New Blog Post: On Growing a Deep Church

I just read an interesting interview with Ross Douthat, author of Bad Religion, in the May 2012 issue of Christianity Today that I want to reflect on for a moment.  As he says in response to a question on addressing heresy in the church: “For evangelicals, it means thinking more seriously about ecclesiology and what it will take to sustain Christianity across the generations.  Promise Keepers, Campus Crusade for Christ, and other parachurch groups have been important to evangelicalism.  But ‘parachurch’ makes sense over the long term in the context of a church.  The danger for evangelicalism is becoming too parachurch without enough church.  Some megachurches seem to function like parachurches rather than churches, as though everything else that’s going on is more important than the central life of the community of worship” (39).  I resonate with Douthat’s perspective in this regard.  Many evangelical churches seem to be overly programatic and less confessional.  One of the things that attracted me to the Reformed tradition was its confessional base.  I love the evangelical church of my childhood, which focusses heavily on Scripture and contemporary worship, but it lacked a systematic theology to ground me in the faith.  So the Lord has used the Reformed tradition to lay a solid theological foundation in my life.  But perhaps even more influential has been the Reformed liturgy.  When I encountered the Reformed worship service, with its theological and dialogical focus, I was hooked.  I guess the rest is, as they say, history, for a few years later I became a Reformed pastor. Thanks be to God!  So as a pastor of a local Reformed church that very much belongs to the evangelical tradition, I’m asking myself: How can I help my local church retain its evangelical flavor and fervor, but grow deeper in the Christian faith?

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One thought on “New Blog Post: On Growing a Deep Church

  1. Wow, that is interesting stuff. A little above my head but it is nice to get to know you a little better through your writings. I visited each and every Bible College and Seminary that was represented at YC this weekend and perhaps one day…

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