Barna, CCEF

February 6, 2006

Dear
Lig, Great to hear of you and CJ out in LA working on such a crucial issue.
Thanks for giving time to do that.  Al, I will look forward to your review
of Barna.  We also have one coming on the 9Marks website. Interesting
comparisons with Barna would be.

  • Herbert Hoefer, Churchless Christianity (1991/2001)
  • Alan Jamieson, A Churchless Faith:  Faith Journeys Beyond the Churches
         (2002)
  • Nick Page, The Church Invisible (2004).

The
issues involved are not that different than the issues in the nature of the
church discussions in the church planting movement.  One interesting
conversation that I just barely got into with Peter Jensen last week was not
only having elders in a congregation, but formally recognizing them, in order
to gain both their consent to serve and the congregation’s consent to
follow.  Garry Wills has written about how leadership works by
"reciprocally engaging two wills", and while Wills says that is often
done without formal recognition, I think in the context of a Biblical church
with a clear injunction in Hebrews 13 to obey your elders, it’s very difficult
seeing how certain aspects of leadership could be exercised WITHOUT formal,
public consent from both parties entering into the relationship.  Back
around to Barna and some CPMovement thinking–formal membership seems to be
implied in the formal recognition of leadership.  Leader of whom, of which
people?

On the
topic of CCEF (Christian Counseling and Education Foundation) we (CHBC) have
been blessed by them this last week.  CJ (one of their trustees) came and
addressed the men on Tuesday night on making our wives beautiful.  Ed
Welch came down on Friday, we did a 9Marks interview with him, and then he
addressed the women on Friday night on the topic of thinness and beauty. It was
actually Al who began this series for us in the fall with a wonderful address
on the nature of true beauty.  Ed & Al’s addresses should be available
for listening to on line at the www.capitolhillbaptist.org
website.  And then, Dave Powlison turned up in church yesterday!  It
was good to see him, and he was as encouraging as always.

It was
great for me to be at my home congregation again, after being away for 2 weeks,
and we had an unusually sweet time in the gospel, with the sermon being on II
Cor. 5:11-7:1.