I must say, I agree with Scot’s assessment of the problem, if not his solution. There’s an illness in evangelicalism, and it’s that everything is always worse than it used to be. Teens are more pregnant, politicians are more corrupt, culture is less Christian, and, yes, the church is less relevant. I think Scot’s right to point this out. But what do you think of his suggestion that an Augustinian ecclesiology is the answer?
Everywhere I go and nearly everyone I read has a theme, whether central or peripheral, and I think the theme is getting too much attention and it’s getting too much play and it’s setting us up for failure.
Here’s the theme: the Church is so messed up.
Instances: preaching is not that good today; theology is so shallow today; Christian morals are so loose today; parents are not that good today; we’ve got too much individualism today; kids don’t respond as they used to; the church is spending too much money today; Christians aren’t liked in culture ….The suggestion: Let’s start all over again. This time we’ll get it right. Let’s get ourselves a group of really zealous followers of Jesus and let’s think about kingdom and forget the choir robes and denominations and pastors and hierarchy and church budgets. Finally, we’ll get it right. We’ll just follow Jesus and we’ll forget the church. We’ll do kingdom work and forget the church.
Go ahead. Join the crowd. In a few years you’ll come back to something you either face now, in a more rational manner, or later in a more chastened manner, that is if you’ve got any passion left. Here’s my theory:
I want to say I believe in an Augustinian ecclesiology.