The Character of the Church, Joe Thorn’s second book in his three-part series on the church, is a simple breakdown of the inner workings of the local church. Based upon a clear understanding of the Gospel, as written about in The Heart of the Church, the church should show itself to be of Christ in its actions and intents. Thorn explains in this book what a church should be doing and emphasizing in order to be a healthy and biblical church.
Thorn rightly asserts that all of the actions of the church should flow from their high view of Scripture. In fact, he states that Scripture should be the ultimate judge of all that we do in the church, “…the final evaluation of all that is done in and through the church is Scripture itself.”(25) This book is helpful for all those who are new to the church or just wondering why it is that Christians do what they do in the context of the church. There are brilliant statements on the governance of the church, the ordinances, and mission of the church, but the main benefit I see in this book is Thorn’s straightforward explanation of how the Word of God impacts the church to do and act or to have the character that one would expect of the Bride of Christ. The Character of the Church is a clean and intelligent look at how God’s Word impacts the church in an effortless read.