Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion” as Want to Read:
Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  916 ratings  ·  123 reviews
This book presents the case for loving the local church. It paints a picture of the local church in all its biblical and real life guts, gaffes, and glory in an effort to edify local congregations and entice the disaffected back to the fold. It also provides a solid biblical mandate to love and be part of the body of Christ and counteract the "leave church" books that trum ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Moody Publishers (first published June 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Why We Love the Church, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Why We Love the Church

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  916 ratings  ·  123 reviews

Sort order
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you are a believer but have written off church as meaningless and ineffective, you should read this book. In spite of many onslaughts by some evangelical writers, these authors champion the "traditional" bible-believing church. The authors acknowledge the church's weaknesses and its many faults. Yet they choose to focus on oft overlooked strengths and character. They say "Daily discipleship is not a new revolution each morning or an agent of global transformation every evening; its a long obe ...more
Mark Sequeira
Sorry. It's a flop. And a bad one at that. The authors appear to have never read any of the books by Frank Viola or Neil Cole or Barna, among others. Their critique of those writers (who I confess, I largely agree with) comes down to, "I have issues with the church, too!" and then lists a ridiculous amount of personal non-likes about the institutional church. They never address the fine and numerous points made by those men. One has to wonder if that is because they cannot?!

This is one of those
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: religiousity
Kevin and Ted invest a good third of the book coming across as defensive and cocky, attacking other authors that simply shed light on issues we should be openly discussing as the church. I believe what Kevin and Ted fail to truly understand is that there has been an increase in books that discuss gray cultural spiritual issues because Christians have gotten the reputation for being very black and white. I agree that the gospel is a black and white issue, but relationships with people are not. Th ...more
L-T Hopper
Dec 09, 2013 added it
Shelves: church
Very timely book to read as I start another year of being the pastor of a local church. Fresh reminder of the right & wrong expectations I should have.
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
(If I were more strict, the book was probably four stars, but I gave it five anyway.)


If you claimed to have a great "relationship" with a friend but you constantly mocked and belittled his wife, whom he loved, would you really be a good friend? If you tried to justify your dislike of his wife by pointing out that she has warts and is ugly, could you possibly expect a punch in the nose, if not a kick to the cojones? Well, if you're a Christian and you treat the church with similar de
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is a candid, balanced, biblically thoughtful, historically informed, & pastorally sensitive corrective to the new & radical Christianity that says "NO!" to traditional church.

It's trendy these days for Christians to claim to love Jesus & want community with other believers, & at the same time ridicule, insult, & abandon the church. One of the primary reasons people get so fed up with the church is that they have unrealistic & unbiblical expectations of what it s
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is such a much-needed and well-written book for today! I can't even tell of how many times I encounter professing Christians either without an understanding of why the church (as an institution) is necessary and biblical, or venting about their various gripes about the failures and crimes of the church, or simply without any meaningful functional theology of the church. I was once one of them too! And it is easy to see how modern evangelicalism has born so many who are so poorly educat ...more
Jeremy MacDonald
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book renewed my love and calling to the Church.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it
A pretty good book with an interesting analysis but there really isn't a strong enough conclusion as to what we do with the church. Yeah, we don't abandon her. Yeah, we appreciate the potlucks and child care. So? How does that radically change our life?
I found it a good book, and I'm glad I read it, but I am left...not entirely satisfied. I agree with many of the points they bring up with the "fed up with the church" crowd, but though they give reasons that THOSE are wrong, and why the church i
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Prick me and I bleed the local church. That's probably why I enjoyed this book so much. Why We Love The Church is really a response book and an ecclesiology book in one. It's a response to the current "church-leaver" movement and books being written on why so many people are leaving the church today. But it's an ecclesiology in that it dives into church history and gives a balanced perspective on what the local church really looked like throughout the ages. Kevin and Ted are funny, accurate, and ...more
Arthur Sido
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
I have been eagerly looking forward to reading and reviewing Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck, authors of Why We're Not Emergent (I got WWNE at T4G but haven't read it yet). Many of the books I have been reading recently look at the institutional church with the stink eye, so I was hoping this would provide a nice counterbalance to the sometimes over-the-top criticism of the traditional, institutional church. Much of the crit ...more
Wesley Rea
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book on a whim. I enjoy Ted Kluck's work on The Happy Rant podcast, so I became interested in reading some of his writing. I'm happy that I did.

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck have produced a love letter to the local church. They do not shy away from the church's failures, but certainly do not spend the book bashing organized church structures. It is refreshing to see people who actually do spend time writing about all the good the church is doing, both presently and historically. Much o
James Bunyan
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The epilogue was excellent and would be worth buying the book for alone! Argues that the American church would have a much healthier practice of church if she had a greater grasp of the doctrine of original sin because:
-expectations of community would be more realistic
-expectations of world-impact would be more realistic
-our humility would be much greater

