the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Some extensive Bible passages are included, as well--which is great and totally as it should be, but it does lessen Leach's own expounding on said passages accordingly. I might've liked to see more "here's the reference to the full passage, and 1-2 verses in particular are quoted" and less "here's 2-3 paragraphs from X part of the Bible" (consistently so).

Nevertheless, an interesting read.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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Leach is a Pastor of a church in Southern California and she writes an impassioned plea to the church to arrest its current state and return to believing in the resurrection and Christ's covenant to his bride. Leach doesn't shy away from an honest reflection of the current state and doesn't exclude herself from any constructive criticism. Another reviewer stated so well it is a book of 'honest reflection, confession, lamentation, and repentance' which sums up part of the Christian relationship with Jesus. 

But it's the other part of the walk with Jesus where Leach provides tremendous insight and wisdom. In walking in the Spirit and being salt and light in how we live, not just speak, and discipling each other, we can reflect the radiance of Christ. At no time does she advocate a works mindset but one where we are active participants with the Holy Spirit who brings life to dead things and hope in the wonder and power of the resurrection.

A practical and passionate call to return to the roots of the first church of Acts, this book is timely and of great encouragement to anyone doubting their faith in Christ and/or his bride, the church.

I received an early ebook copy from the publisher via NetGalley with no expectation of a favourable review.
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Tara Beth Leach has written a biblically-based, loving look at the current state of the Christian church in America. She asks us to take a hard look at what we are getting right and what we are getting wrong. This book is a call to turn back to the words and commands of Jesus to love God and love others, with chapters discussing such topics as the Kingdom, our witness, evangelism, and the future of the church - both individually and collectively. Our witness and credibility have been damaged, but there is hope for a better way. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy to review.
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This is going to be a very biased review. I have attended Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene for three years, where I have had the privilege of hearing Pastor Tara Beth Leach preach.

While I was reading Radiant Church, I felt like I was listening to one of Tara Beth's sermons. I miss hearing her preach so I'm grateful to have gotten an ARC of Radiant Church.

The North American church (i.e. mostly white evangelical) has lost most if not all credibility. But instead of shying away from the important issues surrounding the church, Tara Beth dives into the uncomfortable and brings these issues into the light. Racism, sexism, false images of God, and how we define a successful church,  just to name a few. 

This book will lead to some uncomfortable but incredibly necessary conversations if the church is going to break free of this toxic pattern of behavior. Radiant Church is a must-read for any pastor.
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I admire how Leach knows what she believes and where she stands. Team Jesus. With a pastor's heart, she opens up (a lot of) scripture to teach and/or remind us who we are and whose we are. She calls the Church to repent and once again walk the path of Christ alone. A powerful book.
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This book was brilliantly written and expertly outlined painful issues facing the church.  Pastor Tara Beth is an excellent leader.
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