Category Archives: Christ & Culture

“The church is to be otherworldly in the world” by David F. Wells

“The church is utterly unlike any other organization in the world. In the church are those who belong to another world. At least that is supposed to be the case. Why is this? Because when it gathers, it is hearing a summons to stand before the God of all eternity, to worship in awe before Him, to acknowledge His greatness, to humble itself, to learn to live in this world on His terms, and to do its business as His. It is in all these ways otherworldly.”

–David F. Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 223-224.

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“The temptation the church always faces” by David F. Wells

“The temptation the church always experiences is to be like the world. It is the temptation to enjoy the comfort of a majority, to be at home, to be at peace, to have no enemies. Is it not true that we all yearn for such an experience? However, if the church is to be truly successful, it must be unlike anything else we find in life.”

–David F. Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 224.

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“Rethink your thoughts about the church” by David F. Wells

“The church is not our creation. It is not our business. We are not called upon to manage it. It is not there for us to advance our careers in it. It is not there for our own success. It is not a business. The church, in fact, was never our idea in the first place. No, it is not the church we need to rethink.

Rather, it is our thoughts about the church that need to be re-thought. It is the church’s faithfulness that needs to be reexamined. It is its faithfulness to who it is in Christ, its faithfulness in living out its life in the world, that should be occupying us.

The church, after all, is not under our management but under God’s sovereign care, and what He sees as health is very often different from what we imagine its health to be. The church, let us remember, is called the ‘church of God’ (Gal. 1:13; 1 Cor. 15:9).

Churches are ‘the churches of Christ’ (Rom. 16:16) because they are His, bought by His precious blood. Christ not only constituted the church (Matt. 16:18), but God has given us the blueprint for its life in Scripture.

What we need to do, then, first and foremost, is to think God’s thoughts after Him, think about the church in a way that replicates His thoughts about it. We need to ask ourselves how well, or how badly, we are realizing our life in Christ in the church, how far and how well churches stand as the outposts of the kingdom of God in our particular culture.”

–David F. Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 222-223.

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“Worldliness” by David F. Wells

“Worldliness is that system of values, in any given age, which has at its center our fallen human perspective, which displaces God and His truth from the world, and which makes sin look normal and righteousness seem strange. It thus gives great plausibility to what is morally wrong and, for that reason, makes what is wrong seem normal.”

–David F. Wells, Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 4.

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“Keep yourselves from idols” by Herbert Schlossberg

“In a society in which idolatry runs rampant, a church that is not iconoclastic is a travesty. If it is not against the idols it is with them.”

–Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture (Wheaton: Crossway, 1993), 254.

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“Scalpel!” by Herbert Schlossberg

“Civil religion eases tensions, where biblical religion creates them. Civil religion papers over the cracks of evil, and biblical religion strips away the covering, exposing the nasty places. Civil religion prescribes aspirin for cancer, and biblical religion insists on the knife.”

–Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture (Wheaton: Crossway, 1993), 252.

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“The common consent of fools” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“The great guide of the world is fashion, and its god is respectability—two phantoms, at which brave men laugh. How many of you look around on society to know what to do. You watch the general current, and then float upon it. You study the popular breeze and shift your sails to suit it. True men do not so. You ask–Is it fashionable? If it be fashionable, it must be done. Fashion is the law of multitudes, but it is nothing more than the common consent of fools.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Decision: Illustrated by the case of Joshua,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 21 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1876), 220.

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