Re-rearranging the chairs: a response to Richard Dahlstrom and Rachel Held Evans (a.k.a. in defense of liturgy)

The Eucharist is the beating heart of Christian worship. It brings transformation in a way that even the best sermon can’t. It speaks to the whole person, not just the mind.

Ben Irwin

IMG_6222 Baptismal font at the Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Olney (UK)

Seattle pastor Richard Dahlstrom challenged something Rachel Held Evans wrote in a recent op-ed for CNN.com about millennials leaving the church.

Richard Dahlstrom is one of my favorite evangelical pastors. Rachel Held Evans is one of my favorite bloggers. If you want to see a successful pastor building real community instead of just building his own empire, watch Richard Dahlstrom. If you want a window into the spirituality of millennial Christians, read Rachel’s blog.

Rachel often talks with pastors about why millennials are leaving the church. She’s written about how younger Christians feel forced to “choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness,” how evangelical Christianity has become “too political, too exclusive,” etc.

Thus far, Richard and Rachel are on the same page. Their disagreement comes over what Rachel says next:

Many of us…

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