• The Cult of Relevance and the Management of Need Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | June 1992

    Irony, ironically, is a profoundly biblical theme that does not figure strongly in the thinking of most Christians. Yet no other religion rivals the Christian faith in providing such a foundation for a strong view of irony. Because human unbelief is essentially a matter of the “truth held in unrighteousness,” Christians can always count on the fact that the “truth will come out” regardless of unbelief, that the consequences of human action will always be other than we intended, and that reality will always have the last laugh. Irony, in short, is not merely a subject for writers or cultural … View Resource

  • Recycling the Compromise of Liberalism Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | May 1992

    Christian history is a two thousand-year conversation between the church and the world. As Christians we are called to be in the world but not of it. Christians have lived out this tension in many ways. Some are neither of the world nor in it, and are therefore isolated. Others are both in the world and of it, and are therefore compromised. Doubtless, few on either side would disagree with the ideals of the other, though cultural conservatives would stress the ideal of resistance to the world and cultural liberals would stress relevance in it. At the same time, almost … View Resource

  • Church Growth—Success At What Price? Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1992

    The seductions of the modern world can be just as hard to resist as its benefits are to refuse. After all, if the church is in the business of growth, and growth is achieved through better management and marketing, then to say “no” to church growth is to be too spiritual for our own good. Whatever works so well must surely be good. But is this really so? What if the very effectiveness has the effect of secularization—of making God irrelevant? Secularization can be defined as the process by which, starting from the center and moving outward, successive sectors of … View Resource

  • Church Growth—First Things First Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | March 1992

    When all is said and done, the church-growth movement will stand or fall by one question: In implementing its vision of church growth, is the church of Christ primarily guided and shaped by its own character and calling—or by considerations and circumstances alien to itself? Or, to put the question differently, is the church of Christ a social reality truly shaped by a theological cause, namely the Word and Spirit of God? Behind this question lies the fact that the church of God only “lets God be God,” and is only the church, and is free when she lives and … View Resource

  • Church Growth—Weaknesses to Watch Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | February 1992

    Like many movements, the church-growth movement is a grand mixture of things good, bad, and in-between. After stressing its significance last month, I will not comment further on its good parts—except to say that anything that “goes without saying” is in danger of being left unsaid. The best of the church-growth movement deserves better than that.Our present concern, however, is not the good but rather the bad and the in-between. For if the movement has a threefold positive significance, it also has a threefold weakness.First, the church-growth movement has two common deficiencies. On the one hand, its theological … View Resource

  • Church Growth—the Movement of the Nineties Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | January 1992

    The King is dead! Long live the King!” As with royalty earlier, so with popular movements and trends today —the passing of one signals the prevailing of another. Thus in the early 1990s the Christian Right is clearly on the wane, succeeded as a nationally important religious movement by the church-growth movement. Will this new movement achieve its ambitious goals? Will it change the landscape of American religion? Can the secrets of successful superchurches be carried over to small local churches? Any movement that hits Time and Christianity Today simultaneously deserves not only to be noticed but understood and … View Resource

  • I Believe in Doubt Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | January 1992

    A man may be haunted with doubts and only grow thereby in faith. Doubts are the messengers of the Living One to the honest. They are the first knock at our door of things that are not yet, but have to be, understood.”—George MacdonaldFaith is much more than the absence of doubt, but to understand doubt is to have a key to a strong faith, a sound mind, and a quiet heart. Yet more confusions surround doubt than many Christian believers realize.Drawing from C.S. Lewis, there are two equal and opposite errors into which Christians are … View Resource