“Obviously, the church is not an ideal community that everyone takes on look at and asks, “How do I get in?” So what’s left?
What’s left is this: we look at what has been given to us in our Scriptures and in Jesus and try to understand why we have a church in the first place, what the church, as it is given to us, is. We are not a utopian community. We are not God’s avenging angels. I want to look at what we have, what the church is right now, and ask, Do you think that maybe this is exactly what God intended when he created the church? Maybe the church as we have it provides the very conditions and proper company congenial for growing up in Christ, for becoming mature, for arriving at the measure of the stature of Christ. Maybe God knows what he is doing, giving us church, this church.” Pg. 14
“God does not work apart from sinful and flawed (forgiven to be sure) men and women who are mostly without credentials. Romantic, crusader, and consumer representations of the church get in the way of recognizing the church for what it actually is. If we permit-or worse, promote-dreamy or deceptive distortions of the Holy spirit creation, we interfere with participation in the real thing. The church we want becomes the enemy of the church we have. It is significant that there is not a single instance in the biblical revelation of a congregation of God’s people given to us in romantic, crusader, or consumer terms. There are no “successful” congregations in Scripture or in the history of the church.” Pg. 28-29