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Dining with the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts with Modernity (Hourglass Books)
 
 

Dining with the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts with Modernity (Hourglass Books) [Kindle Edition]

Os Guinness
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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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.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Any Churchworker or Church Leader! 11 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Os Guiness' treatment of the modern church growth movement and its continual flirt with unscriptural principles is great. The direction for Christians is to be in the world but not of it. Guiness rightly identifies the misguided, uniquely American, and might I also add arrogant, assumption that techniques found in marketing textbooks can be emphasized, backed only back a shallow or weak theology. Good reading (and not very difficult, either)!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning! 18 Mar 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
By Brian Douglas of Ft. Lauderdale, FL (see Amazon.com for other positive reviews of this book)
In Dining With the Devil, Guinness critiques the church-growth movement. This book is not intended to be a scholarly theological review; rather, he shares his thoughts and warnings to the churches of America as they are confronted with the issue of modernity.
Should the primary guidance of the church be internal or external? Should the church be formed by the Word or by the World? At what point does change become compromise? Should churches incorporate the managerial techniques of the business world? What are the logical ends of the church-growth movement?
Guinness addresses each of these questions, and I believe he answers them fairly. He doesn't say all church-growth is bad and the church should condemn it, nor does he say that all church-growth is good and the church should assume it. Rather, he warns his reader and gets him to think about each of these questions. What stand should we take on these issues? Read this book and find out for yourself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars makes you think 28 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book but found some of the language difficult to understand. I think it's written really well and covers a great deal of what the modern church is doing today. I did find it hard going in places, but got there in the end. As a pastor, I found it both informative and useful.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Old arguments from an out of touch perspective. 13 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
O.S. Guiness evidently does not understand the concept of form verses function. The function of the church never changes. The word of God never changes. The function of the church is to take the gospel of Christ to a lost world. The form we use must be relavant to the culture or the message will be rejected. If the church does not speak a language people can understand, people will not listen. This concept in no way implies compromising the truth or message of God's word. Mr. Guinness has a heart for God but a misunderstanding of this topic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Prophetic View of Purpose Driven Mentality 4 Nov 2004
By Seeking Disciple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Purpose Driven Church, Purpose Driven Youth, Purpose Driven Life, Purpose Driven coffee mugs, Purpose Driven music CD, Purpose Driven Calanders, Purpose Driven screen savers, Purpose Driven Bible covers, Purpose Driven this and Purpose Driven that. Everywhere we look we see the popular themes of Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. The Church in America is running after every teaching that generates more people without questioning the teaching. Pragmatic, and sometimes unbiblical, doesn't seem to matter anymore.

Os Guinness takes direct aim at Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, C. Peter Wagner, and George Barna in this short book by addressing the seeker sensitive, megachurch mentality that exists and is being pushed in nearly every seminary in America. He writes that the Church is flirting with modernity and loosing sight of our original purpose. The Bible, discipleship, expository preaching, prayer, and living the Spirit-filled life is being ignored for numbers, results, prestiage, money.

May we repent before a holy God and return to faithfully preaching the Word of God and the hard demands of true repentance. May we not continue on this down-grade.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning! 24 Nov 2001
By Brian Douglas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In Dining With the Devil, Guinness critiques the church-growth movement. This book is not intended to be a scholarly theological review; rather, he shares his thoughts and warnings to the churches of America as they are confronted with the issue of modernity.
Should the primary guidance of the church be internal or external? Should the church be formed by the Word or by the World? At what point does change become compromise? Should churches incorporate the managerial techniques of the business world? What are the logical ends of the church-growth movement?
Guinness addresses each of these questions, and I believe he answers them fairly. He doesn't say all church-growth is bad and the church should condemn it, nor does he say that all church-growth is good and the church should assume it. Rather, he warns his reader and gets him to think about each of these questions. What stand should we take on these issues? Read this book and find out for yourself.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prophetically Timely 6 April 2005
By Tim Challies - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dining With the Devil is an interesting read, especially in light of the fact that the author, Os Guinness, is describing the very difficulties the church is facing today, even though this book was written over twelve years ago. It is difficult to know if his voice was prophetic or if very little has changed since the early nineties. I suspect both are true.

The book is subtitled "The Megachurch Movement Flirts with Modernity." We hear much more about postmodernity today than modernity, but this does not seem to detract from the book. Guinness warns that the Megachurch movement, which gained prominence in the eighties and nineties and continues to gain steam today, may be borrowing as much from the devil as from the Lord. And as Peter Berger warns, "He who sups with the devil had better have a long spoon." Guinness assesses the movement and warns that much of the foundation for the Megachurch Movement, which can be understood to be synonymous with the Church Growth Movement, is incompatible with Scripture. Some examples he provides are the uncritical use of marketing tools and management theories to induce growth in attendance. "When all is said and done," the author states, "the church growth movement will stand or fall by one question. In implementing its vision of church growth, is the church of Christ primarily guided and shaped by its own character and calling - or by considerations and circumstances alien to itself" (page 35). The heart of this question is one of authority - what will the church submit to as the ultimate authority? Will it be Scripture or will it be the ever-changing, ever-fickle demands of the culture? Is the audience sovereign, or is the message?

This book is short on names and specifics of individuals or churches, but long on analysis and warnings. The names Bill Hybel and Rick Warren do not appear at all. And thankfully this book is better-referenced than many of Guinness' other books, in which I have found his lax committment to footnotes exceedingly frustrating.

My only disappointment with this book is that much of it was repeated in Guinness' more recent book, Prophetic Untimeliness, which I found more timely and ultimately more helpful. If I had to recommend purchasing only one, I would recommend Prophetic Untimeliness. However, Dining With the Devil still makes for an interesting and challenging read, and one that at only 109 pages, can be accomplished in a short while. I recommend it.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A challenging critique 8 Mar 2000
By Victor McCracken - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The greatest strength of this book is also its greatest weakness. The author does a fine job of critiquing the culturally-accommodated "ministry" of the American megachurch. His arguments and comments are right on mark. However, what the author fails to do is give enough concrete examples of churches that fit the mold he is characterizing. This absence creates a variation of the "straw-man" dilemma: many church leaders will agree with Guinness' critique, but few will believe that it actually applies to them. One would hope that leaders of American megachurches will read Guinness' book and take heed.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Any Churchworker or Church Leader! 11 July 1998
By revkev97@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Os Guiness' treatment of the modern church growth movement and its continual flirt with unscriptural principles is great. The direction for Christians is to be in the world but not of it. Guiness rightly identifies the misguided, uniquely American, and might I also add arrogant, assumption that techniques found in marketing textbooks can be emphasized, backed only back a shallow or weak theology. Good reading (and not very difficult, either)!
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