Publication Date

Spring 2012


School of Religion


Religion: Pastoral Ministries

Primary Subject Area

Religion, General


church, pharisee, modern American church


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | History of Christianity | New Religious Movements | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Religious discussions often hinge on semantics. Currently debate abounds concerning the state of the modern American Church. Is it failing? Is it flourishing? Who is a part of it? Comparing the biblical understanding of church to the state of the modern American Church provides great insight into how the modern church has erred. Investigating the semantic range of the word “church” also sheds light on why perceptions of the modern American Church vary. Additional comparisons are made between the typical American Christian and Pharisees. Potential similarities are identified and analyzed. Finally, suggestions are made regarding church reform so that the reputation of Jesus Christ may be regarded highly by those who are skeptical of the modern American Church.