Monday, September 6, 2010

What's Up with the Church?

I guess everybody has noticed the new churches with intriguing names showing up in coffee shops (Praise at the Ike in Salem, Oregon) and meeting in idle theaters on Sunday morning (Mars Hill in Olympia, Washington). My own home church, Neighborhood Alliance Church, is changing our name to Sojourn Community Church. Top those observations off with the many books on missional, post-modern, or emergent churches, and the church scene does seem to be in revolution - or confusion.

Now in a new book, Why We Love the Church, Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck login with a celebration of the traditional church.  After all the excitement of of the new revolution in churches this book may sound like lukewarm oat meal. It isn't.  It is a good read, though not without its faults.

Kluck's anecdotal writing in alternate chapters is honest and humorous.  DeYoung is the pastor theologian. He analyzes the current scene and follows up with a good readable theology of the church.  His point is that the traditional church is healthy and fulfilling the mandates given in the scriptures.

In general, I like the book.  It is a good defense of the organized church in America.  Its weakness is that the varied colors of the emergent church are painted in black and white.  That means the book, and DeYoung in particular, exaggerates or chooses extreme examples of the "revolution" for the sake of making his case for the traditional church.

My suggestion is to get out of the United States and visit some churches in other parts of the world. The fact is, the church is healthy and biblical in many different forms, from small house churches to huge congregations.

So with that one reservation, I recommend the book.

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