Thursday, January 25, 2007

The So-Called Revolution

I wrote a book review for Relevant Magazine before Christmas on George Barna's Revolution. You can access it from the link in the sidebar. If you like. I tried to be fair to the book, it had its good points and what I thought were bad points. Or at least a bad emphasis. I think a pollster such as this can give a good wake up call to the church, and that this one in particular is much needed. But I think all he did with his "revolution" rhetoric was raise the church-drop out rate and fan the flames of individualism. So I said so.

Check out one of the comments my article got:

"Yet another sophmoric attempt at literary and social criticism by team Relevant. I'm running out of hope for this enterprise, it started out with promise, but is devolving into something with far too little substance, and far too derivative a style."

Sweet, eh? I have to admit that is hard to swallow. But hey, I stand by what I said, and I thought I packed as much content as possible in the allotted words I had to work with. Feel free to check it out.

All I have left to say is this: The real revolutionaries are the ones who are able to patiently and graciously and gently speak the truth in love in their church and bring change on God's timing rather than on the turtle's pace of the rutted and the hare's pace of the militant. Some will stand for nothing but their same old same old and some will stand for nothing but their cutting edge ideals. And as long as we fail to allow Christ to work it out among us we are all missing the Point, or should I say the Crux, of the matter.

Sticking with your church is not institutionalism, it is loving the church as Christ has loved you, it is trusting God's redemptive plan, and it is believing enough in biblical ideals to see them through--in real life and with real people--and learning a few things yourself along the way. I guess that's what I meant to say. It seems maybe it didn't come across.

By the way, I'm not the only one seeing Barna this way. Dr. Franklin Pyles says similar things in his blog, or at greater length even, in his pastoral letter. Just in case you want to read more on this.

1 comment:

Tony Tanti said...

To be fair to you though Jon there was a good balance of comments. This was a much more divisive book you chose to review so you had to expect some sophomoric comments from people who think they can sum up your review in even less words than you were given to sum up an entire book.

The comment you pulled out here is harsh and is just another example of a Christian spending to much effort being mean-spirited and not enough on trying to change minds in love. Your comment about how we treat each other being more important than our opinions still rings loud in my ears.