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Book Review – Revitalize by Andrew M Davis

May 16, 2017

(As pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina, Andy Davis writes about the process of revitalizing a local church from first-person experience. Revitalize combines solid theological principles with practical examples and shares the wisdom of the Scriptures on various aspects.

Positively, the book is full of biblical principles, well-supported with scripture references, on almost every topic ranging from the church’s mission, purpose, ownership to the pastor’s need for humility, courage, and patience. Davis’ pastoral heart comes through as he coaches prospective leaders through the joys and challenges, and acknowledges mistakes he made along the way.

The only criticism this reader would offer is the issue he chose to highlight as preaching/defending Biblical authority – namely, male leadership in church leadership (though later in the book he clarifies he does believe in female deaconesses). While his position is certainly held by many within evangelicalism, it is not the only position held and certainly not the only position held by those who would agree with Davis’ on the authority of Scripture. However, not only did this view of male leadership in the church become the litmus test for Scriptural authority, there was no acknowledgement of other views being within the realm of evangelical. In short, there was no room for explanation of different interpretation issues; you simply either believed in male headship or did not believe in the authority of Scripture.

This significant challenge notwithstanding, Revitalize is a commendable book for a church leader(s) to read as they embark on the process with a congregation.

Note: This book was provided to the reviewer in exchange for an unbiased review by Baker Books.

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