The 1990s are a continuation of the criticism of churches (institutions) that has been obvious for three decades in America. Is the church really the greatest religious problem of our times, or is the criticism a manifestation of the anti-institutionalism of our times?
William E. Jones addresses such questions in Forces at Work, which is the culmination of ten years of research plus forty-two years experience as a preacher and educator. While the contribution of the sciences in analysis is not overlooked, he finds that the problem is finally a biblical one, as churches of Christ have historically claimed. A search of both testaments provides terminology and principles that are sufficient to decide if the church is the underlying problem.
In his final analysis, Jones concludes that neither institutional-ism nor secularism are the bottom line, but individual church members who have often brought the world's agenda into the church. Biblically, the bottom line is "idolatry," committed not so much by the church as by worldly members.