Readings on Church

FTN recently posted a piece about church and some of the issues he has with how churches have historically been run. About 18 months ago, I posted a few posts on my own feelings:

Worship
Baptism
Church
Service
Sheep

A prophetic post about churches going into debt

And then the entire month of May 2007

Looking back, I hit the topic pretty hard because of things I was seeing and reading and experiencing. I know I’m not alone in this. Here’s some of the things I’ve read on the topic of church:

Revolution by George Barna
Ashamed of the Gospel – John Macarthur
Organic Church: Growing Church where Life Happens – Niel Cole
The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church – Reggie McNiel
So You Don’t Want to got to Church Anymore – Jake Colsen (You can also read it online for free here)
When the Church Leaves the Building – David Fredrickson
The Shack – William P. Young

Video – Church Outside the Walls (See part I online here)

There’s a lot more and my other posts can help direct anyone interested to to more places. Some notable omissions on my list are Rob Bell and anything pertaining to the emerging church movement. I’ve seen some of Bell’s videos on YouTube and they are interesting. Some have compared him to the next Billy Graham. IMO, he’s not even close. Yes, he’s hip and and he’s trendy but that’s also the problem at least for me. Once I saw where the Church Growth Movement (CGM) churches were going and decided I didn’t want to ride along, that really cut down on popular church movements as big as his. Bully for him for reaching the 25-35 demographic, though.

The Emerging Church movement is along similar lines as what I’ve read, but my beliefs do remain more conservative in nature compared to the generous theology of the Emerging movement.

I’m going to fill in more in a future post on this topic, but I wanted to establish a baseline here for discussion and resources. At the present time, the literature base is exploding in the area of various church movements outside the box. When i ordered my first book, I began getting recommendations for books from Amazon 1 or 2 at a time. Now they come a half dozen at a time. Yeah, the church as we know it is in rapid transition. Is it for the better? Is it merely a symptom of greater wickedness in our world? Or is it a sign of the beginning of the end times?

D.

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2 Responses to “Readings on Church”

  1. FTN Says:

    I haven’t read “Revolution,” but the Barna Group comes up in conversation all the time. I am reading “unChristian,” by David Kinnaman of the Barna Group.

    I’m also in the midst of “Irresistable Revolution” by Shane Claiborn. I have read a couple of Rob Bell’s books (I like his Nooma videos too, although saying he’s the next Billy Graham is an odd thing to say). And I’m always impressed by anything N.T. Wright does.

    Sorry I didn’t link to some of your posts in my own… You had so much good discussions going around that time that it was hard to pick just one!

    We around here do toss out that “emerging” label from time to time as a general descriptor, but it doesn’t really seem to MEAN anything specific. Evidently, there is even a difference between emerGENT and emergING, and from the looks of it I’d rather be identified with emergING. So many labels! We have to label everything, don’t we?

    Your questions:

    Yeah, the church as we know it is in rapid transition. Is it for the better?

    Yes. Most definitely. But I say that hesitantly, and with great hope. Yet I know it can all go to crap so easily. There is always a need for humility in any new leader.

    Is it merely a symptom of greater wickedness in our world? Or is it a sign of the beginning of the end times?

    No, and no. First, it’s just a sign that our society is VASTLY different in so many aspects than it was hundreds of years ago (or even 50 years ago). To think that “the church” can’t change is a false and unBiblical assumption. I’m not sure it’s really been all “Biblical” for hundreds (or thousands) of years anyway!

    I don’t think that our generation is more sinful or wicked than the previous, although I admit that we’ve made sin much easier. But at the same time, I see a great thirst, a great hunger for something.

    Hmm, can we use the old-school term “revival” around these parts?

  2. More on the Church Discussion « Unsolicited Advice: Wordpress Version Says:

    […] Unsolicited Advice: WordPress Version Just What I Needed: Another Blog « Readings on Church […]

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