Are Mediocre Christians Allowed?

Matt, Alastair, and Andrew follow up last week's conversation about 1776 with a discussion of nominal Christianity.

Since at least the time of the Donatists, the Church has wrestled with how to relate to Christians who are just not that good at being Christians. Should we worship with Christians who are living in sin? Should we baptize, marry, and bury those who only attend church twice a year? Prompted by last episode’s discussion of Andrew’s new book, Matt, Alastair, and Andrew examine this question from theological, Biblical, and pastoral perspectives.

Links Mentioned:

Lexham Press Book of the Month

Merrie Band

James Boswell

The Misunderstood Reason Millions of Americans Stopped Going to Church,” by Jake Meador

The Character Kichijiro from Silence, by Shusaku Endo [affiliate link]

Remaking the World: How 1776 Created the Post-Christian West, by Andrew Wilson [affiliate link]

The Purpose Driven Church, by Rick Warren [affiliate link]

Spirit and Sacrament: An Invitation to Eucharismatic Worship, by Andrew Wilson [affiliate link]

The Book of the Month is Tomas Bokedal’s Christ the Center: How the Rule of Faith, the Nomina Sacra, and Numerical Patterns Shape the Canon. Bokedal shows how the canon is shaped by numerical patterns of nomina sacra—scribal reverence for divine names. These patterns, which especially revolve around Christ, reveal the devotional and theological preoccupations of the earliest Christians. The rule of faith is not a later development; it is in the very text of Scripture. For the month of September 2023, get 40% off this title at


How do you solve a problem like James Boswell?
When Fraternal Correction Fails
Excommunication & the Fringe
Make Mediocre Christianity Great Again
Bring Them In
Different Gifts of Faith
What are they coming for?
Scandal Badminton
Internal Logic of Forgiveness

Follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Financially support Mere OrthodoxyAlastair, and/or Derek directly. Thanks to Timothy Crouch for keeping us organized, and to Andrew Noble for managing the social media. Special thanks to Tim Motte for sound editing and show notes. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.

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