Joe Thorn's The Life of the Church: The Table, Pulpit, and Square is a rich reflection on the nature of "being" church -- living the life of Jesus Christ in our world, for our world. Here, Thorn identifies three environments in which the church lives out that life at "the table", "in the pulpit", and "in the square".
Thorn's metaphor for the local congregation of the faithful is "the table" -- living life with one another at the most intimate location in our lives. He develops this theme is three brief chapters (which I really wish he'd expanded upon).
Thorn is careful, I was happy to read, not to limit his description of "the pulpit" to preaching. Instead, he places the pulpit squarely in its larger liturgical context. Worship -- which includes preaching -- is essential to the life of any local congregation, and happens in ways that embody the local spirit to worship the God and Father of Jesus Christ.
"The square" firmly places the church in its public life -- in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
In all, The Life of the Church is another of Thorn's must-read trilogy.
I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishing in exchange for my honest review here.