By TylerR Mar 01 2017 EcclesiologyRoger Olson: Clearly the New Testament church had two practices largely and perhaps intentionally absent in the vast majority of American churches: deep sharing of life together and church discipline. 1377 reads There are 2 Comments Odd title Bert Perry - Wed, 03/01/2017 - 2:14pm Really, what he's getting at is whether it's likely that a modern church can have the intense fellowship of the ancient church, not whether the church itself can exist today. Agreed that intense fellowship is more difficult today since we're not persecuted enough, but really, if the gates of Hell shall not stand against the church, the church exists. Flawed as we are, but period. Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. Good Article TylerR - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 10:17am Olson hit a home run with this one. He is not a conservative, but he is a keen observer. He is right - American churches typically have no sense of community. My wife and I noticed this immediately when we returned to the US from spending several years overseas. Our church in Sicily was a real community. We had nobody else. Everybody there was military, away from heir families, and the church became our family. It was a very special time. We haven't found that in the US. I fear we never will. Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?