Book Review: The Tangible Kingdom

Book Review: The Tangible Kingdom

The Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Community by Hugh Halter & Matt Smaytangiblekingdom

Hmmm…what to say, what to say…


A book like this requires some degree of back-story, and it was provided, so it was a little long for me to get to the nitty gritty of what I was searching for in the story. It was around chapters nine and ten that I found myself getting “sucked in” to the heart of what Hugh Halter was driving at. I am incredibly excited about the community described in the tangible kingdom. It brings great joy to me to hear that people are living the life that Jesus taught…and not some cheaply interpreted facsimile of it.

Chapters ten through around fourteen were mostly about deconstruction from the “way we have always done things.” I appreciated that Halter was not overly critical toward the methods he was deconstructing; in fact, he seemed very sensitive to the people entrenched in those systems.

Chapters fifteen through eighteen were rebuilding chapters; teaching the foundational elements of this “incarnational community.” Everything that was shared in these chapters just seemed to make such beautiful sense… I found myself saying over and over; “yes, yes, yes, yes…!!!”

The final chapters, nineteen through twenty-one, were about the focus and outcome of the three primary components of the community once people decide to “join” the community. This focus hinges on togetherness, oneness, and otherness…and I’ll stop there. The teaching and the illustrations used by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay are very clear and easy to understand. It would be my great desire to see this community with my own eyes. I would love to get some one-on-one leadership development from an existing-healthy-functioning community.

In my opinion, this is another 5-star book and another must read for those people and leaders desiring to live missionally and incarnationally (buzzwordsy I know, but I don’t know how else to describe it). Personally, I don’t know that I’d follow everything from this book… I have some personal convictions that differ from the authors, but I understand the heart of his passion and with that I agree 100%. I recommend this book very highly. I’m glad to kickoff my 2010 reading year with this one; a great way to start it out.

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