here are some thoughts on the church, from a blog at http://gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.com/
1. The greatest threat to the gospel specific to today is the indirect challenge of pragmatism among evangelicals…
2. Have we underestimated the seriousness of Western Protestantism’s situation? Revitalization isn’t enough…
Read the rest of these short posts below …..
From The Gospel Driven Church:
The greatest threat to the gospel specific to today is the indirect challenge of pragmatism among evangelicals. –Mark Dever
Some random personal opinions (of mine) related to this issue of pragmatism in the Church…
2) …somewhat ironically, the current equivalent of the 80’s-90’s seeker churches are not really bringing the lost into the life of discipleship so much as they are attracting Christians who have become bored with their previous church.
4) Worship time has become more entertainment driven not as a means to attract the lost but to ensure that a church’s “show” is better than all the other churches’ shows.
5) The embrace of pragmatism affects nearly all of a church’s aims, so that even the largest churches with the most resources do not actually plant new churches so much as they are franchising themselves. We see this currently with the satellite church movement, in which large churches with popular teachers do not raise up pastors to plant missional churches elsewhere but set up “spin-offs” where the main church teacher is shown on video screen.
This means that either a) really big churches with lots of money and personnel are somehow unable to raise up and train quality teacher-pastors, or b) they are able to do so but prefer the attraction of the celebrity quotient of their pastor. Either of those options does not bode well for the state of the missional church.
Why revitalization is not the answer
In his new book A Second Resurrection, author and consultant Bill Easum says we may need to rethink our attempts to revitalize churches, because revitalization isn’t enough:
Is it possible we have underestimated the seriousness of Western Protestantism’s situation? What if the metaphors of reformation, renewal, and revitalization don’t get to the heart of the problem? What if the situation is much worse than those words describe? What if the vast majority of congregations in the West are spiritually dead and God no longer considers them churches? What if God has one foot out the door of most of Western Protestantism? What if the vast majority of churches are like the church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation? What if God is about to spit us out of his mouth?
Reformation, renewal, and revitalization assume some pre-existing foundation of faith from which to raise up a new church. But what if that assumption isn’t correct? What if that assumption is part of the problem?…