Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Mad-Libbing Church Angst

I'm really looking forward to when this book arrives in the mail.

I found the introduction on Kevin DeYoung's blog today:

If decapitation, from the Latin word caput, means to cut off the head, then it stands to reason that decorpulation, from the Latin word corpus, should refer to cutting off the body. It’s the perfect word to describe the content of this book. If our editors had been asleep at the wheel, we could have called it Recent Trends in Decorpulation. There is a growing movement among self-proclaimed evangelicals and in the broader culture to get spirituality without religion, to find a relationship without rules, and have God without the church. More and more, people are looking for a decorpulated Christianity.

Judging by the popularity of recent books like George Barna’s Revolution and William P. Young’s The Shack and the example of prominent Christians like John Eldredge, there are a lot of Christians who feel like current versions of church just don’t cut it. More than a few have already left their churches, and the number of the disaffected seems to be growing. At the very least the “we want God, not an institution” mantra has struck a chord with many formal, informal, and former churchgoers. So we have books like Life After Church, Divine Nobodies, Dear Church, Quitting Church, and So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore, not to mention Frank Viola’s church-as-we-know-it-is-all-wrong book Pagan Christianity and volumes like UnChristian and They Like Jesus but Not the Church, which explore why outsiders are turned off by the church.

The narrative is becoming so commonplace, you could Mad Lib it:

The institutional church is so (pejorative adjective). When I go to church I feel completely (negative emotion). The leadership is totally (adjective you would use to describe Richard Nixon) and the people are (noun that starts with un-). The services are (adjective you might use to describe going to the dentist), the music is (adjective you would use to describe the singing on Barney), and the whole congregation is (choose among: “passive,” “comatose,” “hypocritical,” or “Rush Limbaugh Republicans”). The whole thing makes me (medical term).

I had no choice but to leave the church. My relationship with (spiritual noun) is better than ever. Now I meet regularly with my (relational noun, pl.) and talk about (noun that could be the focus of a liberal arts degree) and Jesus. We really care for each other. Sometimes we even (choose among: “pray for each other,” “feed the homeless together,” or “share power tools”). This is church like it was meant to be. After all, (insert: “Where two or three are gathered, there I am in the midst of you,” or “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life,” or “we don’t have to go to church, we are the church”). I’m not saying everyone needs to do what I’ve done, but if you are tired of (compound phrase that begins with “institutional” or ends with “as-we-know-it”), I invite you to join the (noun with political overtones) and experience (spiritual noun) like you never will by sitting in a (choose among the following architectural put-downs: “wooden pew,” “steepled graveyard,” “stained-glassed mausoleum,” or “glorified concert hall”) week after week. When will the (biblical noun) starting being the (same biblical noun)?

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Blogger katrina said...

Hmmmm...interesting! I definitely have friends that fall in the - 'I don't like church or religion' category.

Friday, July 10, 2009 9:21:00 AM  

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