Christ n’a pas dit : là où se trouvera un chrétien, je serai présent, mais “là où deux ou trois sont assemblés en mon nom, je suis au milieu d’eux.”
Translation: Christ didn’t say: For where ever a Christian is found, I am present, but “for where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them”
Pourquoi L’Église? by Alfred Kuen is a short book on the doctrine of the church (Title translated: Why the Church?). 91 pages, soft cover.
Too many Christians don’t actually attend church services on a regular basis. This book seeks to arm church leaders with helpful information for explaining the importance of church attendance, using Scripture to present a Biblical basis.
A few reasons that some people give for not attending are surveyed (indifference, imperfections in the church, etc) and addressed. The author then lays out reasons for church attendance:
- Jesus Christ himself instituted the Church
- The Holy Spirit builds up the church
- The apostles were members of local churches
- The apostles established local churches
- The Christians in the first centuries lived in local churches
- We need a local church to grow
- The local church needs us
The church has a threefold purpose:
- The church is for God. Church services worship God. (The concept of corporate worship is explored)
- The church is for the believers. Several chapters are spent dwelling on the elements of Acts 2:42- where the church devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, fellowship, breaking of bread (which he interprets as the sacrament of communion) and prayer. Each of these items are better in community.
- The church is for the world. The church (i.e. the Christian community) represents Christ to the world. Evangelism concepts are briefly discussed.
But that’s not all! The final goal of the church is to be the bride of Christ.
I liked the reasons given. One especially helpful thought for me was connecting the “bride of Christ” concept to the reasons for church attendance. I also especially liked the introduction, which started with the “ideal” solitary monk from medieval times.
I’m not sure how this book would do in the hands of a random Christian who wasn’t going to church. There are several references to Greek words, along with some citations from the Church fathers. I imagine the big idea still gets across (he mostly uses Scripture to prove his point), but you’d have to be educated in Christianity to get everything he says. I maybe wouldn’t give the book to a new convert, but would use the insights from the book to teach a new convert personally.
The reasons given were good. Alfred Kuen is a solid evangelical scholar in the French world. This book has been added to our church library.
I’m claiming this as “A book in French” for my 2017 reading goals.