Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dismantling the myths

Challies reviews a book by Warren Cole Smith, A Lover's Quarrel with the Evangelical Church. Excerpts:
This book comes from a man who has been an insider, an evangelical, for several decades. .... He begins by dismantling evangelical myths (bigger is better, being the foremost of these) and then turns to his description of The New Provincialism. This is a term he coined to describe evangelicalism’s obsession with now at the expense of the past and the future. ....

Borrowing and adapting a well-worn phrase, Smith dedicates a chapter to The Christian-Industrial Complex, the seedy relationship between the Christian church and the Christian retail industry. Next up, he looks at Body-Count Evangelism, looking to the rise of the parachurch organization and its role in evangelistic techniques that count success with something as potentially meaningless as a signed commitment card. In The Great Stereopticon Smith begins to channel McLuhan and Postman, pointing out the folly of this, the “one fundamental idea of modern evangelicalism that trumps all others… that method, techniques and technology are morally and theologically neutral.” ....

.... Ultimately, the solution is to plant churches—reproducing churches that gauge success in ways rooted in Scripture. Though the solution may seem to lack the punch of the chapters detailing the problem, I am convinced that Smith is largely right. [more]
A Lover's Quarrel with the Evangelical Church :: books, evangelicalism, reviews :: A Reformed, Christian Blog

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