Monday, July 20, 2009

Lock the Church!

Get equipped, and then get out of the church and into the world!

"Despite his insistence on the primacy of the church, Calvin knew the church had its limits. John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress illustrates these limits well. In his classic allegory, Bunyan calls the church "the house built by the Lord of the HIll for the safety and rest of pilgrims." Bunyan has his main character, Christian, enter this house, the church; he has him "fed," his allegory for the sermon and for the Lord's Supper; and he has him led into the armory, where he is equipped. Then Bunyan has the keepers of the house send him away, out into the world. Calvin did the same for his parishioners by locking the church doors after the service. Christians, having been fed and equipped, refreshed and nourished, are to be in the world, according to Calvin...Calvin locked the church doors so the church could be in the world...Calvin locked the church doors after the service because he wanted the church to be salt and light in the world that God made and entrusted to us."

Stephen Nichols, The Reformation, Crossway Books: 2007, pg. 79-82.

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

Too good. I had never heard this story about Calvin, but it totally fits.

dave said...

great quote, great book.

Linked you:
http://davewainscott.blogspot.com/2010/01/lock-church-doors.html