Book Review; The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church By David Wells

David Wells packs a lot into this tiny pamphlet. I found myself nodding along and writing affirmations in the margins. Wells is concerned about the evangelical church becoming the mainstream and he points out a surface level issue that troubles him in three ways:

A shift from a doctrinally framed church to a market ethos driven church.

  1. The church is tailoring its message to be bought and sold by consumers.
  2.  The professionalization of pastors; pastor as specialist.
  3. The explosion of evangelical originations and the personal fiefdoms and infighting that come with fame grabbing.


Wells follows this up by pointing out one issue that is under the surface but he feel is important to note in light of what is viewed from the surface.

The disappearance of theology.

Wells illustrates it this way,

It is not that theological values are being denied, but that they have little cash value. They don’t matter. I like the situation to a child who is in a home but ignored. It is not that the child has been abducted; the child is there. The child is home, but has no legitimate place in the family…God now comes to rest lightly and inconsequentially on the church. This, however, is just our own private, evangelical version of the larger culture.

Lastly, he offers two remedies to the bleeding of the evangelical church.

            1. Recovery of the word of God.

            2. Recovery of a vision of the holiness of God.

 I found this short 12 page pamphlet to be one of the better reads I’ve had this year. Wells makes astute observations of the current evangelical climate, how we got here and how it might be corrected. I recommend this book highly.

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