I’ve recently been reading Diana Butler Bass’ Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith. This isn’t the first book by Bass that I’ve read, but this is definitely her most fiesty book.
She takes on the evangelical mainstram in quite a few places and juxaposes it with her research in healthy mainline churches who don’t subscribe to the evangelical notion of Christian growth and maturity.
I’m not done with the book yet, so mabe she eventually mentions it, but I get the feeling that the ecclesiological model put forth in this book is much more sustainable than the magachurch consumer-driven model popular in evangelicalism. I know some are saying that 21st century Christianity will be dominated by the charismatic movement (which will bring about the death of evangelicalism and mainline Christianity), but I think the mainline has a lot to offer our current cultural enviornment. I hope mainline pastors and denominational executives will pick up this book and read it. For that matter, evangelicals are welcome to read as well. We can all learn something from healthy mainline churches.