Some have argued that we ditch the terms "Christian" and "church" because of their negative connotations in our culture, and all the misinformation out there on those terms.
N.T. Wright, in his book Simply Christian, argues instead for the rehabilitation of the word "church", because while some have negative thoughts about "church", others have glowingly positive ones. His statement about what "church" means for some struck me as a great description of what the church does on a good day:
For many, "church" … is a place of welcome and laughter, of healing and hope, of friends and family and justice and new life. It’s where the homeless drop in for a bowl of soup and the elderly stop by for a chat. It’s where one group is working to help drug addicts and another is campaigning for global justice. It’s where you’ll find people learning to pray, coming to faith, struggling with temptation, finding new purpose, and getting in touch with a new power to carry that purpose out. It’s where people bring their own small faith and discover, in getting together with others to worship the one true God, that the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. No church is like this all the time. But a remarkable number of churches are partly like that for quite a lot of the time.
The church is, "the family of God’s people, it is all who believe in and follow Jesus, it is the company of those who, in the power of the Spirit, are bringing God’s new creation to birth" (Wright). It is the "company of the committed," the "incendiary fellowship" (Trueblood). Let’s work to define the church biblically, and rehabilitate the word to make it useful and meaningful and true in our culture again.