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Dining with the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts with Modernity

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  81 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
What shapes the message of the church? The Bible and Spirit? Or society and culture? Os Guinness points out perils of compromise in the church growth movement.
Paperback, 114 pages
Published August 1st 1993 by Baker Books
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Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, the-church
Very thought-provoking book. Some of this book is a bit dated since it was written during the 90s before the megachurch movement came into full throttle, but the book is very good nonetheless, and Guinness' position in writing this as the megachurch movement was developing lends to a unique perspective. I really appreciated the way that Guinness analyzed the impact of modernity on churches and how even things as 'simple' as counting numbers and using them can be theologically foolish (David saw ...more
I liked this little book; Os Guinness brought clarity to some of my frustrations with the 'seeker' mentality of doing church.

OK, the idea that we have to be in the culture but not of the culture is a mission strategy --- I get that.

My little perspective on how pastors and music directors do church, has a lot to do with the performance mentality and 'star presence' of the upfront people and less to do with being missionaries to the culture to identify with them. The lines get blurred, but being s
Jason Hernandez
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another great book promoting discernment on an enormous movement within the church. Os calls this book dining with the devil because of Christianity's struggle with the spirit of the age: Modernity. Our modern day focus on methodologies and growing our churches in numbers through physical means, rather than being concerned with true biblical spiritual development of the people. I think the greatest part is how he ends with a short vinette by Nathanael Hawthorne. This poem really incapsulates the ...more
Nov 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity, ebook
I feel mixed on this one. It is good information, but I didn't enjoy reading it as much. I found it odd how it was set up. Everything had sort of a list feel to it that kept leading to more and more points. It is definitely Godly information, although it may be a bit out dated as it was written in the early 1990s. I’m sure it was incredibly timely when published, though.

Good stuff, just a b it of a chore to read.
Tim Kimberley
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very balanced book. I've seen this book many times and finally decided to dig in. I'm so glad I sat at the feet of Os Guinness on this topic. You can't tell this book is nearly 20 years old. If you are in a mega church or muti-site church this is a good must read to stay the course for Jesus.
Chila Woychik
Oct 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
A reasoned, fair and not unkind critique of the megachurch movement.
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Os Guinness (D.Phil., Oxford) is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including The American Hour, Time for Truth and The Case for Civility. A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, he was the founder of the Trinity Forum and has been a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies. He lives near Washi ...more
More about Os Guinness...
“Professionalism embodies the power to prescribe. Today it is the key to determining need, defining clients, delivering solutions, and deepening dependency—whether in healing identity, rebuilding inner cities, dispensing public opinion, or planting churches among baby boomers. The result, however, is not necessarily greater freedom and responsibility for ordinary people, because the dominance of the expert means the dependency of the client. All that has changed is the type of authority. Traditional authorities, such as the clergy, have been replaced by modern authorities—in this case, denominational leaders by church-growth experts. The outcome is what Christopher Lasch calls “paternalism without a father” and Ivan Illich “the age of disabling professions.”[1] The suggestion is that “The expert knows best,” so “we can do better.” But the “ministry of all believers” recedes once again. Even the dream of the “self-help” movement becomes a radical chic illusion that disguises the gold rush of experts in its wake. In most cases, all that has changed is the type of clergy. The old priesthood is dead! Long live the new power-pastors and pundit-priests!” 0 likes
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