Loving the Church

Christ the Center had the pleasure of interviewing Ted Kluck, author and athlete, about his recent publication, Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion, co-authored with Kevin DeYoung and published by Moody Press.  We discussed the recent wave of books, blogs, articles, and interviews calling for the rejection of the institutional church in favor of an individualistic Christianity.  Ted explained that while we may experience frustration with our churches from time to time, that rejecting them is no option for the Biblical Christian.  The panel also conversed about the relationship of this trend to the emerging church phenomenon, a topic Ted and Kevin DeYoung touched upon in their previous book Why We Are Not Emergent.  God created the church and it cannot be so easily dispensed with.


Carson, D. A. Becoming Conversant with the Emergent Church: Understanding a Movement and its Implications. Grand Rapids Mich.: Zondervan, 2005.

DeYoung, Kevin and Ted Kluck. Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion. Chicago IL: Moody Publishers, 2009.

———. Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008.

Kluck, Ted. Facing Tyson: Fifteen Fighters, Fifteen Stories. Guilford Conn.: The Lyons Press, 2006.

———. Headlocks and Dropkicks: A Butt-kicking Ride Through the World of Professional Wrestling. Santa Barbara Calif.: Praeger Publishers, 2009.

———. Paper Tiger: One Athlete’s Journey to the Underbelly of Pro Football. Guilford CT: Lyons Press, 2007.

Viola, Frank and George Barna. Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of our Church Practices. [Ill.].: Barna Books, 2008. 

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7 Responses

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  2. Jill

    Barna/Viola’s “Pagan Christianity” wasn’t a stand-alone book. The sequel is called “Reimagining Church”, it’s the constructive part of the discussion. He also has a new book that’s the practical follow-up to both books. It’s called “Finding Organic Church.” Viola’s article “Why I Love the Church” explains the motivation behind all three books. http://frankviola.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/why-i-love-the-church-in-praise-of-gods-eternal-purpose/

  3. If you follow Jill’s link you will see that Frank Viola’s view is the antithesis to what Ted Kluck is saying. I’ve not read Pagan Christianity, but I have read Frank Viola’s book which he co-authored with Tom Begier, Tim Richey, and Nick Vasiliades, The House Church Movement – Which Direction?(SeedSowers, 2001) These men, at least in 2001, made up the “inner circle” of Gene Edwards’ ministry. This book was horrendous. I will not waste my time with Pagan Christianity. I’m sure it’s more of the same slamming of Christian ministers who actually hold services in a building and preach behind a pulpit. For sake of brevity I’ll not say anymore, but I figured the “Reformed Forum” needed a counter point here and a support of what Ted Kluck is saying in his book. I also find it interesting that “The House Church Movement – Which Direction?” isn’t available from any of Viola’s sites that I visited. Could it be that this group has grown disillusioned from one another? I think that only goes to support Ted Kluck all the more.

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