Linda and I are back home after two days in Amish country in Shipshewana, Indiana. One of the things we often do when we take long car rides together is choose a book to read together. I drive, Linda reads, I listen, we discuss. Our choice for this trip is Francis Chan's Letters to the Church.
We find ourselves in much agreement with Chan's thoughts. When Linda read chapter two, on the beauty of God's Church, we felt we were on the same page with him.
Chan's book is confessional and confrontational. We see both in the final two paragraphs of chapter two. He writes:
"I can't help but see our own lameness in failing to see the beauty of God's design for the Church. Heavenly beings are shocked by God's Church, while many on earth yawn. The early church didn't need the energetic music, great videos, attractive leaders, or elaborate lighting to be excited about being part of God's body. The pure gospel was enough to put them in a place of awe.
Aren't you at least a little embarrassed that you have needed the extra stuff? It's not all your fault. For decades church leaders like myself have lost sight of the powerful mystery inherent in the Church and have instead run to other methods to keep people interested. In all honesty, we have trained you to become addicted to lesser things. We have cheapened something sacred, and we must repent." (Emphasis mine.)
That's what the Entertainment Church, the Consumer Church, does. (Chan critiques the American Church and their entertainmentism and consumerism.)
My two books are
Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.
Leading the Presence-Driven Church
I am now writing Transformation: How God Changes the Human Heart.