Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Not Very Serious"

David Wells is a professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and, in my opinion, something of a prophet in the church today. I was challenged and enlightened by his earlier books, No Place For Truth and God in the Wasteland. He's written another book called Above All Earthly Pow'rs, which I haven't read, but will in the future. Here are a couple of quotes from it I gleaned from a review (he's critiquing the contemporary evangelical church):

"Evangelicalism, now much absorbed by the arts and tricks of marketing, is simply not very serious anymore. "

"This is probably the first time that Christian people anywhere in the West have thought that ecclesiastical architecture is, in principle, offensive, that religious symbols, such as crosses, should be banned from churches, that pulpits should be abandoned, that hymns should be abolished, that pews should be sent to the garbage dump, and that pianos and organs should be removed. All of this has been happening on the forefront of this movement. This is probably the first time, too, that churchgoers have wanted their buildings to be mistaken for corporate headquarters or country clubs."

I'd certainly agree with Wells' comments on the state of the evangelical church in the United States. The last four words of the last sentence are critical - "in the United States." The evangelical church in most of the rest of the world is growing, vibrant, and very serious, even if it isn't here. I look forward to reading Wells' book and taking in his entire argument.

I think he's right, but I hope he's wrong.


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