Gary Gilley’s three classic books are here combined in one volume, offering great teaching on today’s church at a bargain price. This Little Church went to Market: With the spectacular successes of mega churches like Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, California, churches all over the world are buying into the market–driven philosophy of church growth and expansion. But what price have these churches paid in order to fill their pews with scores of people? Is the market– driven phenomenon comparable to such historic movements as the Evangelical Revival? Or has the church lost its culture wars? Gilley contends that the church has indeed lost the war, so much so that the influences of culture have become influences in the church. This Little Church Stayed Home: Many churches, riding the faddish waves of our times, have ‘gone to market’, but not all. Some churches are trying to ‘stay home’, that is, remain firmly grounded in the Scriptures. Still, the pressures mount, the temptations are repackaged, and the schemes of the world become more and more persuasive. Dr Gilley explores the manifold pressures of conservative churches to sell out to modern trends and innovations, including the present temptation towards mystical theology. Churches toy–ing with ‘new measures’ will be challenged to remain true to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith and to remain faithful to God’s chosen means of converting sinners to himself: the good news of Jesus Christ. This Little Church Had None: Evangelicals have been desperately trying to impress the world for decades, becoming thoroughly worldly in the process. It’s hard to think of any significant fad that evangelicals haven’t latched onto, infused with some quasi–spiritual significance and silk–screened onto a t–shirt. Trendiness seems to be the evangelical movement’s defining characteristic. Holiness has practically fallen out of the evangelical vocabulary. Meanwhile, scepticism has become the dominant feature of worldly thought. Voices from the secular academy, philosophy, the arts and popular opinion keep reminding us that we live in postmodern times, and certainty is out of fashion. It’s not stylish to care about truth any more. This is perhaps the worst possible time for the church to embrace the spirit of the age.
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