December 2, 2020

No Riff Necessary: Amy Welborn Takes A Roman Catholic View of the Evangelical Circus

keep-church-weird_bumpersticker.jpgWhen someone else looks at what you spend all your time looking at….and they see the same incredible, unthinkable, unexplainable, bizarre, sad, madhouse of a thing…you feel better.

Thanks, Amy. I feel better.

No….actually….I think I’m feeling worse. THANKS A LOT.

The best writer in the reasonable Roman Catholic blogosphere takes a look at the evangelical church growth, seeker sensitive circus.

No riff necessary from me. Go read it. Then come back here and talk about it.

READ: By Any Means Necessary by Amy Welborn.


  1. The saddest of all to me is her reference to the “Business by the Book” series at Second Baptist here in Houston. I *used* to respect Ed Young’s ministry…. but preaching from business/self-improvement books is the last straw for me. You can’t take one Bible verse, relate it to business, and package that as the message of Jesus Christ.

  2. I meant to add this to my last comment…

    From the Second Baptist website:

    “Together, we’ll explore ten recent business bestsellers to glean biblical truths that can apply to each of us.”

    Just in case you’ve already mastered all the truths that are actually IN the Bible…..

  3. Fr. Mike Creson says

    Amy has brought up an issue that is still under the Catholic radar especially here in the south where parishes are growing as new people populate the region. A larger Latino presence also continues. Amy feels that the movement to emerging churches comes from nominal Catholics. Certainly that makes some sense. We are losing parishioners we were hardly aware of. It always hurts to lose an active family to another church. I’m sure the emerging churches are meeting a need in many people. They do stay on the cutting edge of youth ministry, which is always attractive to parents.But will these hi-tech youth adventures keep us in touch with an ancient faith as we move into adulthood? How will we explain the mystery of our faith without a rooted tradition. We are caught between the Jetsons and the Flintstones.

  4. She certainly echoes a lot of what I as a “mainline” pastor see and experience. We all want people to become followers/disciples of Jesus and to grow and serve, but some of what she points out, while seemingly “cool,” creative, and innovative seems pretty “me centered.” The challenge is there for all of us in terms of evangelism and discipleship for certain.

  5. She has some nice observations about the packaging and its surface-level impact.

    Marketing is marketing is marketing. The more we are exposed to it, the more we become numb to it and the less we trust it.

  6. Folks

    A weekly reminder in light of Michael’s post on Aug 18. Pray for him and Denise. Pray especially in light of the huge teaching and preaching load that he has told us he is carrying this semester.


  7. Can we just say that she is completely right? Our Protestant world is totally screwed up. One thing I would say to end the divide between us is to see all of this mess as ‘our’ problem. The stuff she is talking about is from separated brethren. There is no ‘us’ and them. We are all one, this mess is our mess.

    Anyway, I think we are at a point where what is ‘cool’ is also what is right. Do liturgy, teach the ancient faith, sing ancient songs using a guitar if you must. All generations will go for it. All will hopefully reject schlock for well done liturgy. We have a moment of truth before us if only we will seize it.

  8. Wow, I guess let’s throw in a large dose of self-loathing also.
    Do we throw in the towel and quickly declare that the entire “Protestant world is totally screwed up”? Are there no protestant churches worth saving? Or should I burn my tie and get a white collar?

    Come on, introspection is a good thing, but let’s not give up just yet. Ya, I know, I know…….