It wasn't me, it was the Bayly Brothers!

Ever have one of those times where you've been saying something...and then someone comes along and adds to the conversation or says it a little better? This is one of those times.

For a while now, I've been talking about life from within the "Reformed camp." You see, after years of enjoying and feasting upon great God-centered doctrine, I've found myself stopping to take a look around. Face it, I don't care where you fall within the greater camp of Christianity, from high-church, to contemporary, to charismatic, to traditional...every one has weaknesses. Likewise, the Reformed tradition has blind spots and sometimes it serves us well to push our pride aside and look at our warts. Whether it's a disconnect from the marching orders given by Christ in the great commission or an arrogant snub to anything that might look or smell like contemporary Christian life (worship, discipleship, evangelism), I continue to reflect upon the tendency for the neo-Reformed folk to be an inward-focused and self-congratulatory bunch.

grad.pngAt the same time, if you are a friend of mine, you've heard me work through an idea that I've termed the "graduate church." I am referring to the effort made by many within Reformed congregations to present the Christian faith at an elevated cerebral level. In other words, Christ is understood, discussed, practiced, debated and worshipped at the "head level." What's missing is that "heart level" understanding of Jesus Christ. Through our own personal reformations to deeper understanding of the faith (or as I've heard it said, "when I finally arrived at a right understanding of God"), we lose the ability to understand, discuss, debate, and worship Christ at the "heart level." Long gone are discussions about a deep abiding love for Jesus and we dig our heels in as our worship even approaches anything emotional. Unfortunately, many new-comers to these congregations can get lost in translation, and these "graduate churches" are forced to grow not because of "new-believers," but they add to their membership with "already-believers."

bayly_bros2008.pngLike I said at the beginning, this is one of those times when someone else has said it better...much better. I found the Bayly Brothers talking about "graduate church" too, but they'll probably get away with it. I'll just sit back and point my fingers over towards them and say "Yeah, what they said..." Click on their picture or FOLLOW THIS LINK to the Bayly Brothers blog and read what they have said about this topic...and then come back here and drop a comment if you want.

Quietly making noise,