I just finished a powerful, powerful book by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. I read a ton of books. Sometimes I read books that I can’t wait to recommend. This is one. I am a big fan of the church, amidst a growing evangelical culture that is pooh-poohing the church. Every other day there is a book saying "The church must change." etc.
Kevin and Ted are young people who should be a part of this emergent crowd–but they’re not. They’re solid church people. And they’re book is wonderfully readable. Here’s the review I wrote on amazon:
A powerful, powerful book. I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out. I enjoyed Josh Harris’ Stop Dating the Church, which I felt was a concise apologetic for the church. But Kevin and Ted have given the body of Christ a wonderful gift in this book. I have grown weary in the last several years of the constant barrage of criticism of the evangelical church. Every day it seems there is a new book with a "church survivor" whining about how the church failed them and they found God outside the church. The truth is that the church, yes the organized, established Church is the bride of Christ. Christ paid his blood for the Church. So we ought to love the church as Christ loves the church. When Christ stops loving the Church, then its time to pull the plug. But if you know you’re Scripture, the Bible says that the gates of Hell won’t prevail against the church. Kevin and Ted have produced probably the most thorough, theologicaly sound and humorous defense of the church. What I like is that they have read all of the "church is lame" books (their words, not mine), so you don’t have to. I mean they have extensive references and quotes and do a great job of answering all of the common critiques of church life. I especially love their tone. They, unlike most conservative writers, don’t create a straw man in their arguments. They don’t have an ax to grind, so to speak. They simply have presented a powerful apologetic for the Church God loves and that we should love as well. Is every church perfect? Are many of the criticisms of the modern church valid? Are their glaring holes and problems in today’s church? Absolutely. But we’re sinners. Every local church is a collection of sinners, so things won’t be perfect, won’t be done well, and will have room for critique. Plus, we have got to get over this idea that the world at large doesn’t like the church. Guess what? Jesus predicted this would happen. The cross is an offense. The Bible is contraversial. We’re too invested in being "cool" in the eyes of the world. God’s plan in this age is for every believer to be plugged in, contributing to, accountable to, and a member of a bible-believing and teaching local church. Period, end of story. Kevin and Ted have given a powerful book to that end.