Friday, February 18, 2011

Book #11

Mere Churchianity, by (the late) Michael Spencer. Paperback.

I followed the Internet Monk blog and podcast for a few years, and was saddened by Michael Spencer's health decline and eventual death. Michael was finished with the text of the book when he passed away, and it came out shortly after his death.

His "evangelical wilderness" ideas spoke to me, and many others. Known best for his "Coming Evangelical Collapse" newspaper editorial, Spencer has penned a relentless critique of the many ways that modern American church culture has diverged from the teachings and priorities of Jesus.

He focuses particularly on the problems with "churchianity," his term for trends in modern American evangelizicalism that Spencer sees as shallow and destructive: church growth, prosperity teaching, name-it-claim-it, culture warfare, etc ... His point is that a focus on Jesus (or "Jesus-shaped spirituality," as he calls it) conflict totally with these church-focused trends.

The book is written for those who have left the organized church, or are considering it, but have no interest in leaving Jesus. He gives hope for those who don't want to leave Jesus, but feel the need to leave the modern church.

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