Book Reviews

Rebekah Simon-Peter: Solutions for Country’s Religious Malaise

The world has changed. Religious organizations haven’t been nimble enough to change with it.

While mainstream congregations are in trouble and formal religious practice is no longer the centerpiece of American life, Simon-Peter, pointing to her personal experience as validation, says, “The age of miracles and transformation is not over! People who are wanting to have a direct experience of the divine know that it is possible. People who want to recover from addiction can see from my life story that it is possible. People who want to deepen their spiritual journey and become someone or something new find that they can.

An Antidote to Gutless Prayer: Dreaming Like Jesus with Rebekah Simon-Peter

“The Church is in decline,” she says, “because we have stopped dreaming like Jesus.”

The wonderfully-named Rebekah Simon-Peter looks around at mainline Protestantism, including The United Methodist Church of which she is a part, and sees some problems. It’s not just that the church is competing for attention in a post-Christian world with Sunday morning soccer practices. It’s not even the eight maladies she lists that include shrinking numbers, stagnant giving, listless worship, and “gutless” prayer. All of these are symptoms, she says, and you could pull in the greatest experts in each field to address each of them and you still wouldn’t get at the heart of the Church’s woes in the current age.