The Gospel According to the West

I was going to post about the American Church’s propensity to live in a story foreign to God’s Story as communicated throughout the Bible. Disconnected from the true Story, we have fabricated a new story that sounds similar, but is vastly different from God’s Story. We tell and retell this alternative story until it finally makes the true Story sound wrong.

Rather than boring you with my post, I came across a great post by Leonard Hjalmarson that makes my point. Len’s a great thinker and writer and a couple of his articles influenced Mark’s and my thinking. Check out his December 17th post at

In his post, Len nails one of the main manifestations of the American Church’s wrong story on the head. The problem is that for most American Christians, the wrong story doesn’t sound wrong.

Here’s a bit of it, starting with a great quote by Richard Halverson:

“Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship. Then it moved to Greece and became a philosophy, then it went to Rome and became an institution, and then it went to Europe and became a government. Finally it came to America where we made it an enterprise.”
Quote by Richard Halverson, while he was US Senate Chaplain

“Money increasingly drives everything in the western church. Those with money can hire the best speakers, and bring in the latest ‘personality.’ Those with money can build the largest buildings so that they can bring in more money and hire more staff to impact the community.

“The problem is.. communities don’t seem to be impacted. And as Winston Churchill pointed out, ‘We create our buildings, then our buildings create us.’ We create institutions.. and lose any real sense of community. We build large theaters that create passive audiences while a few gain celebrity. But the question before the church in our age is, ‘will we be congregations, or communities?'”

Thanks, Len.

2 thoughts on “The Gospel According to the West

  1. Just a comment on the title: “The gospel according to the west.”
    Let’s not confuse the gospel of Jesus Christ(His finished work of#1-sins forgiven& #2-righteousness establihed)with the lifestyle that God calls His people to live to glorify Him on earth.

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