The Vanishing Church. By Bob Pearle. Garland, TX: Hannibal Books, 2008. 148 pages. Softcover, $14.95.


In a church market flooded by influential books with pragmatism as their premise and cultural acceptance of the local church as their objective, The Vanishing Church has sound doctrine as its premise and a New Testament church as its objective. Many have already begun to observe the inherent danger of modern church strategies. Dr. Bob Pearle, pastor of Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas and the current President of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, has plotted a clear, concise and biblically substantiated course back to the fundamentals of a New Testament church.


Over the course of three sections, twelve chapters and just 131 pages, this book systematically and thoughtfully addresses a variety of issues facing the local church today including: how to stay true to her Scriptural roots in the face of mounting pressure to cater to a secular culture; why church membership still matters; the always damaging intellectualism shrouded in false humility that can be found in the pew of every church; the damage done to a church when individualism overwhelms the church body. These are just some of the issues dealt with in the book; issues every evangelical church in America is facing.


Whether a church is searching for a tool to assess their biblical standing or a Christ-follower desires to learn more about the doctrine of the church, The Vanishing Church will not disappoint. As a long tenured pastor of a thriving church as well as a Bible scholar, Pearle is able to track the pulse of the current issues local churches face and deal with them effectively. This is the rare book on the doctrine of the church written with the reader's comprehension in mind rather than to showcase the knowledge of the author.


Nathan Lino

Pastor, Northeast Houston Baptist Church