Friday, June 10, 2011

Wellsian Wisdom

Three excerpts from an interview with David Wells at
"Every study on the internal life of the churches shows that they are becoming increasingly less literate biblically. With that, our ability to judge where our culture is intruding upon our souls is diminished. A church that is merely mimicking the culture, rather than offering a biblical alternative to it, is on its way to oblivion."
It is a temptation to think that by being nice and accommodating we can make the Christian gospel seem like a great little addition to everyone’s life. But the gospel is not a great little addition. It is a soul-shaking, costly, demanding reality. The church cannot hide this fact! The gospel is not about self-therapy. Despite our pressured, taut, nervejangling age, the Christian message is not there just to make us feel better about ourselves or more able to cope. It is about coming before our great God and Savior, confessing our sins, entrusting ourselves to Him, and surrendering our claim upon ourselves to Him. What is most needed, and what is most lacking in the church, is a little character in differentiating its message from self-help therapies and marketing strategies. Our deficiency is not that we lack the right technique. It is that we often don’t have a real alternative.
We have brought into the church the rhythms of buying and selling, of making a product appealing so that a potential buyer can be lured into a sale, and to help out that process, we are changing the atmosphere of worship into one of pleasant entertainment. The product we think we are selling is the gospel and, within that, the God of the universe. Put that way, it sounds pretty absurd, doesn’t it? But as the visions of success, of sanctuaries packed with potential buyers, dance before our eyes, nothing seems to be absurd, inappropriate, or out of bounds to us. Apparently, we are willing to do whatever we think it takes, no matter how inappropriate.

1 comment:

Matthew B. Redmond said...

Thanks for this. Good stuff.