Book Review: Why We Love the Church

For whatever reason, Kevin DeYoung and his slew of coauthors have been on my reading list a lot lately. This week I read Why We Love the Church, and loved it.

First of all, they had me when they used the text of The Church’s One Foundation, one of my favorite hymns.

But the biggest thing I loved about the book was it’s subversion of 2 popular narratives in the life of Christianity. The first is that the church is dying and the second is that the church is inneffective.

Prognosticators have been trying to bury the church as a bygone institution for a while now. Barna and Viola have tried to give evidence that the church is not going to be here for much longer. Furthermore, the church (as we know it) was probably a bad idea to begin with. DeYoung and one of his elders, Ted Kluck show this is just not the case. Instead of appealing to culture and statistics, they instead point us back to the scriptures. Not a bad idea.

The second thing that DeYoung and Kluck show is that the idea that the church is ineffective is a myth as well. It’s pretty popular to show how the church is failing at reaching the rising generation. Again instead of appealing to the fact that it is pretty common in every generation for people without kids to wonder away from church, they appeal to scripture. Do we really believe that the gates of hell can not prevail against the church? If we trust Christ, we have to.

This was one of the best books I’ve read in a while. And what better way to honor it, then quoting the hymn is uses:

The church’s one Foundation

Is Jesus Christ her Lord;

She is his new creation

By water and the Word:

From heav’n he came and sought her

To be his holy bride;

With his own blood he bought her,

And for her life he died.


Elect from ev’ry nation,

Yet one o’er all the earth,

Her charter of salvation

One Lord, one faith, one birth;

One holy Name she blesses,

Partakes one holy food.

And to one hope she presses,

With ev’ry grace endued.


Though with a scornful wonder

Men see her sore oppressed,

By schisms rent asunder,

By heresies distressed,

Yet saints their watch are keeping,

Their cry goes up, “How long?”

And soon the night of weeping

Shall be the morn of song.


The church shall never perish!

Her dear Lord to defend,

To guide, sustain and cherish

Is with her to the end;

Though there be those that hate her,

And false sons in her pale,

Against or foe or traitor

She ever shall prevail.


‘Mid toil and tribulation,

And tumult of her war,

She waits the consummation

Of peace for evermore;

Till with the vision glorious

Her longing eyes are blest,

And the great church victorious

Shall be the church at rest.


Yet she on earth hath union

With the God the Three in One,

And mystic sweet communion

With those whose rest is won:

O happy ones and holy!

Lord, give us grace that we,

Like them, the meek and lowly,

On high may dwell with thee.

 

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About futonreformer

I am a pastor in the PCA serving in Myrtle Beach, SC. I am a sixth generation Tampa native and I love the Rays and Bucs!

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