As COVID restrictions are being lifted in the U.S., we are once again able to attend church in person. However, after twelve to eighteen months participating in church services online, many believers are wondering if they should return, or just continue attending online services. JP and Stan discuss some of the reasons many are asking this question, which leads them to discuss what the church is and why it exists. Principles are identified and conclusions drawn concerning if and how believers should understand church involvement.
More specifically, in this podcast we discuss:
- Challenges local churches face as COVID restrictions ease
- What is the essence of the church—what is “church” at its core?
- Differences between the universal Church and its local incarnations (local churches)
- Implications of the Church being the “Body of Christ”
- Understanding the true mission of the Church and avoiding false narratives such as “progressive Christianity”
- Evaluating the claim “The local church…is the hope of the world.”
- New models of local churches gaining momentum in North America
- Millennials and the allure of “high church”
- Hope and challenges for the Evangelical church in our post-COVID reality
- Whether believers should commit to returning to “in-person” church
Resources mentioned during our conversation:
- Gallup Report on Church Membership in the United States
- Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology. Chapter 49: “The Nature of the Church”
- “Another Gospel? with Alisa Childers,” on the April 30, 2021 Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture podcast with Sean McDowell and Scott Rae
- Alisa Childers, Another Gospel? A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity
- Kevin Deyoung and Greg Gilbert, What Is the Mission of the Church? Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission
- Peter Wehner, “The Scandal Rocking the Evangelical World” in The Atlantic
- Ralph D. Winter, “The Two Structures of God’s Redemptive Mission.” Chapter 39 in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, ed. Ralph D. Winter
- Micro-church/underground church movement
- Bishop Barron, “Christianity and the Modern World,” S4 E15 of the Jordan B Peterson podcast.