The current book that I am reading, scrambling to understand, trying to assimilate, and also trying to argue with is this:
It is excellent (so far). I hope I am giving tasters rather than spoilers if I quote what comes at the end of his first chapter. The italicised bits are my commentary
Eight hard truths about the contemporary church
1. A great deal of Protestant Christian culture and practice is still perpetuating a sacred- secular dualism. Among the symptoms of this I notice can be a sense that ordinary work’s real value is generating resources to use on Christian stuff, paying the bills, and offering opportunities to share the gospel with workmates. Work done well, for its own sake, taking part in the re-creation of the world, perhaps, is underplayed as a Christian imperative.
2. Faithful biblical and relational whole life discipleship is a rare experience, but a strong desire, for most young people.
3. The ministry and mission of the whole people of God continue to be marginalized by many church leaders and by theological training programs. The church is still mostly training clergy.
4. With few exceptions, the church has lost a clear, gracious, and intelligent public voice and tends to sound either shrill or unsure of itself.
5. Much of the energy of Christian public engagement is focused on changing or preventing changes to legislation that would affect Christians. It is a lobbying exercise, not a missional exercise.
6. Church leaders spend most of their time on matters of internal organization and practise rather than on the church’s communal public works and witness.
7. Despite the lesson of World War II, much of the church is still vulnerable to ideological capture by the major narratives of western culture. Middle class values must be maintained at all costs.
8. Investment to ensure Bible confidence among Christians and church leaders is low.