These four things

Published April 1, 2012

In the Letters to the editor [More lay people, please, Feb. 2012, p. 6,], John Laidlaw suggests that the church sometimes seems to exist for the benefit of the clergy.    Douglas Webster, a former dean of St. Paul’s in London, Eng., goes even further in his book Unchanging Mission (Hodder & Stoughton, London; 1967, p. 88): “These four things-buildings, clergy, theological colleges and social respectability-are all things which we take for granted for the church. We cannot conceive of the church existing without them. If we did not have to raise money to build new buildings and maintain old ones, if we did not have to train and maintain the clergy and undertake social service in our own country and elsewhere, what would members of the church do? What did the early church do when it did not have to trouble about these things? It converted the Roman Empire.”


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