The Implications of the Church’s Failure

The church’s failure to extend God’s one-way love to its members has resulted in the burnout and hypocrisy that characterizes far too much of American Christianity, not to mention its perception from the outside as a vehicle of control and judgment.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 2472

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God Has Granted American Christianity No Reformation

God has granted American Christianity no Reformation.  He has given it strong revivalist preachers, churchmen and theologians, but no Reformation of the church of Jesus Christ by the Word of God…Aerican theology and the American church as a whole have never been able to understand the meaning of “criticism” by the Word of God and all that signifies.  Right to the last they do not understand that God’s “criticism” touches even religion, the Christianity of the church and the sanctification of Christians, and that God has founded his church beyond religion and beyond ethics…In American theology, Christianity is still essentially religion and ethics…Because of this the person and work of Christ must, for theology, sink into the background and in the long run remain misunderstood, because it is not recognized as the sole ground of radical judgment and radical forgiveness.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

as quote by Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p.

We Are the Pharisees of the New Millennium

In short, the spirituality of America is Christian in name only…We desire experience more than knowledge.  We prefer choices to absolutes.  We embrace preferences rather than truths.  We seek comfort rather than growth.  Faith must come on our terms or we reject it.  We have enthroned ourselves as the final arbiters of righteousness, the ultimate rulers of our own experience and destiny.  We are the Pharisees of the new millennium.

– George Barna

as quoted by Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 31

While We Swim In a Sea of “Christian” Things…

While we swim in a sea of “Christian” things. Christ is increasingly reduced to a mascot or symbol of a subculture and the industries that feed it.  Just as you don’t really need Jesus Christ in order to have T-shirts and coffee mugs, it is unclear to me why he is necessary for most of the things I hear a lot of pastors and Christians talking about in church these days.

– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 22

How Nice…But Oh So Wrong

Someone has described the church services of American Christianity as a nice man standing in front of nice people, telling them that God calls them to be nicer.  But if the Christian faith is about being nicer, it becomes moralism; and in that case, Buddhism will probably be of more help than biblical Christianity.

– Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel, copyright 2004, Howard Books, page 83