Wednesday, March 11, 2009


At the present time, I'm in the midst of reading several books concurrently. This is what I'm reading right now*:

  • A while back I started David Wells' Losing Our Virtue: Why The Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision. This is the third in Wells' four book series examining the effects of modernity and post-modernity on the evangelical church. Heavy stuff, but very insightful. The more I read Wells' works, the more I see the trends he describes in the church at large. This particular book points out how the evangelical church has lost much of its understanding of its place as a moral voice in the culture, opting instead to be just another voice appealing to the self and providing alternative therapeutic help.
  • I also recently started reading D. A. Carson's Christ and Culture Revisited. This fresh look at Niebuhr's classic work on the subject is more typical Carson heavy sledding, but worth the read. Given the confusion and tendency for the church to accommodate and even imitate the culture today in the name of contextualization, this is a needed focus. Still just getting started on this one.
  • I also am working through the great little book by Thabiti Anyabwile, What Is A Healthy Church Member? I'm developing a class for new (and old) members based on this. I love his first point - that a healthy church member must be an expositional listener. One who looks and listens for the main point of a sermon in the main point of the Scripture text. I can't help but think that if more of the people in the pews were expositional listeners, more pastors would be forced to become expositional preachers. And the word of God would be unleashed to powerfully transform His church.
  • And just the other day, I started reading The Reason for God :Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller. I can't seem to put it down. A great examination of common skeptical objections to the Christian faith, and well-developed responses to these objections. Deep and insightful, yet very readable. This is the first book by Keller I've read, and I like it. Thinking of using this for additional material for the introductory apologetics class I'm developing.
So yeah, this is what I'm reading right now. Maybe that explains why I haven't been able to focus my little brain on any one subject long enough to write a decent blog post for a while. One of these days, when I actually finish a couple of these books...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What About You?

I started reading the introduction to What Is A Healthy Church Member? and was stopped in my tracks by a brief statement:

The health of the local church depends on the willingness of its members to inspect their hearts, correct their thinking, and apply their hands to the work of the ministry.

How many of us have this attitude in the local body of Christ we belong to? It is far easier to identify what's wrong, what we don't like, what we would prefer to see happening in our churches. But how many of us have the attitude of ownership that this statement conveys? Of course, if there are un-Biblical things going on we are commanded to raise these issues and correct them. And if there are issues with the adequacy of leadership in our churches, we do no favors to anyone to not deal with those issues truthfully, lovingly and graciously. But so much of what so many of us postmodern Christians fuss about in the church are really our preferences. And this statement from Thabiti Anyabwile cuts to the heart of that tendency.

More to come as I begin to unpack this book and shape a Sunday School class around it.