The First Church of the Hermit Crab (Or: Don’t You Want A Full Church?)

This is quite the book: Losing Our Virtue by David Wells.  In it, he explains how many aspects of modernity and postmodernity have crept into the church to the point where any talk about sin is avoided and talk about self is central.  From watered down emotional praise songs to therapeutic sermons to the loss… Continue reading The First Church of the Hermit Crab (Or: Don’t You Want A Full Church?)

Pious and Secular America

Back in 1958 Reinhold Niebuhr published a collection of essays which he titled, Pious and Secular America (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1958).  The first essay has the same title of the book, and I found it to be quite thought-provoking and penetrating.  Notice the depth of these quotes. "...Here we are in the 20th… Continue reading Pious and Secular America

Operation Gravedigger: Bringing Down the Church

This is one outstanding book: Os Guinness' The Last Christian on Earth (formerly published as The Gravedigger File).  The book is something like Screwtape Letters plus David Wells plus Christless Christianity plus William Willimon.  With his usually sharp and penetrating style, Guinness uses a series of fictional email memos to show how the Western church… Continue reading Operation Gravedigger: Bringing Down the Church

American Churches: The Evangelical Answer to Home Depot

  You've got to get this book: This Little Church Went to Market by Gary Gilley (Darlington: EP Books, 2010 [reprint]).  The subtitle is telling: "Is the Modern Church Reaching Out or Selling out?"  In this book, Gilley takes on the American church growth industry.  From Saddleback to Willow Creek to Lee Strobel to Bill Hybels, churches and church… Continue reading American Churches: The Evangelical Answer to Home Depot

Shallow Worship, Shallow Faith

 David Wells discusses the baby-boomer turned market-driven worship movements. "What results, all too often, beneath all the smiling crowds...is a faith so cramped, limited, and miniscule as to be entirely unable to command our life, our energies, or, as a matter of  fact, even much of our attention.  One church advertises itself as a place… Continue reading Shallow Worship, Shallow Faith