A challenge for the lay-christian (and way too many ministers): Read this book on Lesslie Newbigin's ecclesiology
Lay Christians, along with way too many ministers, read pop-books on Christianity or justice or prayer or church or ministry or missions (i.e., easy to read, little to no exegesis of Bible texts or serious theological thought, good and solid biblical theology nonexistent, often detached from any relevant connection to church history nor connected to any sense of New Testament ecclesiology, and, to be honest, no deep, critical thinking needed and more culturally and socially appealing than truly countercultural and socially upsetting–so, have I offended enough, yet?) . . . there are a number of books I wish (and pray) lay-people would read (try to read, at least . . . take the time . . . they are not easy reading for the most part, but should be attempted, nonetheless) . . .
There a plenty of smart and thoughtful and serious lay Christians fully capable of reading these (and that's whom I am specifically targeting here); but the pop-Christian books are so appealing and, thus, are most often relevantly appealing because they affirm our comfortable niché in our world and in modernity (again, offensive, but no apologies) . . . but, still, here is one I have added to that list of should-must-ought to reads: The Church and Its Vocation: Lesslie Newbigin's Ecclesiology by Michael W. Goheen.
If your response is simply, "Amen," to these primer quotes rather than being challenged, made to feel uncomfortable, or having your faith and church life as they are called into questioned . . . you really need to digest the book first . . . than lament and find a way to strengthen your faith . . .
Any (lay-people) up to the challenge?
Okay, you pastors, too?
Chip M. Anderson, advocate for biblical social action; pastor of an urban church plant in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, CT; husband, father, author, former Greek & NT professor; and, 19 years involved with social action.