I’ve just picked up and started reading Why We Love the Church: in Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. As I read the first chapter, I burst out laughing in a public place when I read the following “Mad Lib” about the church:
The institutional church is (pejorative adjective). When I go to church I feel completely (negative emotion). The leadership is totally (adjective you would use to describe Richard Nixon) and the people are (noun that starts with un-). The services are (adjective you might use to describe going to the dentist), the music is (adjective you would use to describe the singing on Barney), and the whole congregation is (chose among: ‘passive,’ ‘comatose,’ ‘hypocrtical,’ or ‘Rush Limbaugh Republicans’). The whole thing makes me (medical term). I had no choice but to leave the church. My relationship with (spiritual noun) is better than ever. Now I meet regularly with my (relational noun) and talk about (noun that could be the focus of a liberal arts degree) and Jesus. We really care for each other. Sometimes we even (chose among: ‘pray for each other,’ ‘feed the homeless together,’ or ‘share power tools’). This is the church like it was meant to be. After all, (insert: ‘where two or three are gathered, there I am in the midst of you,’ or ‘the letter kills but the Spirit gives life,’ or ‘we don’t have to go to church, we are the church’). I’m not saying everyone needs to do what I’ve done, but if you are tired of (compound phrase that begins with ‘institutional’ or ends with ‘as we know it’), I invite you to join the (noun with political overtones) and experience (spiritual noun) like you ever will sitting in a (choose among the following architectural put-downs: ‘wooden pew,’ ‘steepled graveyard,’ ‘stained-glassed mausoleum ,’ or ‘glorified concert hall’) week after week. When will the (biblical noun) start being the (same biblical noun)?
That quote was worth $11 I spent on the book.