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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Why We Love the Church .... Interview

Yesterday in the class, The Church's Ministry, I read a few lines from the recently released book by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Klunk, Why We Love the Church. Well, below is an interview of DeYoung in Christinity Today (online) where he highlights some of the major points of the book. I haved copied a few of the questions and responses below, and you can read the whole thing at CT Online. Better yet, get your own copy and work through it, it is well worth the time and effort. Here's a taste . . .

What makes a group of Christians a church?

As a theological category, church could refer to just those who are Christians. But when we use the word church as in, "I'm at church," "we are going to church," "we are the church," we're talking about a gathered body with certain parameters.

In the New Testament, you get a good sense that the church looks a little different in Acts than it does in Corinthians and in Timothy. But there's teaching. There's singing. There's praying. There are sacraments.

It's important to remember that when you have two people at Starbucks who are talking about Jesus, that's nice and that may be a group of Christians, but a church has order, offices, and certain worship elements.

How institutional should the church be?

It's a mirage to think we are going to have something of lasting impact that isn't going to institutionalize in some way. I don't think we have to pit structure against the Spirit or believe that somehow the Spirit can only work through spontaneity.

I fall back on the historic marks of the church. The church needs to regularly gather in worship, in prayer, to hear God's Word, and to receive the sacraments. It should be an ordered body where there's membership, leadership, and discipline.

What's the greatest danger of churchless Christianity?
Without the regular routine, sometimes humdrum, mundane gathering—preaching, praying, singing, sacraments, "Yep, we're doing it again this week, doing it again next week"—without the regular plodding stuff of congregational meetings and nursery workers, I don't know if the churchless movement is sustainable.

The second danger with churchless Christianity is that in some instances, it might not be Christianity anymore. Churchless Christianity sometimes seems to be anti-pastor, anti-sermon, anti-doctrinal boundaries, and the mantra, "I want Jesus, not religion."

You can read the entire article here >>

Blessings
3 John 8
Bill H.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I have trouble with this, although I see his points throughout. The thing that saddens me is that on my recent deployment, a group of about five sailors met fairly often to go through a Bible study and visit other churches while on deployment. I had started considering us a church, if only for the moment, but according to this, because we didn't sing and didn't have offices, we weren't a church. Bummer. I'm not sure what to think about that really. Kind of deflating.