J is reading "God in the Dock" which is a collection of essays and other things from C.S. Lewis. It is spurring conversations, like the one we had the other night by our firepit. Our best conversations usually include at least a little CS.
I just finished that book (Beautiful Mess) by Rick McKinley. First, it made me think I need to read Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Second, it made me think that the time has come for us to look for a different place to worship. My heart has been so torn on this issue for so long, I felt like "Look, you just find a place and stay there, it doesn't really matter where it is, and then you go from there," I know that is right. But since our house is for sale and we are trying to move to another community, maybe it isn't so bad to acknowledge that pull in another direction. It isn't a new pull, it's been going on now for quite awhile. A slow transition, no fast moves...easing into something.
McKinley said in the last chapter that there were 2 different aspects in the protestant world, one that focused on personal salvation and ministry to those within the church primarily (he called this the conservative church) and a more liberal (gasp, did I just say that word?) church that focused on social action and salvation expressed through service. He said that the first one is very good at getting people saved and pulling them up into fellowship, and the other was better at the outreach and service, though perhaps not as good in some other areas.
This is a subject that I find really and truly bores most people I know to death. And there is a certain truth that one will never find this "perfect church" and so throw that idea out the window first off. Okay, that done, now what?
Well that's the flux of it, I suppose.
I recommend the book, though I wish he would address the fact that without community (which is a rare commodity), some of these wonderful ideas don't work. Church is a community, albeit a sort of artificial one. Some of my favorite people in this community live 35 minutes away. I can't share a lawnmower with them (read the book). When I mentioned some of these good ideas to J he said something along the lines of wanting very much to be involved with ministries that helped people and showed them the love of the Lord, but for each person to start one from the ground up? Well, I have to agree, it made us both scratch our heads.
Well, the book certainly promotes his church well, and it is a message that my heart loves. But I always want the "how" as well as the "what". I agree with his "what", now how...
This isn't really meant as a book critique, it's more just processing...