I expected a book that would challenge me because I am someone who has left organized, institutional church, but I was quite disappointed. It made me uncomfortable but not in a good and challenging way but more in a knowledge that one of these guys is a preacher. Their definition of "church" is not the same what we have in the Bible as it seems to include all the things that happen in or around a particular building rather than the body of believers that gather there. As far as I can tell the biggest reason that these authors love the church is because they are very afraid of becoming emergent or being labeled as emergent. This is a fear I can relate to as I come from a "reformed" and a somewhat biblically intellectual viewpoint. To many in the reformed camp "emergent" and "postmodern" are swear words that reek of heresy. Therefore when I see that the authors who set out to write a book on the "praise of organized, institutional Christianity" and throughout the book they revert to scare tactics it makes my blood boil. At worst it is manipulative, at best it is simply weak.
Deyoung and Kluck write in such a way as to promote the idea that everyone who leaves the institutional, organized church is disgruntled in some way and dissatisfied with Jesus. They seem to think that those who are dissatisfied with the institutional structures have taken a backward step in growing in our faith or we have left the faith altogether. Throughout the majority of the book one would get the impression that those who leave the church do so primarily for personal reasons because we are biblically ignorant and lack a good foundation in doctrine and history. Buh - lone - knee.
I am reminded of Romans 8:28 as I think back on this book. I can say with confidence that God has used this book for my good because now that I have read the best that has been written to the praise of the organized, institutional church the more confident I am that it is not where I need to be. I have seen such an overwhelming amount of biblical evidence for gathering in a more simple, organic, participatory house church setting that the reading of 'Why we love the Church" with its utter lack of biblical emphasis makes me jump for joy that I have faithfully come out of the religious systems I once embraced.
This book may have been a good sequel to Why Were Not Emergent but it was a far cry from "Why the bible says we should love the organized instututional church".
- I am not going to be re-joining the choruses that are singing praises to the church as we know it.
- I am not going to re-attatch myself and my family to the things that are called church.
- I am not going to run back because the heretical boogey-man might get me.
- I do feel at times like I am out in the wilderness.
- I am looking for a better place to rest.
- I know there are more that have been called out and God will bring us together.
- In trust, I'm marching to Zion.