Os Guinness on the weakness of western Christianity.

As one who is ever-late to the party, I’ve just been introduced to Os Guinness (insert embarrassed smiley here).

i was delivering a talk on Friday night and part of my presentation included some interaction with Drug Culture in the 1990s. At the end of the talk, a man approached me and said — you need to read Os Guinness’ “The Dust of Death” as it will help you understand the drug culture of the 60s and 70s. And, he then said he would give me a copy of the book. He did. And, it’s absolutely fantastic.

I’m planning to read it right through, but — me being me — I’ve jumped ahead too. Here is a belter of a quote about the state of the Western Church.

Modern Christianity is crucially weak at three vital points.

The first is its compromised, deficient understanding of revelation. Without Biblical historicity and veracity behind the Word of God, theology can only grow closer to Hinduism.

Second, the modern Christian is drastically weak in an unmediated, personal, experiential knowledge of God. Often, what passes for religious experience is a communal emotion felt in church services, in meetings, in singing or contrived fellowship. Few Christians would know God on their own.

Third, the modern church is often pathetically feeble in the expression of its focal principle of community. It has become an adult social club, preaching shop, or minister-dominated group. With these weaknesses, modern Christianity cannot hope to understand why people have turned to the East, let alone stand against the trend and offer an alternative.