Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Reviewing David Wells

I'm back. Not sure if anyone will notice, but that's ok. 

I started reading this today - recommended by a mentor a couple of years ago. Not sure I'm enjoying it. 

Wells begins by sounding like an old traditionalist church-man. The sort who sits in PCA whinging about 'modernists'. Maybe that's why I'm on the back foot from the start... reminds me of so many criticisms levelled at Creek Road. The more I read on, the more the comments bite. If Wells visited us, would we be in his sights? Should we be? 

Wells is scathing of attempts to be 'relevant'.
"The is always the rub in the experiment: the form greatly modifies the content. The loud music and short services are part of the form, but the form, put together to be pleasing, actually undercuts the seriousness of the faith. The form is in fact the product, and in this market the sale has to be done quickly and as painlessly as possible because the customers all have itchy feet. That greatly militates against the seriousness any church wants to have. And that is why a deep chasm has opened between the church marketers and historic Protestant orthodoxy. It is less that the truths of this orthodoxy are assailed than that they are seen to be irrelevant to the building of the church. They are, it is believed, an impediment to success." 

At Creek Road, we strive to show the relevancy of the Bible in the cultural context God has placed us in. We strive to honour God's Word by communicating it in a way that people in our culture will understand. At least that's what I think we're trying to do. According to Wells, I would think this, but I'm deceiving myself.

Should I be worried? Dunno. I've only finished chapter 1... where at the end he lists off those historic doctrines that true Protestant churches should stick to: the 5 'solas' of the reformation (Salvation by Faith Alone, through Christ Alone, by God's Grace Alone, heard through the authority of Scripture Alone, all to God's Glory Alone.)

We'll see what else Wells has to say. I wonder if he'd approve of the '5 Alones' sermon series we did recently. In short services. With loud music.

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