Are Protestants Together?

Some time ago, I read the short book Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Catholicism written by the late Reformed preacher R.C. Sproul. It was a good read; I thought that Sproul treated this controversy with a degree of fairness and accuracy that was not present in other books that I have read on this subject. He basically laid the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Westminster Confession side-by-side as he worked through the major differences.  Sure, there were some snarky comments here and there but I overlooked these since it was clear that the book was being targeted mostly at people who already agreed with him.

By the time I was finished with the book, however, another question loomed large in my mind. Clearly, a great gulf exists between Catholics and Protestants. Anyone who knows history shouldn’t need much convincing of this. But there is an even more important question that cannot be ignored. Forget about unity among Protestants and Catholics. I think that the Lord will come back before that happens. What about Protestants? Are they together? Are they unified on the important issues? Do Protestants really have a leg to stand on when confronting Catholics? Continue reading “Are Protestants Together?”

Should Church Be Exciting?

One of my favorite places to sit and work is Panera Bread. No, this is not a plug for Panera Bread! It’s just that I enjoy the atmosphere – something about it helps me to complete my tasks more efficiently. I can sit in a booth for hours and lose myself in my work despite the noise around me.

But once in awhile I will tune into that noise and pick up on some interesting conversations. Especially about church. Sometimes there will be a pastor sitting nearby talking about church matters with a staff member. More often than not, however, I will just hear people complaining about their church. And usually, they are complaining about the worship service or the pastor’s sermons. How the service does not conform to their tastes. Or how they wish the music was different or the sermon was more interesting.

This got me thinking about what people expect from their churches and how they might be easily disappointed. The church experience is supposed to be a time of worship and communion yet how many American Christians expect to see a show on Sunday mornings? And how many churches try to oblige this wish by creating a “production” as opposed to a genuine worship service? Unfortunately, I have been in plenty of churches where I felt like I was more of a TV show prop than a congregant. Continue reading “Should Church Be Exciting?”