I just read James Jordan’s little book, Crisis, Opportunity, and the Christian Future. It was terribly interesting, and of mixed convincing power, but the prescriptions he made in it for the Church today seem to me of massive importance. In the end, his suggestions boil down to this: saturate Christians in the Bible, learn from the Charismatics the importance of enthusiastic worship (though giving prime place to God’s worship songs, the Psalms), and put the Communion table as a fellowship meal back into the heart of Christian gathering. By these practices the Church can become the true tribe, the healthy tribe, which persists and gives stability for lost and lonely people in this neo-tribal age. This I love, and it is for this reason that I recommend the book.
I’ve reviewed Crisis, Opportunity, and the Christian Future on Goodreads, so check that out if you are interested. Here’s an excerpt:
What I found most helpful in the whole book is Jordan’s prescription for the Church in such a time. The Church is called to be the true tribe, the good tribe which is protected by God’s law from the evils tribalism tends to generate. The best part of tribal cultures is that they center around local community, shared festivity, the common table, and the common song. Jordan argues that the Church today must be proactive in becoming the model tribe, forming by Her close community, intimate love feasts, and cheerful signing of hymns and Psalms (especially Psalms) a healthy kind of Christian community on which the foundations of the coming ages of civilization may be built. If we do this, true worship will flourish and the seeds will be laid for a fruitful tree of Christian culture in the centuries to come. So the Gospel should come to people wandering broken in this neo-tribal age as this:
You are living in isolation, loneliness, despair, chaos, and bondage. But there is a New World! There is a New Creation! There is a New Kingdom! You can leave behind your old horrible life and come into the warmth of the Church. You can join us at the table and sing the psalms with us. You can come under the oversight of our elders, and be part of a new family.