Comments: columns to think about

The article in the Telegraph by Christopher Howse has reminded me of a complaint written against new fangled worship with modern tunes and arrangements, and modern language. The complaint was that all this trendiness was irreverent. ... it written some 250 years ago about Isaac Watts When I survey the wonderous cross" :-)

Posted by DaveW at Saturday, 25 November 2006 at 10:22am GMT

Oliver “Buzz” Thomas's piece is *outstanding* (and in "USA Today" no less---will wonders never cease?!)

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Saturday, 25 November 2006 at 8:25pm GMT

When the church speaks up and a company like BA reviews their rules I hardly think the church has lost its credibility, on the contrary.
The article in USA today seems to be saying that the church is out of touch because of homosexuality because science has proved it. Same-sex sex went on at te time of Genesis and at the time of Jesus so I dont think science was doing so good proving it. Science actually hasnt proved anything, no gay gene or anything. The church that knows same-sex sex is wrong is growing!. Its growing becuase Jesus Christ offers something much greater.

Posted by DaveW at Sunday, 26 November 2006 at 12:54pm GMT

Dave W observed:
"The church that knows same-sex sex is wrong is growing!"
At the risk of being repetitive, two points (1) the BNP appears to be growing in popularity as well: does that also connote divine approval? Presumably not, and the easy identification of growth and righteousness is to be avoided.

(2) The old one, 'post hoc is not propter hoc'. It is quite a leap of faith to assert that the reason evangelical churches are growing is down to their take on the gay issue (and I think most evangelical Christians would be quite upset to think that the only thing that they had to offer over other expressions of faith was an opposition to gay sex!).

Earlier this year I was at a presentation of research on factors in church growth/decline. The one uniting factor, once sociological and demographic factors had been stripped out was not theology or worship, but vacancies. Long vacancies led inexorably to decline, thus putting a question mark against current Anglican policy of saving money by keeping parishes empty.

The (rather fruitless) name-calling of 'our church is growing faster than your church (or indeed, 'declining more slowly....') should be buried, and people get a decent grounding in sociology instead.

Posted by mynsterpreost at Monday, 27 November 2006 at 3:42pm GMT

Dear mynsterpreost,
You ask "well: does that also connote divine approval? Presumably not, and the easy identification of growth and righteousness is to be avoided."
Christians believe that Jesus has become our righteouness 1 Corinthians 1:30 "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption"
You also wrote "..that the reason evangelical churches are growing is down to their take on the gay issue (and I think most evangelical Christians would be quite upset to think that the only thing that they had to offer over other expressions of faith was an opposition to gay sex!)."
No I think most churches that are growing are growing becuase the grace love power life and victory of Jesus Christ, which of course includes holding on to His teaching and freedom not to sin.
The homosexual practice sin is something some churches preach and the majority of growing churches merely raise objections to. The Anglcian communion position is alreay settled in Lambeth 1.10, we only usually hear of the issue when some are trying to promote the thing... quite the opposite of what you said I think

Posted by DaveW at Tuesday, 28 November 2006 at 8:54pm GMT

DaveW,
Some churches are growing because it is comforting to be told that God approves of one's comfortable middle class lifestyle, hates the things you hate and loves the things you love. At least here in North America, that would seem to be a lot of what is assumed, if not overtly preached, in a lot of self-styled Evangelical churches. Even when they take on social issues, it's with this viewpoint. Take the environmental movement in Evangelicalism. One of their slogans is "What would Jesus drive?" Now, I'm not pooh-poohing their attempts to bring together Environmentalism and Christianity, but it says a lot that they just assume Jesus would own a vehicle at all. So many of the poor He sides with do not, I can't see Him driving past a homeless shelter, even in a Smart Car.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 29 November 2006 at 12:10pm GMT
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