Those who know me best know that theologian David Wells has had  a huge impact on my thinking over the last 12 years when it comes to the church and our culture. He is, in my humble opinion, one of the most astute observers of present cultural trends in the church today. If you have not read his four books on the church and the modern world, you need to stop what you're doing right now, go to a bookstore, and buy them: No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland, Losing our Virtue, and Above all Earthly Pow'rs. In God in the Wasteland he delivers one of the most inspiring charges I have ever encountered. Read it and be moved:

"I want the Evangelical church to be the church. I want it to embody a vibrant spirituality. I want the church to be an alternative to post-modern culture, not a mere echo of it. I want a church that is bold to be different and unafraid to be faithful…a church that reflects an integral and undiminished confidence in the power of God's word, a church that can find in the midst of our present cultural breakdown the opportunity to be God's people in a world that has abandoned God. To be the church in this way, it is also going to have to find in the coming generation, leaders who exemplify this hope for its future and who will devote themselves to seeing it realized. To lead the church in the way that it needs to be led, they will have to rise above the internal politics of the evangelical world and refuse to accept the status quo where that no longer serves the vital interest of the Kingdom of God. They will have to decline to spend themselves in the building of their own private kingdoms and refuse to be intimidated into giving the church less and other than what it needs. Instead, they will have to begin to build afresh, in cogently biblical ways, among the decaying structures that now clutter the evangelical landscape. To succeed, they will have to be people of large vision, people of courage, people who have learned again what it means to live by the word of God, and, most importantly, what it means to live before the Holy God of that word."

[Editor's note: This blog entry is a Christianity.com favorite culled from the archives of "On Earth as It Is in Heaven". It originally appeared at Pastor Tchividjian's blog on 8/31/2007.]