The Church: Where Will We Go?, by Lee Hedstrom (Tate Publishing)
In this volume, Lee Hedstrom gently advances Biblical truths as a standard for comparison with our own lives as well as comparison with the church.
In reading the text, anyone who still subscribes to traditional beliefs will be surprised at the ordinariness of the book. It simply presents what anyone would believe on the basis of reading the Bible.
However, if the reader has accepted the compelling pressures of today’s society by simply believing that mankind is now enlightened, and that we must separate from the past, the book becomes a biting criticism. This is particularly true for churches that have abandoned traditional Bible teachings in order to comply with social pressure.
While the book makes us aware of this problem, it makes no attempt to measure the extent of it. Also, it fails to connect the current rush to enlightenment with other such movements in the past, such as The Enlightenment, in which whole civilizations seemed to decide that their new knowledge had now made the teaching of their ancestors, even their creator, somehow obsolete.
Nor does it seek to discover why so many people now feel smugly superior to their ancestors. Is it the advent of the computer? Is it the cell phone? What, exactly, has changed to make us feel that so much has changed? And has anything important really changed at all?
However, the book’s unpretentious presentation will at least present the case against the modern church, where whole denominations seem to have shifted from Biblical teaching to majority rule.
I recommend the book for pastors who have come to question this practice, but fear being fired by congregations and/or denominations. Perhaps it is time for pastors and denominational leaders to re-examine church practice and teaching. It may be time for this church of fear to become a church that dares to teach.