Sunday, October 24, 2010


Michael Spencer doesn’t like adjectives. In Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality, he takes on all those adjectives we Christians – we American Christians – clutter our lives with.

Like in worship. Traditional worship. Seeker-sensitive worship. Emerging worship. Spirit-led Worship. Ancient-future worship. Dynamic worship. Extreme worship.

Or the victorious Christian life.

Or good Christian witness.

Or faithful church member. Or spiritual Christian. Carnal Christian. Reformed Christian. Fundamentalist Christian. Progressive Christian. Pentecostal Christian.

How about, totally confused Christian?

After experimenting with every kind of adjectival Christianity there was, Spencer finally came down to one question: could there be a gospel without adjectives?

The answer turned out to be yes. but a lot of stuff had to be cleared out of the way first. And then he heard a lecture on Martin Luther, and it knocked him flat. Spencer learned what Martin Luther had learned almost 500 years ago.

“For the first time,” he writes, “the truth that Jesus is the One Mediator between God and human beings knocked me to the floor and suspended me over the truth that God had done all things necessary for my salvation. I could stop looking for the secret key, and I could ditch the quest to demonstrate that I was a Christian hero. I was humbled as I looked at a universe of grace that filled my empty soul with the love of God in Jesus.”

There is nothing else I could say to add to that.

Nancy Rosback at Bend the Page, Fatha Frank at Public Christianity and I have been having a discussion about Spencer's  Mere Churchianity. Check their blogs for some really good thoughts.


Louise Gallagher said...

I didn't know there were so many forms of worship!

Thanks Glynn -- as always, your writing is edifying in its clarity.

Anonymous said...

"knocked me to the floor and suspended me over the truth"

i think that's a pretty cool line.

Kelly Sauer said...

I want to weep. Are there people who know this? Are there really people who believe this?

Thank you for sharing the quote, Glynn. It's a good one.

Fatha Frank said...

That's a great quote from Luther. I had a conversation with someone on Sunday that I know if I brought up this subject, this person would have just stared blankly back at me. So many people can only see their denomination that they're oblivious to Christ.