Kevin DeYoung, pastor of University Reformed Church, and Ted Kluck, sports writer, have done it again. In their second collaborative assignment they offer both clerical and layman arguments for the beauty of, love for, and preservation of the local, institutional church.
Why We Love The Church is very straightforward and unabashed in presenting two concurrent streams of reasoning in favor of the local church. DeYoung takes the pastoral approach and uses each of his chapters to deal with one of the reasons people give for not liking the local church. He deals with the missional, personal, historical and theological objections. He identifies four types of people he intends to encourage through his writing: the committed, the disgruntled, the waffling and the disconnected.
Kluck deals with more of the big picture covering topics including his own difficulties in being part of the church, the realities of the deconstruction arguments about the church, a series of interviews with people all along the church spectrum, and what his own personal “Year of Jubilee” would look like.
Along the way we see meaningful, winsome discussion about what the true biblical picture of the church is. Everything from evangelical churches growing in the midst of the plethora of church isn’t cool books to ample historical evidence completely disproving the arguments of current home church advocates like George Barna and Frank Viola are touched on. DeYoung has fun in his intro by creating a Mad Lib for current church complaints that is worth the price of the book by itself. I’ve included a few quotes to whet your palate:
Indeed, being part of the church–and learning to love it–is good for your soul, biblically responsible, and pleasing to God. –p.19 (DeYoung)
…let’s make sure as Christians that our missional concerns go farther than those shared by Brangelina and the United Way. –p.45 (DeYoung)
Church, to us, should be as relevant as the gym is to the boxer, or as basic training is to the soldier. –p.101 (Kluck)
Church isn’t boring because we’re not showing enough film clips, or because we play organ instead of guitar. It’s boring because we neuter it of its importance. –p.102 (Kluck)
This, friends, is my vision for the year of jubilee: No Christian conferences, no Christian books written, bought, or published. Just Bible reading, prayer, and church attendance. No more reading about doing community. No more incubation-for-social-change meetings, and to be fair, no more book discussion groups. Reading. Praying. Church. –p.188 (Kluck)
The problem is that all the talk of revolution suggests that what we need are more Christians ready to check out and overthrow, when by my estimation we need more Christians ready to check in and follow through. –p.223 (DeYoung)
Daily discipleship is not a new revolution each morning or an agent of global transformation every evening; it’s a long obedience in the same direction. –p.225 (DeYoung)