Worst moment was when he used the example of the crusades to argue that sometimes Christian history has been exaggerated and we should apologis
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was a good defense of the church. It feels a little dated and at times it drifts off of its main goal of defending church. Sometimes it dives deep into tearing apart Christian books that criticize churches or memoirs of people leaving church. Those parts were the least interesting to me. I much preferred the content on why the Church can be great and why it’s incredibly important to Christianity.
Bryan Reeder
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Read it in two days. I really appreciate the fresh insights about today's church. DeYoung shows courage in going against popular Christian thoughts in questioning some of the perceived outcomes from church researchers like Barna. I appreciate the realization that different types of churches can be and are successful. Keep an open mind as you read this thought provoking book.
Jan 16, 2012 rated it liked it
I really liked the writing in the book. The concepts are clear and concise. It seems like there is a lot of repetition. About halfway through I keep thinking, "I think you already said that!" But both authors are obviously great communicators so I didn't mind hearing it all again.
Scott Florida
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Nailed it.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I agree with Kevin & Ted, although I am not as theologically incisive, not as funny, and hopefully not quite as snarky as they are in this very helpful book.
Anna Chviedaruk
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
There's a lot of confusion about the need of the church in the 21st century. Even in Belarus. This book defends the church, helps to take some of the tension off a heart that is close to dissappointment and helps to love the church.
Jon Harris
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simple but good information.
Nancy Royer
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So helpful at this time in my life. Theologically sound. Just the right amount of humor. Very relevant.
Sérgio Tomé
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nos ensina de fato a amar a igreja.
John Gardner
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
The back cover reads, "These days, spirituality is hot; religion is not." The last decade has seen countless books published by those who have left the church, and who encourage others to do so as well. Many who have grown up in church are disenchanted, disillusioned, and otherwise disinterested in attending church services.

In response to the dearth of anti-church literature that has hit the shelves in recent years, Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck have written this book to four groups of readers: Th
Bryant Rudisill
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy reading good reviews (critiques) like the one you'll find below before I actually pursue to review a book myself. If you are bored enough to actually read my entirely-too-long review of this book, then I recommend first reading the negative response to this book presented below.

The opening introduction written by Kevin DeYoung was clincher material par excellence. Who calls a room a basement when there is no house above it; is it still a head when there is no body attached; and who wants
Matt Bianco
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Matt by: Kevin Skogen
Shelves: non-fiction, theology
I picked this book up in a used bookstore for $5 after my pastor mentioned it to me a few times. He loved the book, and I've read Kevin DeYoungbefore (like Just Do Something: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers,) and enjoyed him.

The book is actually written by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. For the most part, they alternate chapters. DeYoung's chapters are more theological and pastoral-based. Kluck's chapters are fro
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
It’s trendy these days for Christians to claim to love Jesus and want community with other believers, and at the same time ridicule, insult, and abandon Christ’s bride, the church. In response to these inside attacks from the likes of Leonard Sweet, William P. Young, and George Barna, authors Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (of Why We’re Not Emergent fame) seek to defend the traditional ideas and practices of the church in their newest book, Why We Love The Church: In Praise of Institutions and Orga ...more
Emmanuel Boston
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: College-aged, Christians, Thirty-somethings, Pastors
Recommended to Emmanuel by: Don Dunavant
Perhaps it goes without saying that this book touches on some highly controversial issues for Christians—and I do wonder if the only people it convinces are those predisposed toward its convictions. I should hope this is not the case, but as I am not an objective reader I cannot say; skimming through other reviews seems to indicate essentially that the book was good and helpful or that DeYoung and Kluck do not take the emergent arguments seriously (and their tone is condescending). Dan Kimball, ...more
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book talks about why we love the church (and why many don't love the church.)

Here are my reflections after reading the book:

Many people have left the organized church. They claim to be Christians, but do not want to be part of the visible body of Christ. There are so many "churches" that have given up proclaiming Christ crucified for our sins. In chapter 1 this is brought out. Many "churches" today have "pastors" who do not understand or teach the gospel at all. There is no biblical exeges
Joshua D.
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Spirituality is in. Church is out. This is certainly the case in the culture at large. And it's become trendy among Christians as well. DeYoung and Kluck set out make the case for the church's indispensability to the Christian life.

DeYoung is a pastor and theologian, Kluck a layman and sports writer. They first teamed up for Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be (which won Christianity Today's 2009 book award) , and this book is in a similar vein. DeYoung tackles the theological and
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I echo J. I. Packer. "As I read [this book], I wanted to stand up and cheer."

DeYoung (and Kluck) have a knack for timeliness. Just when people are opting out of the institutional church (pews, pulpit, potlucks, service orders, and membership roles) for something more trendy and adventurous, the returning author duo responds with a pointed defense of the organized church.

While the book is a warm - and at times, humorous - affirmation of faithfulness to one's un-famous local congregation, it more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World
  • Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church
  • The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love: Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership and Discipline
  • Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • The Deliberate Church: Building Your Ministry on the Gospel
  • Killing Calvinism: How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology from the Inside
  • Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods
  • The Trellis and the Vine
  • Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists
  • The Church (Contours of Christian Theology, #4)
  • The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World
  • Stop Dating the Church!: Fall in Love with the Family of God (LifeChange Books)
  • What Is a Healthy Church Member?
  • Now, That's a Good Question!
  • How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil
Kevin DeYoung is the Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, right across the street from Michigan State University.
“I sometimes find, especially among my peers, that authenticity is not a…means of growing in holiness, but a convenient cover for endless introspection, doubt, uncertainty, anger, and worldliness. So that if other Christians seem pure, assured, and happy we despise them for being inauthentic.

Granted, the church shouldn’t be happy-clappy naive about life’s struggles. Plenty of psalms show us godly ways to be real with our negative emotions. But the church should not apologize for preaching a confident Christ and exhorting us to trust Him in all things. Church is not meant to foster an existential crisis of faith every week”
“They wish the church could be more diverse, but then leave to meet in a coffee shop with other well-educated thirtysomethings who are into film festivals, NPR, and carbon offsets.” 2 likes
More quotes…