I’m presently reading Why We Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. I’m only in the third chapter, so I’ll avoid any sort of full review for the time being. The book, to this point, is largely a response to the myriad of voices who are frustrated because the church appears unattractive to outsiders. There are plenty of quotes like this one from Leonard Sweet, “The world is not impressed that people attend church on Sunday morning. If anything, such a habit is viewed as a quaint waste of time.”
My initial response to that quote, and the many like it, was to ask: What do you expect? Why would you ever think that the world would be impressed with the church? Have we forgotten that “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing” (1 Cor 1:18)? Do we fail to recall that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers” (2 Cor 4:4)? What would ever lead us to believe that outsiders might find it a good use of their time to habitually gather to worship a God in whom they do not believe and hear a gospel they find to be utter foolishness? A major point of the power of God for salvation through the gospel is the paradoxical nature of it. God saves people through the hearing of news that offends their natural sensibilities. As a rule of thumb, when the world begins to grant approval and accolade to the church, we ought to pause and consider whether we’re doing something wrong. Have we left out the gospel? Have we excluded an essential element of worship? Why would we ever allow the worship, structure, or mission of the church to be dictated by those who think we are fools. Is it not folly to seek to be led by the blind?