My copy of The Present Future is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I just finished reading a review, and it looks like the book I intended to write on being a dying church, only, of course, much better. Some quotes:
A growing number of people are leaving the institutional church for a new reason. They are not leaving because they have lost faith. They are leaving the church to preserve their faith. (p.4) The culture does not want the powerless God of the modern church. (p.6) The North American church culture is not spiritual enough to reach our culture. (p.27) The first Reformation was about freeing the church. The new Reformation is about freeing GodÔøΩs people from the church (the institution). (chapter 3) The historic Reformation distinguished Christians one from the other. The current Reformation is distinguishing followers of Jesus from religious people. (chapter 3)
He even says that ÔøΩwe have a church in North America that is more secular than the cultureÔøΩ (p. 59). Ouch. And here’s what somebody calls the most important statement in the book: “Many people outside of the church are more spiritually passionate and enthusiastic about God than many church members” (p.60). The review goes on to say that the first third of the book (the diagnosis) is more helpful than the last two-thirds (the prescription). I can’t wait to find out for myself. This book, along with the rest of The Church in Emerging Culture, is no doubt going to stretch my mind in new directions this week. I’m kind of looking forward to it.