Douglas R. McLachlan. Thirsting for Authenticity: Calling the Church to Robust Christianity. St. Michael, MN: Reference Point Publishers, 2017. 394 pages.
Back in the 1990s Douglas McLachlan published a helpful critique of fundamentalism entitled Reclaiming Authentic Fundamentalism. Not everybody liked the book (Rolland McCune was particularly critical), but it had the effect of stabilizing a generation of younger fundamentalist leaders. McLachlan offered them a vision of fundamentalism and Christian ministry that captured their attention and gave them direction.
Now, more than a score of years later, McLachlan has published a second book, Thirsting for Authenticity. This book spends little time critiquing fundamentalism, though it does begin with a serious look at contemporary American Christianity and civilization. The book is essentially McLachlan’s philosophy of ministry, a call to be first-century Christians in a twenty-first century world.
Thirsting for Authenticity reads less like a work of research (though it has plenty of research behind it), and more like an extended sermon. As he articulates his vision of how Christ’s Church must confront modern decay, McLachlan explores text after text of the New Testament. He expounds the Scriptures with care, drawing out the implications for life and ministry. He offers more than abstract ideas. He was my pastor for a decade, and I watched him put the principles of this book to work in real ministry.
Readers who are looking for a salacious expose of all that is wrong with fundamentalism will be badly disappointed. Those who are searching for biblical principles that will help them to minister to a world that hates God, however, will find rich help. The book is worth reading. You can buy it here.