Niceness

'been reading (and being challenged and encouraged) by C. John Miller's Outgrowing the Ingrown Church. A number of people have recommend the book to me over the past two years, but I just started reading it late last week. I'm holding off on my personal interactions with the book until I really digest it. But so far I would highly recommend it. Concerning the dangerous quality of "niceness" in the introverted church Miller wrote,

What is often wanted in a local church is unrelieved blandness: a "nice pastor" preaching "nice sermons" about a "nice Jesus" delivered in a "nice tone" of voice.

What is twisted about all this is that "niceness" is being substituted for Christ's holy love, a heroic quality that might not in some circumstances prove to be nice at all. What we really want is to be comfortable and undisturbed. "Nice" is just another way of being "safe."

...Christ is not a nice, tame God who can be controlled, caged lest he intrude in unseemly ways on Sunday mornings or in other church affairs.