The Church of US vs. Them

The author is surely correct and that the Church proper is riven with animosity. This is not surprising since its teachings, from salvation to morality, has become largely untethered to Holy Scripture. Is it any wonder there are so many factions dividing congregations and traditions. So, the author is surely correct in his diagnosis of the problem. Good for him.

So, I like that the author intends to address this issue – it’s an important one – but I’m not sanguine about the possibility of his success. Any solution based on “making space for Christ’s reconciling presence in our day-to-day lives” is nothing more than pastor-speak. It sounds good and appeals to the American view of a gentle, Westernized Jesus of children’s Sunday school lessons. But to posit Jesus as a reconciling presence is to ignore the life and witness of Christ.

Jesus was not a reconciling presence. He was hard-core, He was dogmatic. He was a “my way or the highway” kind of teacher. His mission was not to reconcile, it was to save. To this end, His teachings were intended to change us from goats to sheep (Matt 25:31-46). Indeed, He publically shamed, and even cursed, those who held views of Torah that differed from His.

I’ll probably not order this book until I hear more about it. If you get it, though, I would very much be interested in your thoughts.

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