The November/December 2007 edition of the 9 Marks eJournal is now online at the 9Marks.org website. (For the uninitiated, the 9 marks refer to the marks of a biblical church. The site and ministry seems to be strongly driven by Mark Dever and Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. This edition has a very helpful position paper from CHBC on the church’s responsibility to the poor and some provocative thoughts on the church and culture.
I very much appreciate the work and writings of this consortium. They call us to biblical understanding and practice at a time when so many are being influenced more by culture than the Bible. I think they have defined the problem well:
The church has come to reflect her culture rather than to shape it. The leadership principles of corporate America have made their way into church leadership meetings. The consumerism of suburban malls has infiltrated ministry methods. The therapeutic model of secular counseling has found a comfortable place on the couch in the pastor’s office. And the sins that typify the culture all too often scandalize the church.
We believe this situation has come about because modern church practices have been gradually redefining the spiritual understanding of Americans. In the evangelistic quest to “be all things to all people,” many churches have become “audience-driven,” “seeker-sensitive” and full-service. In the ecumenical quest for unity, many churches have preferred to see doctrine evaporate rather than elucidate. The statement continues here.