Those Good ‘Ole Church Questions (2/30)

I never said all thirty of these would be originals, so let me stitch a few pieces together that my brother-in-law has tossed out there.

Here was recent post of his…

A few months ago I cancelled my bloglines subscriptions to many emerging / postmodern / missional / do-church-different blogs.

Yes, there is a time to criticize, reflect upon and review how things are being done, but it’s just not helpful to sit deeply in that posture for long – you end up stiff, cranky and critical. Better to get up and get busy doing things the the best way that you know how. I needed to be doing.

Just like in many areas of my life, I realized I was educated way beyond my obedience. For now, I’ve read enough about new paradigms, structures and church plants. I know the arguments for mega-church, house-church, wholistic-organic-church and frankly I’m not really convinced that one is any better than another. Sticking the word missional on something doesn’t make it missional. Finding your particular church structure in history doesn’t make you right.

The groups of Followers that I want to learn from don’t write blogs or books about “how it should be done.” They are too caught up in doing it and it’s too messy to fit into a new “paradigm.” I am realizing that there comes a time when a drop of inspiration is much more valuable than a waterfall of education.

Now, I can appreciate a few of those feelings, as I’ve often wondered how anyone (specifically myself) is to make much sense (I mean, actually reach useful points of conclusion) of all the things that are bound to come up over coffee with some of my “wanting to make church better” friends.

So I particularly enjoyed this Eugene Peterson quote, though I have no idea where it’s from (Here points to here, which points back to here, where I couldn’t find it!)…

“What other church is there besides institutional? There’s nobody who doesn’t have problems with the church, because there’s sin in the church. But there’s no other place to be a Christian except the church. There’s sin in the local bank. There’s sin in the grocery stores. I really don’t understand this naïve criticism of the institution. I really don’t get it. Frederick von Hugel said the institution of the church is like the bark on the tree. There’s no life in the bark. It’s dead wood. But it protects the life of the tree within. And the tree grows and grows. If you take the bark off, it’s prone to disease, dehydration, death. So, yes, the church is dead but it protects something alive. And when you try to have a church without bark, it doesn’t last long. It disappears, gets sick, and it’s prone to all kinds of disease, heresy, and narcissism.”

So to those who spend thought on such things, there are a couple more logs to throw on your fire.

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