February 04, 2014

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ON GOING TO CHURCH I don't want to talk about Donald Miller. This is in part because in 2006, when I was working on my first book, my publisher kept bringing up Donald Miller's name in every email or phone conversation we had, wondering why I couldn't write more like him. (Ha!) It is also because I don't know Donald Miller, or the nuances of his meaning. But mostly I don't want to talk about Donald Miller because I what I really want to talk about is church, specifically, going to church. Why do we go to church? This is the question at the bottom of all this musing, right? Miller speaks for many who see the hollow-ness of what the gathered church has become. I see it. You see it. So we ask, "Why go to church?" Immediately, someone is going to say, "We don't go to church; we are the church!" There is, of course, something true about this statement. But it misses a very crucial point...and we'll start with that point: 1. We go to church because being and place belong together. Those of my readers who are more philosophically inclined will be able to cite various French and German philosophers and social theorists who talk about the necessity of human beings being grounded in place. We are not free-floating entites unconnected to particular points in space and time. We find our identity and memory and sense of being by being in a place. There is, I think, a simple illustration for this: a family and a home. A group of people living together in a house doesn't make them a family (See: house, fraternity). And a family will always be family even when the kids grow older and move out of the home. But what is a family that has...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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