Correct Contradictions?

In the midst of the many anti-church/establishment books that have hit the shelves over the years, we knew it wouldn’t take long for some young, traditional reformers to launch back with their own defense for tradition and structure.

Though I have some reservations and key disagreements with DeYoung and Kluck’s latest book, “Why We Love the Church,” I did find this quote rather humorous and interesting:

…consistency is not a postmodern virtue.  And nowhere is this more aptly displayed than in a barrage of criticisms leveled against the church:

The church-is-a-lame crowd who hates Constantine and notions of Christendom, but they want the church to be a patron of the arts, and run after-school programs, and bring the world together in peace and love.  They bemoan the over-programmed church, but then think of a hundred complex, resource-hungry things the church should be doing.  They don’t like the church because it is too hierarchical, but then hate it when it has poor leadership.  They wish the church could be more diverse, but then leave to meet in a coffee shop with other well-educated thirtysomethings who are into film festivals, NPR, and carbon offsets.  They want more of a family spirit, but too much family and they’ll complain that the church in “inbred.”  They want the church to know that its reputation with outsiders is terrible, but then are critical when the church is too concerned with appearances.   They chide the church for not doing more to address social problems, but then complain when the church gets too political.  They want church unity and decry all our denominations, but fail to see the irony in the fact they have left to do their own thing because they can’t find a single church that can satisfy them.  They are critical of the lack of community in the church, but then want services that allow for individualized worship experiences.  They want leaders with vision, but don’t want anyone to tell them what to do or how to think.  They want a church where the people really know each other and care for each other, but then they complain the church today is an isolated country club, only interested in catering to its own members.  They want to be connected with history, but are sick of the same prayers and same style every week.  They call for not judging “the spiritual path of other believers who are dedicated to plated God and blessing people,” and then they blast the traditional church in the harshest, most unflattering terms.

As they are obviously making broad generalizations and pigeonholing a very diverse audience (which is one of the weaknesses of their book…yet hard to avoid in tackling the subject), do you agree or disagree with overall assumptions and why?

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~ by Dave Smith on December 27, 2009.

2 Responses to “Correct Contradictions?”

  1. I haven’t read this book, but I’ve followed DeYoung’s blog for a while.

    It’s hard for me to not read this quotation without reading my (mostly) negative feelings about DeYoung into it.

    I’ll sum it up this way: just because many of the people who level the above criticisms at the church are at times hypocritical (I’m one of them, and I am) does not mean that their criticisms are inaccurate or irrelevant.

  2. Yea…good counter point. I think that is the rub with the whole book…trying to debunk arguments and reveal contradictions, without giving any real solutions or needed changes to the actual issues with the church.

    I’ll be posting my assessment on the book later.

    Thanks.

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